This is what it’s like to have a sick toddler with two parents who work outside the home:
It started last night. Little Prince wasn’t interested in eating his dinner. He seemed a bit extra tired. He finally ate an apple. Being that that was all we could get in him and he’s a toddler, we figured any food was a win. Since he was so tired, we decided to skip bath and go straight to bed. He seemed active and lively, but something was slightly off. We took his temperature, but he seemed fine. We know that is 2nd year molars are coming in, so we thought, maybe it’s just teething. We gave him a bit of children’s Tylenol before bedtime.
This morning Darius left for work early as he always does (he starts work at 6am!). LP had come into our room around 4am for milk and then fell back asleep, which is normal. I got up to take a shower around 6am. After my shower I was brushing my teeth when I heard him at the door to the bathroom. He usually comes in if he wakes up, but he didn’t. When I was done brushing my teeth, I opened the door and found him asleep on the floor right in the corner of the bedroom in front of the bathroom door. Not normal, but super adorable. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t want to wake him up. So I left him there and continued my morning.
Little Prince woke up and came to the top of the stairs and cried a bit while I was finishing breakfast. I scooped him up and brought him back to bed as I usually do. He started doing that sort of belly heave thing that comes before throwing up. I got him to the trash can at the edge of the bed but it was only a bit glob of spit-up that came up. I nursed him to see if that would help his stomach. I started thinking to myself, “He’s not sick. He’s fine. Just a bit of extra teething spit in his stomach. He’ll be fine in a moment and can go to school. I have three meetings and a lot of project work to get done this morning. I have to go to work.” He gets up after the alarm goes off and he seems fine, mostly. At least I’m pretending that he’s mostly fine, just woke up early so is tired and a bit clingy.
I get him changed and dressed and downstairs. Get him his vitamins. He holds on to me and doesn’t let me put him down. I have him on my lap and he starts to throw up again, some gets on the floor, but I get him to the sink and most of it gets in there. It’s all clear, with a bit of snot looking bits (didn’t you want to know that?). Reassure him, clean him up, clean up floor and sink. Tell myself that that’s it. Now that he’s gotten that’s out he must be better. Because I have three meetings and a chiropractor appointment and reports that must be done before 10am.
I skip his morning banana. While getting shoes and jacket on, Little Prince alternates telling me that he’s fine and telling me his belly hurts. I focus on believing he’s fine and that the belly hurting is still left over from just throwing up a bit.
Get him in the car. He dances to En Vogue and Offspring. Figure that means he’s feeling better. Start heading to daycare. Get 5 minutes from home when he throws up a bit on his jacket and car seat. Hand him a napkin to help with it. Change course from his normal daycare to the Get Well Place daycare. Pull into a parking lot on way to text Darius and let him know what’s going on.
Drive to the Get Well Place. I am so flustered that I take the long way instead of the short way. So what started off being a promising leaving time from home just gets later and later. Little Prince falls asleep in car on way to daycare. I think that if he falls asleep so quickly again he must be sick and maybe I could have just stayed home with him and he would have slept in the morning. Feel like an awful parent for not being able to stay home with him when he’s sick. Especially when he’s throwing up since I know how good breastmilk can be for vomiting babies and toddlers.
Get to the Get Well Place. Little Prince wakes up as soon as I try to get him out of car seat. He doesn’t want to go to “special school.” I feel guilty that he recognizes it. I carry him in carefully as to not to mess up my clothing too much. The nurse at Get Well Place greets him by name. I’m impressed that she remembers him and feel guilty that she knows his name. She tells me they are closing at 2pm today. I feel guilty that I don’t have a change of clothing for him and that I have to leave him there. I clean up his car seat, while trying to think what I have to do after 2pm today and how I can work it out with Darius. Go back in and get a good-bye kiss from my sick boy.
Drive toward work. I’m thankful that my car has blue-tooth so I can call Little Prince’s normal daycare to tell them he won’t be in and cancel the chiropractor appointment. I have to stop by an ATM since the Get Well Place only takes cash or check (so we get to pay two different daycares for today, even though Little Prince will only be at one of them). In my distraction and planning I drive past two different bank/credit union ATMs but remember to stop at the gas station at the way to work that also has an ATM.
Get to work over 15 min later than my current normal time, hoping that I don’t smell too much of kid vomit. Whip out the reports that are due with minutes to spare before first meeting. Email person with whom I have a meeting at 3pm to ask for a time change. Turns out her kids are sick too so we move the meeting to tomorrow. Good. Message manager to let her know what is going on. Try to focus on meetings and work without worrying about kiddo too much/checking phone to make sure haven’t missed any calls from Get Well Place that Little Prince is getting worse. Worry about a 2pm pick-up time and what that means for his nap. Text with Darius about him getting home as quickly as possible from his job so that I might be able to get some work done this afternoon/this evening. Be thankful that I have sick time, an understanding manager, and a job that is flexible enough where I can work from home and during non-standard hours to make up time.
Am currently eating lunch at my desk to minimize lunch break-time and maximize work time so I don’t have to make up as much later. I feel like I ran a marathon this morning.