24 hours, Part 3: tissues, sleep, and taking turns
April 13, 2016
Everyone is down. I repeat, everyone is down.
PiC’s taken to bed with a high fever, LB’s the one who brought home the fever and is still sick, and I’m pretty broken as well. Seamus is the only one still going on all pistons. You’d think he’d have more concern for his survival in this situation. Instead, he steadfastly sticks by us with an air of unconcern.
LB has been waking around 3 am, right at 6 hours past Motrin o’clock, crying pitifully. Ze’s congested, and burning up again. I stumble around prepping the syringe of Motrin and a small bottle of milk. Ze will be thirsty and hungry to boot. PiC’s woken up and came to refresh the humidifier, cuddling LB so I can administer the dose and changes hir diaper. My heart breaks for hir small hiccups and cries as ze struggles to find a way to be comfortable. I send PiC to bed, he’s far worse off than I am, and send Seamus off as well. He’d woken up sometime after I did and came to join us as we tended to LB, sprawling bedside.
Seamus ambles off, amiably and LB dozes fitfully on my chest. Ze hasn’t slept on me since ze was four or five months and as terrible as we both feel, this brings back fond memories. Except now ze is three times larger and heavier. I roll hir off me gently and tuck her into my side so I can breathe too.
We manage four hours of restless but blissful dozing, and we’re up again. PiC stumbles in as I change hir diaper. He of the functional immune system feels better after a few hours of unbroken sleep so it’s my turn. He takes over while I catch a couple hours, then we switch again. He has to go to work for a few hours, so he leaves for the office while I clear up and get caught up on the morning’s work. The tidying can wait, I only have so much energy and my brain needs it all for work.
LB is so exhausted that the nap stretches an unheard of 4 hours, and I can relax a little bit. I’ve gotten so much done, despite a raw throat, roaring headache, and multitude of aches, that it feels like we can survive this day.
PiC gets home around 1 pm and makes us all lunch. Reluctantly, thinking ze will take up the rest of the day, I log off and we have a quiet meal together.
He’s in charge of hir now so I can carry on working and resting but he’s lucked out. Ze is still so worn out barely two hours after waking, we hear a pitifully tired “put me to bed” cry. We comply and he collapses for a short rest.
We’re not usually this sick and this is definitely as sick as LB has ever been. What a rough induction into cold and flu season? Whoever thought “what better way to challenge our Team Parent skills than to kick out our legs and push us down a hill”, if I find you, there’s a punch coming to your nose.
What did I learn?
Many of these days are about survival, and that’s ok. We don’t have any help other than paid daycare a few days a week so we are careful to spell each other and are maybe more considerate of each other’s needs than if we had more help.
We don’t have to navigate family and complicated related feelings because we’re isolated and don’t have family help. It’s occurred to us that this has actually worked out for us. We’re stronger as a team because we’ve learned to work through our strengths, weaknesses, assumptions, and all of the complications that naturally come up through a long relationship. As much as we miss our parents, far or gone, this hasn’t been without its benefits even on those really hard days.
:: Are you in close proximity to family? Is that a good or bad thing?