Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Felled

We were felled by sickness this weekend.  From Thursday until about Monday, we were pwned.  The Big Yam was running a high fever for about 4 days but we've been burned so many times by taking him into our doctor's and being told to relax that we rode it out.  Even though he was a royal pill.  Even though he didn't want to eat anything.  Even though he was coughing and was having wheezy breaths at night.  Because the Family Health Team model is the best, they have walk-in clinics on the weekends for patients.  We took him to our doctor who took his temperature, watched his breathing, listened to his lungs...and sent us to the hospital so that he could get a shot of ventilation to help his bronchials dilate.  Whoops.  Major parenting fail.

Brave little Boobla.  He wanted a photo taken to show Nana his cool mask.

We went to the hospital, he got the mask, was like, instantly better and we got prescribed antibiotics to handle the pesky bit of pneumonia he was fighting.  Then we felt like the worst parents ever for letting it go for so long to the point where a normal cold turned into pneumonia.

The Dotytron has been battling what they think is sinusitis for the past couple of weeks.  He'll think he's on the upswing and then he ends up feeling worse.  So he got antibiotics as well.

Pregnant nurse was holding it down with a heavy-duty assist from the Dotytron, which was necessary, since we needed all hands on deck to deal with a fractious, screaming, wilful, miserable, Boobla.  He was so unhappy.  He wasn't eating and he was so cranky that we basically just threw whatever he wanted at him (translating to non-stop Thomas and Friends and Yo Gabba Gabba! episodes), which has since come to bite us in the butts since he's feeling better but still acting like a despot.

A family of sicks is just brutal.  I can't wait for us all to feel better again.  So much laundry!  So many cancelled fun plans!  So much stir-craziness from being cooped up in the house!  So much knowledge of the island of Sodor and Sir Topham Hatt!  I say: enough!

There were elements that were pretty sweet, though.  The Big Yam was being a total sucky with me, which was nice.  We did Sleep Away Camp  for the past five days and he'd wake up disoriented and sweaty and yelling/moaning that he wanted to cuddle, which is pretty cute.  He also asked to be "cozy" all the time on the couch and wanted me to sit all slumpy next to him.  He also napped on me a bunch which was hot and twisty and uncomfortable, but also divine.

Twoandfourmonths is a strange, wonderful, perplexing, challenging, strengthening age.  It is screaming tantrums on the floor and dinner time stand-offs that seem to last hours.  It is parents angrily putting a kid in time-out/cool-down, and it is wilful little beings discovering their agency by dissolving into tears and insisting (at the top of their shrill little lungs) that they "want yogurt!" and in the next instant that they "don't want yogurt now!" (repeat x a million).  It is also watching a little being become more of an engaged individual, more funny conversations, more personality emerging, more of everything that is good and will make you laugh in wonder at this person you first brought into your home as a slumping mass of goobery, wall-eyed drool.  It is remembering when their little mewling cries sounded so loud and laughing at yourself for your own naive ignorance.

When he has his tantrums our new method is to take him upstairs to his room or to another spot in the house until he's ready to calm down and talk to us and tell us what he wants without screaming/yelling.  Then we wait and listen until the screaming stops and go in and tell him that we don't understand him when he screams at us and that it's not a nice way to talk to people.  We do this with a combination of distraction/diversion.  The distracting/diverting comes in handy when you go into the room and he's calmed down for a bit but can easily be set off again (kids hold grudges!  Little grievances are a big deal when your world unfolds from a perspective of 2 feet tall).  It helps us, too.  Especially when our nerves are frayed, as they were this weekend with everyone feeling a little off, we all needed a moment to take a break, take a breath, and kind of centre ourselves in silence.  This works about oh, 0.0043 percent of the time.  Haha.  Just kidding.  It's got a slightly higher success rate than that (very slight).  It all passes.

This whole weekend made me think about the notion of community, how it emerges in sometimes the most unlikely of places, and how it behooves us to be okay with asking for help and sometimes, more importantly, accepting the help that is offered.  Those are two that I continually struggle with.  When I was laid up with sciatica and the Roomie came over to watch the Big Yam and run me a bath and make us lunch, I spent the whole time apologizing profusely for being a burden.  Her general response was a firm, "shut up."  I am notoriously self-reliant.  I don't generally ask for help and have trouble accepting the help that is offered.  I don't want to be a burden.  But when I saw the offers that came in this past weekend in response to a FB status update documenting our state, it gave me pause.  The Roomie offered help, neighbours offered help, my mum offered to step in and provide emergency Yam-watching services, and our dear, childless friends in the neighbourhood, B & G, sent a sweet email asking if there was anything they could do.  In this case, there wasn't anything any of those people could do, but it just made me realize that this whole living in a city business is hard work, whether you have kids or don't.  And life has a way of getting unmanageable, for everyone.  

Granted, it happens with more frequency with people who have kids, but seeing the effect caring for Poh Poh had on my mum and Big D, even if you don't have kids, elder care (and we all have parents) is a growing and pressing issue in contemporary society.  As is any situation in which your health is compromised.  I think it's important to remember that people don't offer help unless they're willing to follow through with it (unless you're some kind of weirdo sociopath, but you can't do anything about those kooks).  It's important to take people up on those offers because it keeps the good will and community-building flowing.  I've realized that it's important for me to take the seat that's offered on the streetcar, even if I don't want to necessarily sit, because I don't want that person to not offer the next time there's a preggo huffing and puffing in the streetcar aisle during rush hour.   It's important and okay to need help sometimes and to take people up on their offers of help without feeling embarrassed or like you're imposing.  Life is hard work.  More hands make it easier.

Anyway, the point is: let me and the Dotytron watch your kids if you want a night off!  We LOVE hanging out with other people's kids!  Way better than your own!   Friends should just set up a swapping schedule - once a month you each take turns watching each other's kids so that the people can have a grown-up meal, without the extra cost of paid babysitting (although bless our teenage babysitter's heart).

Last night's dinner of gruyère, fontina, and aged cheddar fusilli'n'cheese with toasted thyme panko breadcrumbs.  I hoovered this meal.  There is magic in them there cheesy carbs.  Magic, I tells ya!

In other news - we have reached the capacity on our chest freezer.  WHY OH WHY DIDN'T WE BUY THE BIG ONE?!?  Knowing that I always, always, always cook enough to feed a small army and knowing that a supply of frozen foods will be super-handy once the twerps arrive, it was a major tactical error.  Ah well, live and learn.  

Right now we've got some Mexican tortilla soup that's waiting for freezer space along with some of tonight's dinner - a sausage, lentil and swiss chard soup that I made from a Smitten recipe (my changed being that I doubled-down on the amount of sausage, skipped the extra olive oil-garlic drizzle, and grated pecorino on top instead of parm).

I need to figure something out and soon, lest I be overtaken by delicious, frozen, home-cooked meals.

Fin.













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