Saturday, April 5, 2008

When Daddy is Away

Every once in awhile Mark has to travel for work. Wednesday was one of those days. What made that day different from any other day that he has had to travel was that it was the first trip since Mia was born where I didn't have someone here to help me.
I tried not to think about all that could go wrong while I was here with the kids ALL DAY AND EVENING by myself. I wasn't really worried about the day part because I do that all the time anyway. My biggest concern was the evening because Mark is usually involved and Austin is used to having Daddy to play with and put him to bed. Only twice since Mia has been born has she been asleep when it is time to put Austin to bed. I knew the likelihood of her being asleep so I could manage his normal bedtime routine was slim to none. But I remained hopeful (and prayerful...if that is a word) that it would work out.
Well, the day part went well. I actually managed to have both kids napping at the same time for nearly two hours, so I was also able to take a little nap and get some things done. God was obviously letting me rest up for my evening!
Austin woke up from his nap and, as usual, wanted a snack. He opened the refrigerator and started to search for the perfect way to satisfy his hunger. After really digging around he came across some chocolate pudding (see Thursday's post for that story). Needless to say that after his snack, though I thoroughly wiped him down, he was going to have to have a bath before bed. I knew that I could manage that without a problem as long as I could put Mia in her bouncy seat or something while I tended to Austin. That brings us to Mia.
As I discussed before the child has some serious GI tract issues and lately has been dealing with more constipation than usual, so the doctor said to start giving her diluted pear juice twice a day. So, I was giving her the afternoon dose of pear juice, which she isn't a fan of, and for some reason the bottle started leaking and sticky pear juice saturated all the little folds in her neck and her chest. Now, Mia was going to need a bath too. Here is where things were about to get dicey.
In my head I told myself that I would manage fine because Austin loved being in the bathtub and would stay in there as long as I would let him. So, I would be able to deal with her while he played. If only things happened like I imagined them in my head!
Austin was happily watching his favorite monster truck DVD and I decided to let him finish watching that while I went upstairs with Mia and ran the bath water for both baths and got her ready. I told him to come up when he was done, which I wasn't sure if he would actually do. Both baths were ready and I undressed Mia and put her in the baby bathtub on the bathroom counter. Thankfully, unlike Austin when he was a baby, she loves being in the water. About the time I got her in there, Austin came in as instructed. I asked him to take off his shoes so I could help him disrobe and get in the tub, but he basically decided that he wanted to get in the tub fully dressed. Now I was in a bit of a pickle with a baby in bath water and a toddler about to jump in the tub with his clothes and shoes on. I left her, hoping that she wouldn't slip down into the water (which would be difficult, but still I worried) and went to prevent the toddler disaster. I grabbed Austin and tried to quickly take his shoes and clothes off, however he decided that he wanted to squirm, laugh and make a game out of the whole situation. I pinned him down and got the shoes off. Whew!!! Then I began to pull the polo shirt over his head. What I didn't realize was that the bottom button was still secure and it wouldn't come off easily. He started to whine and thrash because the shirt was stuck over his eyes and forehead. I tried with no avail to unbutton the shirt while on his head. Frantically, I pulled it back down, unbuttoned the stupid button and yanked the shirt off his body. All this time he was squirming and trying diligently to get in the tub. I grab his lower half and try to quickly get his pants off. Unbutton, unzip, pull down and off they came. Now the only thing left to take off is his diaper. No problem! Keep in mind I still have a tiny little helpless baby in the water while all this is going on. (My blood pressure had to be rising!) I unfasten one side of the diaper guessed it...hidden, unsmelled POOP! Now, he knows that usually as soon as the diaper is coming off, he is good to go to hop in the water. So, now I am desperately trying to keep him from getting in the tub while also trying to get the poop wiped off before he contaminates the water. I wipe him and finally release the monkey to get to his bathing. Thankfully the baby only slipped slightly and the water was only up to her ear and the side of her face. I begin to bathe her, thankful that I survived that two minute ordeal.
Austin was happily playing and using his cook set bath toys to make me some "eggs." I look over to praise him for his good playing and cooking, when I see him begin to sip "coffee" from his little cup. I pray before I peer into the tub that I had sufficiently cleaned his butt and there is nothing gross in the water. But, as I said before, things never work out like I imagine them in my head. Gagging at the thought of what he is doing, I beg him to not drink the water or "coffee." I quickly finish with Mia and lay her on the bathroom floor to dress her so I can keep my eye on Austin. He is doing great, but she is now hungry and I can't leave a toddler in the bath while I leave and go nurse her. So, though it is not the best place in the house to do it, I sit on the floor and nurse Mia while he cooks fabulous imaginary meals in the not-so-clean bath water. After a few minutes, I burped her, scrub the pudding off him and then finish feeding her.
The next half hour was spent convincing him to get out of the water, getting him ready for bed, letting Mia scream while I read him ONE book and putting him to bed. I then settled her and got her to sleep. Finally, I sat on the couch wishing that I had a glass of wine and reflected on my evening while Mark was away. The conclusion I arrived at: I survived!!!

1 comment:

watson said...

you didn't just survive. you did a great job! think about it, both of your kids are still living, no one had to go to the hospital, and you are still sane (mostly). Can you really ask for more of a mom in your situation? Well done!