Tom startled me awake at 1 am to ask where the humidifier was. He handed me the baby, fresh from a stint in the freezer. Her breathing was better, but she needed some comfort and he had more work to finish before coming to bed. Molly went back to her crib for awhile, but I spent the rest of the night in and out, up and down, outside for cold air. Finally we rocked in the chair near the open window and dozed, upright, warm where her body nestled against mine, cold where the breeze hit my shins.
It was the kind of night where it is almost a relief to see the light out the window and give up trying to get anymore sleep, and a bigger relief to know that doctors and pharmacies and steroids will soon be available. I called my dad for a prescription, and decided that Lucy’s preschool feast would be getting instant mashed potatoes.
I drove Callie to school, grabbed potato flakes at the store (pharmacy not open yet), then ran home to boil over the easy directions (it was my first time), got Lucy into her carpool with an acceptable offering, drove Avery’s carpool to her school, and then, finally, stopped by home before my second pharmacy attempt to grab my forgotten phone and saw I had five calls and two messages from Tom.
He was worried I’d forget that Avery had to go to school and that when he left for work she’d leave too and Molly and Lucy would be home alone. This is how I usually feel about Tom when it comes to parenting logistics: touched that he is aware and concerned about the kids’ welfare, frustrated that he doesn’t remember that it is our week to drive carpool, so of course Avery won’t be leaving the house until I am home to take her there. And baffled that he didn’t just ask Avery if she knew what was going on. (she did) (I had warned her she might be in charge of her sisters for 5-10 minutes after daddy left and before I got home).
This morning my reaction was, “Oh honey, I got this.” I got this in my asleep. I got this with one hand eaten by a crocodile and the other doing a magic card trick.
Not that I never make mistakes. I’m* right about Molly having croup today, but Avery’s swimmer’s ear turned out to be twelve-year molars (two years early), wax and a $35 urgent care copay, and Molly’s cold six months ago was walking pneumonia.
And it’s not like I would ever want to try it alone. Tom changes a mean diaper, and I’m writing this now because Chrysanthemum is a saint of a friend who took my carpool/playdate shift (and because nursing and typing is more handy than skiing and doing your taxes).
I need a nap and/or an extra Mountain Dew, but when it comes to comfort for croup and mediocre mashed potatoes, I got this.
*Technically Tom is right; he stuck her head in the freezer first.