Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where's my medal?

I kid, I kid, I know this job doesn't come with a medal.  I signed up for parenthood and all that comes with it, but let me tell you, sometimes it would be nice.  It's not easy to sacrifice all the time with little thanks, but that's usually how it goes. 

I think the original thing that spawned this post is that I was talking to two people on Saturday at Jacob's lacrosse game (separately) and mentioned that I was planning on driving to Buffalo in questionable weather with both boys.  Both responded, "Alone?"  I never really thought it was a big deal, but apparently it seemed that way to them.  On Friday at work a co-worker of mine mentioned that she's been going to Knighthawks games with her boyfriend, who has had season tickets for years.  She asked if I go to games, and I said that I go to most of them.  And she said, "With both boys?"  Yep.  As much as I dread my weekends alone with the boys when Craig is on the road, I think I forget sometimes what a big deal it is, until someone expresses admiration for the fact that I do it...and do it often.  Still, I know it could be worse--he could be gone for weeks or months.  We've all got our challenges.  Some have weekly evenings alone that they've come to dread, or are home all day.  Some people have more challenging children.  Some people share custody and have the challenge of having kids alone one weekend, then being just plain alone the next.  It's always something.

This past weekend's trip to Buffalo was a bit of a risk, but it was all to help Jacob understand how much I love him. He'd been looking forward to going to Buffalo for the Knighthawks-Bandits game for weeks.  He insists he's a Bandits fan, so he really wanted to go.  He had a lacrosse game on Saturday afternoon (and it was like pulling teeth to get him there--a big argument that took far too long to convince him that if he didn't go to his game, we weren't going to Buffalo), but we'd have just enough time to go to his game, drive to Buffalo, drop off Carter at my parents', and get to the game.  Well, what we didn't count on was the weather.  While it wasn't horrible, it had the potential to be.  Blowing snow, cold temperatures, lots of wind...and just plain miserable.  My father pleaded with me via email to cancel the trip.  I spent much of Jacob's game studying the radar animation, trying to figure out how bad it would be along the Thruway.  All I could think about was how upset Jacob would be if I said we couldn't go.  I didn't really want to spend my evening dealing with that, and I had already gone through the trouble of packing up, so I really didn't want to have to cancel.  Eventually I decided that the snow was moving south of the Thruway and they'd have about an hour before we got that far to get the plows on the roads.  I'd focus on going slow and leaving plenty of space, and if it got bad enough, we'd turn around.  I had to try to convince Jacob that I wasn't just a giant meanie.

We got on the road and started hitting some snow.  There was a small section that was a bit white-out prone, but it passed quickly and the snow dissipated.  We moved along, a little slower than usual but moving fine.  The roads were generally fine, but I wouldn't have really wanted to do a sudden stop, either.  Carter took a nap and Jacob miraculously stayed awake for his movie.  Jacob decided he needed a potty break when we were about 15 minutes away from the one rest area on the trip.  We got there, took care of business, and loaded back in, and suddenly Jacob was asleep.  He and Carter both napped for the last 20 minutes of the drive, and I was a little nervous about how Jacob would be after I woke him up.

When we got to my parents', we were running extra short on time, but I tried to get my parents up to speed on Carter's care (his medicines alone are quite a process) and get Jacob and myself ready as quickly as possible.  First he fought me because I forgot the shorts he was determined to wear under his pants.  Then he was upset when I said he couldn't bring his lacrosse stick.  Both arguments lasted longer than they should have, but eventually he realized I was serious about skipping the game and he got himself together.  We headed off, just the two of us, for dinner at Mighty Taco and a drive through the iffy weather to the game.  While the roads weren't ideal, they were good enough and the whole weather thing turned out to be a non-event, thankfully.

The game was interesting.  We got there late (which was fine, really), but the Knighthawks looked terrible.  We were routinely down by more than half a dozen goals or more, which was a shock to the system after last spring's championship run and three straight wins to start this season.  Still, I was having a genuinely good time with Jacob.  He's never particularly chatty when we're at games, but I could tell he enjoyed dinner and was having fun at the game.  He took delight in the Bandits goals and my groans that followed.  He was pretty well-behaved and he got to enjoy a new gluten-free treat I had picked up on a whim at BJ's the previous weekend.

Eventually the Knighthawks came back and lost by one goal, so at least the end was fun to watch.  We headed down to the team store to kill some time while traffic cleared out, then headed back out into the bitter cold to drive home.  We battled a little traffic, but got home at a reasonable time and Jacob was pretty good about going right to bed.  Overall, it was a really fun night and it make all of the craziness worrying about the weather worth it.

Well, overnight that night, Carter was a disaster.  He was up multiple times screeching like he was in pain, and ended up sleeping on me for most of the night.  In the middle of it all, Jacob had an hour-long coughing fit.  Let's just say it wasn't a good night for any of us, and we were all pretty off the next morning, so much so that we stayed home from church to try to get a little more rest.  I had to drive home that afternoon, after all.  It was a bit of a challenging morning trying to keep both kids entertained and still try to sneak in some rest.  At one point Carter fell back to sleep and I laid down, too, only to have Jacob come up and nearly wake up Carter and annoy the heck out of me.  He was laying down on his sleeping bag but finding every way to bang on things near him and drive me crazy.  Ironically, at some point Jacob fell asleep, which is rare at that time of day.  Carter woke up before he did, but I think the nap did us all well as it was a pretty good afternoon as a whole.  The drive home was fine, too.

Sunday night, however, was as bad as Saturday.  I'm pretty sure I only had a handful of hours of sleep over the two nights, and even some of that was pretty light considering I had a baby sleeping on or next to me for a lot of it.  The fact that he was inconsolable even when held, arching his back, and screaming bloody murder made me think something was up.  I initially thought maybe it was gas from testing out some dairy again (no puking--yay!), but when the second night happened, I was starting to think it might be an ear infection. It gets worse when they lay down, and that definitely seemed to be the case with Carter.  I called the doctor Monday morning and got in for a 9:30 appointment...and sure enough, a double ear infection.  Poor kid.  No wonder he was so miserable.  Though I must note that during the day he was relatively good.  Aside from not eating as much as normal, taking shorter naps, and being only a tiny bit less happy, you'd never have known it was that bad.  So, he's on his first course of antibiotics and last night was a full night's sleep for the first time in a few days.  But oh, that first night alone at my parents' was pretty miserable.  By the end of the weekend, I was really wondering when my medal was going to show up. 

And if this tells you anything, I have been trying to write this post since the end of the weekend.  It has been one of those weeks.  Not bad, mind you, just busy.  My job has exploded (I currently have over 50 tasks assigned to me, if you can believe that, and at least 40 of those have come in in the past week), I'm trying to plan Carter's birthday, take care of the dishes and laundry, keep the kitchen cabinets stocked, and stay awake long enough at night to accomplish at least a couple things every night.  I have a very long to do list and it seems like it will never get done!  I'm tired and sometimes it seems like it's all too much.  I wouldn't change things (not much, anyway), but yeah, a medal wouldn't be a bad token now and then. 

There's so much more I want to write, but I'm so sleepy that I can't even think.  I'll leave you with a picture I took of Jacob and me at the lacrosse game...

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