Just Another Morning With Two Working Parents & A Surprise

Today should have been one of those days that fell into place. I stayed up late last night and marinated chicken and chopped veggies for a Greek salad for tonight's dinner. I woke up a half hour early this morning to make lunches for Matt and me and make sure I could get showered and dressed early enough to help W with his new morning routine (make bed, go to the bathroom, brush teeth). I put on an outfit I liked, put on makeup, and then went in to wake up W. He likes to take his time getting out of bed and - though I always do - it feels wrong to rush him in the morning. So, I gave him extra time this morning and didn't turn on the light to get him moving as I usually do.

We got into the bathroom, started brushing his teeth, and in the light I realized that his eye was swollen. Like really swollen. I asked W if he fell at preschool or remembered anything hitting him in the eye. He said no. And then I remembered that the evening before, as our nanny was getting ready to leave, W called us into his room to show us something (can't remember what it was) and ended up pulling a curtain rod down on his head... with his mom and nanny watching. At first we were concerned, but he yelled out: "Take that curtain to someone else's house. It's bad!" So, we ended up laughing and he didn't seem hurt. He ate a really good dinner, had a bath, played, and acted totally normal after the rod incident. But, that had to be source of the swollen eye. I touched the side of his head where I suspected a bruise was forming and the rod had hit him, he confirmed it hurt. Bingo.

One of the more unspoken moments of two working parents is deciding who stays home. Matt and I usually stare at each other for a minute, mentally review our day and the other's stress level, and then one of us offers to stay home. It had to be me today. Matt took one for the team when I was traveling a couple weeks ago and B spiked a fever. So, with my bag packed, all dressed and ready to go, I jumped on my computer to see what would have to be moved on my calendar and emailed my understanding bosses (how they are still understanding, I don't know) that I would have to work from home.

Our nanny arrived as I was sending the email and B ran to me and held on tight, clearly freaked out by the excitement in our house. I decided to drive Matt to the train. Matt gave W a hug good bye and a complete breakdown followed. Full on tears, open mouth crying, snot... Clearly the kid was in pain and dad leaving was the trigger. So, I told him that if he stopped crying he could come with me to the train station, which worked. Until B figured out what was going on (the kid understands everything, but says very little) and got hysterical as well, which made W hysterical and insist that we couldn't leave B at home. So, there Matt and I stood, defeated by a swollen eye or curtain rod or whatever triggered this morning. By now Matt had missed our normal train, so we each grabbed a kid and headed for the train station. Meanwhile, our nanny was left to hang out with Howie. Poor thing.

Anyway, it all worked out fine. I called the doctor as soon as they opened, scored a late morning appointment, headed down to my basement office and crossed a couple of things off my to-do list. I took W to the doctor who mentioned he might have a black eye when he wakes up tomorrow and confirmed he seemed fine otherwise. I even managed to hold him down long enough to get a flu shot. I stopped and had a special lunch on the way home with him, capped off with a special cookie (flu shot bribery). Then the boys spent the afternoon with our nanny at the park and I got back to work. Our nanny stayed a little late so I could catch up. I entertained the boys, started dinner (much easier given the prep work), and then strapped the boys in the car to pick up Matt from the train station. I felt like I had somehow found a balance. I made both my mom and work responsibilities happen today only because I work for and with people who are understanding and value my work.

But I'd be lying if there wasn't a voice in the back of my head that kept repeating what Matt said on the way to the train station: "How are we going to juggle all of this with three?"


Laila @OnlyLaila said...

I had a morning like that today. A lot to do today and BB complained of an headache. I am SO thankful that I have a job and boss that is understanding and doesn't skip a beat when I send the "sick kid" email. It makes a huge difference. And having a job that you can do from home doesn't hurt either.

Betsie said...

I'm jealous of all of you with flexible jobs! I'm in the "can't work from home and have run out of sick time" boat, so my kids just can't get sick or injured until January. :o)

Hope his eye heals quickly!

Heatehr said...

Isn't it amazing how we manage to find a way to juggle everything? Just remember, there was a time when you didn't know how you'd do it with two...

Hope your mornings get better!

Emily said...

Of course your employer continues to be flexible - you're a great employee and their flexibility makes you a loyal and happy employee. If only every employer understood this.

The Diaper Diaries said...

Hope everything turned out ok with your son!!

melanie said...

i hate to sound cliche but the voice of experience says you just keep taking one day at a time. sometimes i look at the days, weeks, months stretching ahead of me and wonder how i will be able to do it all--but when i take one day at a time, i am amazed at what can be accomplished.

i hope everything was okay with his eye!