By six thirty yesterday morning A. and I had covered the following topics: what are cigarettes, why are some people mean and can I watch One Hundreds of Dalmatians today? Yep, One Hundreds of Dalmatians. Even though, as he pointed out, “there are scary parts like when the men drive the van.”
We had a great conversation about all of this and more while I tried to snuggle him back into his bed and he tried to convince me that, yes, it was time to get going on our morning routine. He’s been getting up before six lately, ready to roll, which is not helping my sleep deprived situation one bit. Cedar’s been graciously getting up with E. at all hours, so that means my day starts when the roosters are still tired.
Everyone in our family has aged this year, but A. has definitely grown up the most. A few days ago we discovered that E.’s wound site was infected. When I finally got back from the pediatrician’s office, antibiotics in tow, Cedar and I spent an hour nursing E.—getting her medications in her, cleaning the wound, getting the feeding tube set up. And A. simply sat there through it all and looked through a book. He didn’t fuss or try to get our attention. He just grabbed LEGO City off the coffee table (which may not qualify as an actual book in some circles due to content) and waited until we were done. Quietly, patiently. Dare I say calmly. This baby may be tough on Cedar and I as parents, but I think she’s exactly who A. needs.
Springtime helps everything. If we were in the thick of winter I think I would be feeling much worse. But at least I can take E. out for a morning walk each day to stare at the lilacs coming into bloom. When she kicks her legs in the air and giggles as the sunlight touches her cheeks, it all feels worth it.
Springtime even helps the fact that all day I have been covered in bursts of E.’s diarrhea— a side effect from the antibiotic that she is on in order to fight the wound infection. I was so happy to be wearing my favorite new blue gingham dress this morning— it’s a little bit 50’s housewife in all the best ways. I was thinking about how good it feels to wear something pretty and classic, even for a day of caretaking duties. And then bam, blow out. Through the diaper, down the front of the dress. Then, an hour later after getting her all cleaned up again and into her best (and only) jeggings—bam, blow out. I think we totaled about five outfits between the two of us. It was a regular fashion show around here, but really not the kind that you’d ever want to be a part of.
Most of my life right now consists of doing what is needed to take care of E. I’ve learned how to run the feeding tube, and it’s already become kind of normal. Surprisingly, I feel less worried than usual. Just in general. I know what to do and how to do it. And if I don’t know, then I’ll call someone who does. I know a whole lot of very skilled doctors now, the kind of doctors I never thought I’d have to meet.
For some reason I’m optimistic that this will get easier. I think next week will be better than this one, and probably the one after that even better. That really isn’t based in fact. I feel excited today about the possibilities in the future and I’m not sure why. But I’ll take it.
Maybe it’s because we are taking dessert eating to a whole new level at our house. It started a few weeks ago when I stopped on the way home to pick up a french silk pie. We ended up having a few friends over to eat that pie with us. We had firsts and seconds. Because when you put the message out that there’s an entire beautiful dark chocolate cream pie waiting to be enjoyed, people tend to really respect that. Now we are just getting a pie whenever we feel like it. Like once a week. There’s one in the fridge downstairs, and I will have a slice whenever I feel like it. Which will probably be in 5-10 minutes.
Also, we are dancing more. There was a diarrhea dance that I spontaneously choreographed earlier this week. I wouldn’t bring those moves out in public, but it sure beats crying about it.
Because we can’t wait until E. is better to live. We have to get going on it now. Sometimes we forget and we’re just hunkered down inside just trying to get by, and it’s too heavy and hard.
I don’t know what’s ahead but I sure hope it doesn’t involve more time at the hospital. That’s my new measure of success and wellbeing. If we don’t have to be at the hospital, then it’s probably going to be fine.