I’m not going to lie. This past weekend was a rough one. Andrew left Friday morning and will be returning today from a trip, so I was on my own with the boys. Which of course is always a pleasure– when I am solo parenting, I try to do extra special things with them and play more with them, read more to them, and act silly and goofy since there’s no one else around to spread the attention around, and plus, it is a bonding experience– but I am wiped out, mainly from lack of sleep, but also from a certain three-year-old’s wily behavior and two nasty cases of croup at night.
Oliver is having such a tough time right now. And the interesting thing is, he saves it all for the home front. At school, he is an absolute delight. In public, people fawn all over how cute and polite he is, squeezing his round little cheeks and complimenting him on his great dimples. But man, as soon as he is out of earshot, he really lets it go. All temper, and sometimes just really hurtful things. But he is three, which I have deemed the-worst-age-ever, and so I know his sweet, smart, caring personality is in there somewhere. You know, under all the irrational lashing out behavior. He’s just so darn angry all the time. Sigh.
But we did have fun… I took the boys to the Science Center and the Magic House, and even out for pizza by myself (the looks I got were of pure terror, but it went really well!). But nighttime proved a real challenge. Oliver and Emil both developed what Milo coined the kazoo cough, which is croup. They were up all night Friday and Saturday barking like sea lions and crying and even vomiting from coughing so hard. But I was an attentive, if not weary, parent, of course, staying up past 2am with Oliver and throwing a load of laundry in the wash after Oliver and Emil threw up all over themselves and their beds, and reviewed this more than once because even though we’ve been through it before, croup freaks me out because it involves labored breathing and wheezing and terrible noises. Though scary and unpleasant, they were alright. I on the other hand…
… am just utterly wiped out! Milo, feeling great and sleeping through the hellish disaster, awoke at his usual 5:30am, so I was also up and at ‘em pretty early every morning! It’s truly amazing how much energy it takes to care for, feed, calm down, and keep safe three little ones so young. They can be so needy and vulnerable and there were a couple of instances where I realized I had accidentally skipped a meal just from taking care of everyone else– wiping bottoms and cooking and consoling and cleaning up and sitting with one child or another on my lap in the bathroom with the hot water running, and changing clothes and bathing and and and… you know. This parenting thing can be tough stuff, no?
I am ever-grateful for that amazing partner of mine. Without him I would surely be off my rocker by now! They are a fun bunch, though. And I know one day I will look back fondly and laugh about the craziness, and surely miss it so much (the being needed part, not the croup!). Perspective.