Sunday, February 22, 2009

The latest on our family bed

Sickness brings people together.

My son was sleeping through the night in his own bed until he had a one-night fever back in the fall, probably five months ago. Then he started toddling into our room late in the morning.

After this most recent (longer!) illness, he spent a lot of time in our bed throughout the night, but the past few nights has been happily going to bed in his own room. I like him having his own space where some toys and books are, and it's nice to have our bed to ourselves when we retire. This is especially true on nights when I tutor; changing clothes around a sleeping child is not my favorite thing to do.

But even as I enjoy him growing up and being more independent, and us having our own space, there's something that feels so good and close when he comes into our bedroom and just snuggles into me. (He's off the addictive nursing kick; he'll still ask at 7 a.m., and I think I'm going to keep that up as long as he asks until we wean. I'm thinking we're going to have a weaning party; I've floated the idea of stopping after his birthday and he's started to talk about it on his own.)

As long as I'm not being groped or whined at for holding out when I just can't give any more, it's quite lovely to know that your child gets such pleasure from just being close to you. We feel like a team, the three of us, and there is nothing more wonderful than waking up to a smiling child beaming at you and kissing you.

Tonight, though, E was somehow wired and not ready to go to bed. Eventually, after he'd been lying down on the couch in the living room, E was carried upstairs by my husband who decided to take him into our bed, explaining that he'd be staying on Daddy's side. They laid down, and my son took my husband's head in his hands and pulled it toward him. LJ said it just about broke his heart.

If the boy is sad about something, I hope we can figure that out. But I'm just glad he knows he can get the love he needs.

My husband went to bed over an hour ago, saying "I'm going to go lie down with my kid." Time for me to join them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Daily plan

"Where are we gonna go today?" my son asked this morning. After having just written here about staying home all day (and on my other blog about some of the things my boy says), it struck me as funny that I didn't notice the fact that my son asks about our daily plan every day. And how he asks is by inquiring about "where" we are going to go. On one hand I feel like this shows he's up for anything and enjoys an active lifestyle (maybe he'll relocate to Colorado in his 20s!), and on the other I wonder if I'm not letting him settle into a healthy rhythm.

Oh, and the answer for today is a little crazy -- a farm, which is near our friends' house where we'll have lunch and then go to a whole foods meetup I might not have checked out if I weren't already needing to go in that direction to pick up some Wilderness Family Naturals food someone got for me for wholesale prices.

There is also a playgroup on the way home, but I think we'll probably skip that today. Whew.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Homebody for a Day

I did not leave the house today except to pick up the newspaper from the sidewalk. And this is not because anyone was sick.

I had four hours of childcare and then an extended quiet time with my son (after lunch) of a puzzle and nursing followed by cooking and baking and him looking at photos on the computer while I answered some email. With the exception of the dependence on technology, I think this is something like what I envisioned of life as a SAHM. But it was only the dreary, cold weather that kept me from running to the grocery store or the library or taking the kid to the gym so I could go to yoga -- or from playing tag-team parent and leaving as soon as my husband got home to attend an International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) meeting (it's been a long time since I've gone, and my membership is overdue). Normally I feel like the kid and I both need to get out at least once a day. At least he'd had his friend and the sitter to play with.

But today it felt nice to just put on my fleece pants and settle into my home (especially since I used the first 40 minutes of the childcare to clean the main level so it's not quite so challenging to inhabit). Then, after my son went to bed (8:00; I'm sure it could have been earlier if we'd rushed through dinner or not all eaten together), I got today's roll recipe up on my other blog and then did some yoga while half-watching Tivo'd episodes of "The Office" from last month and a few minutes of American Idol. I don't like to waste a lot of time on TV, and we do have a Netflix of "Freaks and Geeks" to finish, but it was nice to not have a major agenda of meeting, tutoring, volunteer work, a home project or a Marriage Conversation to address. It seems like there's always something I want to accomplish and, while one could argue that I was multitasking all night until my husband went to bed (when I blogged about my day with my boy), there's something nice about just hanging out in your living room, especially when it's not because your kid won't sleep anywhere but on you.

So even though one energy worker told me recently that our new satellite dish and its electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are part of what caused my son to get ill (and I do intend to spend some serious research time on that soon), I went ahead and enjoyed the small window I have into mainstream America via NBC, and I even sat with my laptop on my lap.

I do have a headache, though. I'll do a little more yoga before I go to bed to detox.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"C'mon, Mom."

I got called out by my son today. Next Tuesday he will turn 35 months old.

After weeks of lost childcare due to snow and sickness, I was finally trying to finish preparing a mailing with just the last few loose ends to be tied up in my son's presence. As I addressed the remaining envelopes, the little dude kept inching closer to me. I was copying addresses from my laptop screen, and he wanted to be near both me and that glorious, glowing light hovering above the sticky-from-fingers (and all-enticing) keys. ("I like the arrow keys," he said, knowing they are what he can use to see images on Picasa).

I asked him to move away a little, to back up, because it was hard for me to write with him on me. Perched on my knees, I kept scooting just a little bit away from his toddler breath and paws. Standing next to me, his chin at my shoulders, he stepped in to fill each small space. I asked him not to, fully understanding that he wanted to be near this project that seemed so important to his mama, whom he wanted to believe thought he was all-important.

At first when I protested about his causing me a challenge, I got the most recent catch-all response: "Why?" But then, after a pause, when I said again, "Please. It's hard for me to write when you're so close to me," he replied, eyes peering into my soul, "No, it's not. C'mon, Mom."

