Today this happened:
Yep. Jelly Bean started preschool! After 12 years of waiting for the day when I’d have a consistent block of time to myself you’d think that I’d be thrilled. And I am. I’m so thrilled I sobbed in my car for 20 minutes after she trotted blithely into her classroom with nary a backward glance. Truly I did not expect to feel this way. It’s like the end of an era. I’m no longer a “young mother” in the baby years – a fact driven home to me as I chatted with a new mom whose oldest is the same age as my youngest when she said, “It’s so nice to connect with other young moms [long pause] … and you!” Then she added that she likes me because I remind her of her mom. Which, for the record, I am totally not old enough to be. I would have had to birth her at age 9 and as all long-time readers of this blog know (thanks to my chronic oversharing) I did not begin menstruating until 16. So take that young-but-bad-at-math mom! Oy.
Unicorns obviously have very healthy gut bacteria.
Hospitals with their life, death, and strange-smell zeitgeist have been the setting for several major revelations in my life (not the least of which is that nutritionists consider Malt-o-Meal a “solid food” but Jell-O is a “liquid”) and this time it was no different. My 3rd son, just nine months old at the time, hung limply in my arms as nurses and doctors buzzed around us. There was no waiting for us in the the waiting room when I brought my baby in, nearly unconscious with a fever of 107. The triage nurse took one look at my son and half the night staff descended on us. Weirdly all I could think about was the beginning of that Nicholas Cage/Meg Ryan flick City of Angels where the least sexy angel ever, Seth (Cage), escorts a little girl in yellow footie pajamas to heaven after she dies of a fever. The opening sequence ends with the anguished wail of her mother. To this day I hate that movie. (Although Meg Ryan was adorable. I miss that Meg Ryan.)
Crouched low over the bathtub, I laid my head against the cool wall as I switched the blowdryer to my other hand, careful to keep the hot air trained on a small, nubby, once-blue, now-damp baby blanket. “Are you done yet?” I heard my husband call over the sound of our son hiccup-crying in his arms. Crying because he’s two and can’t sleep without his precious “snuvy”. Snuvy was currently MIA, even though it was the middle of the night and the usual sleeping time for most humans (although children are notoriously flagrant breakers of that rule), because it had been puked all over. Along with everything else in a three-foot radius – it’s hard to appreciate the explosive power of projectile vomiting until you’ve seen it in all its geyser-like glory. And because our stupid dryer had broken the week before I was left rinsing out the lovey in the bathtub and drying it with my hair dryer. As I contemplated how much my life sucked at that moment, I heard the too-familiar sound of coughing, retching, and the splatter of puke on the wall, bed, floor. It was our other son, trying to top his brother’s impressive splash zone (always so competitive those two!), now also crying.