Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Easy as Pie?

Recently, I told Mike this stay-at-home-mom thing is easy. Feel free to laugh uproariously. Honestly, I don't know what came over me. I've done a lot of reflecting back on when my three boys were all so little, and things were insanely hard. All the time. Now, things have eased up. I don't have a three year old, a two year old and a less than one year old all at once. Comparatively speaking, this does seem easy. Sometimes.

I think maybe I feel guilty that it's not as hard as it used to be. It makes me feel like I'm not doing anything here at home. Maybe I was delusional because over Christmas I got used to Mike being around to help and I forgot what it's like when he's back at work. Whatever the reason for my temporary loss of perspective, rest assured, I have been set straight.

Yesterday, when the boys got home from school, Jamie was not himself. He refused to get changed to go to hockey, and even said hockey was boring and he didn't want to go. Jamie loves hockey. My first thought was, "Uh oh. Maybe he's sick." But he was showing no symptoms of anything other than exhaustion. I figured that was par for the course, being the second day back at school after two weeks off. (Which, by the way, consisted of a bad stomach bug, that hit us Christmas night. But that's another story. More like a sequel, really, seeing it was the fifth consecutive year.) Well, I forced him to go, seeing they were having pictures done last night, and sure enough, once he hit the ice, his little grin came back and he enjoyed it, as usual.

On the way home, he refused to admit he had fun, and his attitude got really raunchy. We got him to bed at a decent hour, and I hoped he'd be fine for school today. But at 4 a.m., I heard him yelling for me. Jamie doesn't yell for me in the night unless he's sick. I went into his room and he said his stomach hurt really badly. I asked him if he needed to go to the bathroom and he said no. I asked him if he felt barfy and he said no. So I made him go to the bathroom, and he never returned to his room. He was in agony for a long time in the bathroom and I got really scared. I looked up symptoms of appendicitis, and he had most of them. I ended up making a bed for him out of towels and he slept on the bathroom floor. While I got the other two ready for school this morning, Jamie was hollering from the bathroom, throwing up and the whole works.

Today, I am exhausted, though relieved because Jamie is doing much better and definitely doesn't have appendicitis. But I certainly got a good reminder of the challenges of my "job". In a few weeks, Mike is going away for about six days. I doubt I will tell him how easy it was when he gets home again.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back To School Glitches

Today is the first day of school after our Christmas break, and though some people think I am excited to have a break from my kids again, in truth, I have been dreading this day. I miss my boys when they are at school. I worry about them. I worry that they won't drink enough water and they'll get a headache. I worry that they will be overtired and come home sick. I worry that they will miss home and be sad. And today, I worry about the weather, because we are under an extreme cold warning right now. My boys have a long bus ride to school, almost an hour, and one of them is in the habit of not wearing his mitts or his hat.

I was hoping it would be cold enough to shut down the schools today. That's the kind of thing that can happen when you are in a small town school, because most students take the bus to get there. But it didn't happen, and so I got all three lunches made, all three water bottles filled, all three backpacks packed, and all three boys dressed and out the door onto the bus this morning. Then, I started to relax. A day at home with just Lauren is nice. Quiet. Dare I say it? Easy. I will accomplish things.

The boys were on the bus at 7:30, as usual, and then I got into my bed with a book and read for an hour in peace and quiet. That's when I got the text. It was from their bus driver. Jamie left his backpack in the truck when Mike dropped them off at the bus this morning.

Okay, that's not good. He won't have his planner today, but that's not a big deal. He's wearing all of his winter gear, so we're good there too. But his lunch and his water bottle are in there. On a normal day, I would make another lunch and drive it to the school. But today, Mike took the truck to work, and all the car seats are in there. I can't take Lauren in the car with no car seat. She's only two. If she were five, I'd do it. I know, that's really evil, right? But I'd stay on the back gravel roads and drive super slow. But she's two, so I can't. Plus, it's really cold out there, and if we were to have car trouble, it could be scary.

I thought about calling my father-in-law, because he's amazing with stuff like that, but I knew he was supposed to be traveling some time today already, and I didn't want to bother him with another trip. But then something amazing happened. The bus driver offered to make Jamie a lunch and take it to him. I can't begin to describe what a great bus driver our boys have, but just from this alone, you get the idea. I always feel safe knowing my boys are with her. She keeps them in line and she cares about them. She remembers when their birthdays are and she jokes with them, and she treats them so well.

I thought about saying no, telling her she didn't have to do that, but then I realized this is a blessing, straight from God. There is no reason for guilt, no reason to refuse a gift. So she made him a lunch, and will take it to him at the school. That's one thing about life in or around a small community.

Now I'm sitting in my cozy house, with my adorable little girl, and I am at peace. I'm not worried about my kids, because they are in good hands. I'm feeling blessed. Happy New Year, everyone.