Get a grip. You can't be serious. Oh, please. He's heard those implications in my husband's voice and in mine, and now he has made them his own, with our words and tone. "C'mon."

Though it was a annoying to have him hovering, he's right: it wasn't worth getting worked up over. I keep saying he's "almost three," but he's still technically a two-year-old. How much patience can I really expect out of someone so small? He'd already "helped" me close some envelopes, put paper in and out of the printer and was not wreaking any real havoc. He just wanted to be close to me. What could I really complain about? Come on, Mom.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And another one's down

Just call me Caretaker.

I was on the couch for a full week with a boy with a fever. That week has stretched into two of lots and lotsa nursing, even though the son is physically pretty much recovered.

But now the husband has a pesky ruptured eardrum that is taking its own sweet time to leave him alone. Of course we both want him to avoid antibiotics, which my son's doctor says is likely only to shorten the duration of the infection by a day or so. But it's been over 48 hours that my guy has had a tissue attached to his head.

And I had to take the boy to Spanish class this morning! That's supposed to be their thing, daddy and son, just for eight short weeks (and we already missed last week because of the little guy's illness). It was a fine outing, but I'm getting a tired of being in charge all the time without a break. Good thing the munchkin took a long nap this afternoon. Maybe it was the elderberry drops, but I think the quiet three hours with no one putting his hand up my shirt and asking me for anything actually made me feel less likely to get sick myself. It could still happen, sure, but I doubt I'll get anyone offering to nurse me back to health, metaphorically or not.

Actually, tonight my husband actually hugged me, which was supposed to feel nice, except that I'd just spent 45 minutes trying to get our son to bed, which was a very touchy affair. And then, an hour later, after both boys were supposed to be in bed, the tall one was panting so loudly in pain I could hear him downstairs. I brought him The Last Tylenol and some Rescue Remedy and arnica. I hope that will last him until after I've come to bed and fallen asleep, by which time the little redheaded boy will probably want to have a sip o' mama. At least now that I've been to the Vitamin Shoppe and bought my husband some ear drops, maybe he won't ask me to try to heal him with my milk anymore. It's great to feel like Super-magic-healer-woman except that it involves squeezing yourself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just at home with my boy

You've got to be kidding.
My sitter had to cancel today because her son was sick.
I lost childcare two weeks ago because of the snow.
Last week I spent the entire week holding and nursing my sick son.
Today I was supposed to have four hours with the sitter and my son's friend here, a gentle re-entry back to the land of the living while I would be around and available.
But, like I said, she canceled. We went to plan B and got in with an earlier appointment for him to see an acupuncturist, who used some tools to work on his meridians. Then we stopped at the other sitter's house to get the spoon and fork we left there three weeks ago when she still had room for us. I helped out a little now that she has her 3-yr-old, her 4-month-old, a 3-month-old and a 14-month-old. Then we went home and had lunch after which my son nursed to sleep and took a 2+ hour nap. So I finally got some work done, got a crock pot stew made for dinner, had time to walk to a neighbor's and then make gluten-free sugar cookies for tomorrow's parent-child class at the Waldorf school.
The husband put the boy to bed and I even got two blog posts written. I need to stop complaining!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sick kid

He's finally asleep. On the couch. Not nursing or attached to me. This seems worthy of news after my long morning. The boy's fever was 101 today, but the cough is worse and very troublesome to him. A friend went out and got me some Chestal, which I think has helped him rest. This is like having a newborn.

And my keyboard froze up just as I tried to log on when I saw this sleep was actually going to stick. Everything, everything I want to do involves typing. I don't want to empty the dishwasher and wake him up, I've finished a novel already today and read a good bit of the paper (some while he was on my back in the Ergo as I finally ate breakfast around 10:40).

I wanted to write about how stupid I feel for even considering that I could someday make it through another pregnancy and postpartum time, to feel like this all the time for a couple of months, to have no control, a ridiculously messy house that two days ago was clean, to never get out of my pajamas. To not even have a sip of water before 10 a.m.

I can't hit restart and magically get my happy, healthy son back this instant (though I do hope soon all of his bugs will flash "not responding" and will just close themselves down, clearing his screen to a new day). And I'm putting the idea of another baby to sleep for the duration of this illness, at least (not that it was on the table for months, anyway). But at least I can hit restart on the Toshiba and find that, possibly infected though it may be, I do get to start over.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is 200...9?

Having a sick toddler (if you have just one child) is an odd reminder of what the old days were like, when your baby slept a lot and wasn't making a mess faster than you could clean it.

I thought today I would resume from project/work-induced blogging obscurity to announce that we'd been diaper-free for a week and confirm that there is no more Nursing in the Bed -- not since I hurt my shoulders in a little fall a few weeks ago.

But alas, we are on day two of a fever, so we are back in the Seventh Gen #5s (to minimize frustration and disturbance for a kid who wants to sleep all day), and I gave it up in bed several times last night to a plaintive, "Can I nurse?"

So the last 36 hours have been a big old rewind, with the happy change that little boy was content to sit with his dad most of the day yesterday so I could work on the work I wouldn't get to do during this week's upcoming missed childcare.

Fortunately, I just got a glimpse of 2009 with a "I want my hot cereal!" which is decidedly no longer hot and, when asked, a very clear whine of "I want some more almond milk in it!"

We're headed to the doc soon, but in any case, I'm thankful for glimmers of toddler obstinacy.