Friday, November 26, 2010

The Incredible Journey

I went. I braved the roads, and hit the highways in ridiculous travel conditions for a gruelling three hour drive on Wednesday. I don't know what came over me, or why I thought it would be okay to go. I was nervous, even scared, but for some reason I felt like I didn't have a good enough reason not to go. The drive there was stressful, with a few scary moments thrown in for good measure. Jamie slept for a good portion of the drive, thankfully, as did Micah, so it was quiet in the van. Cody was good the whole time, which was a relief to me, as I was very tense driving in the poor visibility. Snow was swirling like ghostly snakes all over the highway, and making horizontal tornadoes behind every semi. Being passed brought on white-outs leaving me straining to see the tiny bits of white lines that were still visible on the road; the only things guiding me to stay in my lane and out of the ditch. Fortunately, there were only a few moments of complete white-outs, but the radio reports I was hearing half way there were more than enough to make me question my sanity and upset me significantly.

Either way, I made it. I left in the morning in order to beat at least a portion of the storm, which I kind of did. The last half hour of my drive was clear, and wouldn't have been had I waited any longer to leave. As a result, Cody missed his preschool, which was a disappointment to me. I also did the bulk of my packing and preparing that very morning, which added to the stress. When we arrived, the house was locked and my parents weren't home. Oh dear. My boys were all on the front steps and were not wearing their winter coats as it was too warm in the van, so I had to put them all back in the van and lock it while I ran to find the spare key. I found it, though I had to dig in the snow to do it. We got in the house and I unloaded the van and then got everyone lunch. Breakfast for me. I had not had time to eat. By then it was 1 p.m. The rest of that day was okay, except that my dad said he was not sure we'd make the appointment the next day due to the terrible driving conditions in the city. I was stressed about this too, as I knew we were not going to be able to make it home the next day. I couldn't imagine having driven with my precious cargo through that horrible storm for three hours only to get stranded in the city and miss the appointment anyway.

We made the appointment. It took an hour to get there, which is double what it should have, but driving conditions were bad and the traffic was very slow-moving. The appointment was quick and positive. I had my usual misgivings about the staff there, but we made it through with no disastrous encounters, and without too severe a blow to my self-esteem. Cody got a decent report. His eyes have not changed, but he is still borderline for needing surgery, so we have to watch closely. If things get any worse, he will need surgery, but then again, things have not gotten worse in a long, long time, so he may be all right yet. Phew. So that was done.

Micah was at an all time high for neediness, and he was my toughest kid this trip. He was into everything and my parents' house is not very childproof, so I barely had a moment to sit down. I was overtired from a poor sleep the first night there, and the afternoon after Cody's appointment I got hit with a migraine. That was unpleasant, as migraines always are, but also discouraging. I was dealing with enough other issues as it was. Then that night, last night, we did indeed stay over again due to the continuing dangerous travel conditions. I shared a room with Micah. He had a crib, I had the spare bed. The first night he tossed a lot, which may have been the reason for my very light sleep. Last night was much worse. I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. and fell asleep some time just after 10 p.m. At 3 a.m. Micah started to fuss. He had done the same thing the previous night, and every time he did I would just whisper, "Sshhh! Mommy's here," and he would settle right back down. (Another reason for my light sleep.) So I tried again last night. I was not as successful. In fact, for some reason, Micah would not settle. It isn't that  he cried non-stop. He didn't. But he wouldn't go back to sleep either. He would toss, and then let out a cry again, and I'd have to shh him again. Time started to drag on, and I was getting discouraged. I knew I was going to have to drive three little boys home for three long hours the next day and I did not want to be up the rest of the night. By 4:30 a.m. we were still battling this out and I finally turned on the light and changed his diaper. He was very wet. I hoped he would settle after that. He didn't. He was very upset when I turned the light off again. When he calmed down, he started talking and making clucking sounds with his tongue. Great. Now he wanted to play. Did I mention my parents' house is entirely hardwood flooring in the bedroom area? There is no soundproofness at all. So I knew they were hearing every little sound he made. I had to go to the bathroom. I knew I couldn't or he would go hysterical. I was stressed out by then, and very uncomfortable. Eventually I held him and he melted into me. I laid him down on the bed beside me with my arms around him, and within moments his breathing got even and I knew he was either asleep or close to it. I stayed like that a while, but I knew I would not sleep. I eventually snuck my arms out from under him and stood up. The bed is very creaky, so it was impossible to do that quietly. He stirred. I froze and stood there for a moment, watching to see what he'd do. He moved every half a minute or so, and got closer and closer to the edge of the bed. Finally, I gave up. It was 6:00 a.m. I had been up for three hours with this baby and I was fried. I picked him up and put him in his crib, knowing if I did not, he'd fall out of the bed. He lost it. I left anyway, needing the bathroom desperately. I cried. I couldn't help it. In fact, I have been on the edge of tears all day since then. I am terribly tired and so overwhelmed from the last few days.

Anyway, when I came back in my room I picked him up again and he wrapped around me like a little monkey, laying his head on my shoulder. I lay on the bed and let him rest on me for a few minutes, but I knew I couldn't sleep like that even though he was obviously going to. I moved him beside me and he slept there until 8:45 a.m. I slept too, though I don't know how deeply. Single mothers, how do you manage? I know it is different in your own home. Had I been at my place, things would have been different. But that's reality. Sometimes you have to travel, and with my kids, I find things can get pretty rough. I am glad to report that nobody needed to use the bathroom at any time during our actual travel time, and that was a huge blessing. That would have complicated things significantly.

That's about all I will report for now. I could say more, but I don't think I will. Hopefully we'll be back to normal life next week. The boys are in bed now, and for once, only Micah is quiet. Jamie is wild because he slept too much in the van. He will keep Cody up as a result. I don't care. I do, but this is better than a stressful trip. I am hoping for some kind of therapy this evening. A feel-good movie. Maybe even just an early bed time with actual deep sleep. Regardless, I am glad to be home safe once again. I'm off for now.

No comments: