Last Tuesday, Atticus and I showed up at the surgical center before 6:30 (yes, that is in the morning) for him to get a second round of tubes. He’d had three ear infections in the two months since his first set fell out, and those ear infections were making all of us miserable. So, tubes. And, for good measure, let’s take those adenoids out, too.
I was less frightened this time, knew better what to expect. He snuggled into me on the surgical bed, and I laughed at him as the medicine started taking effect and he went from normal to WOAH to MUNCHIES in about 30 minutes. The only time I got worried was while I was waiting for him to wake up, when I heard other kids crying. After they released us, I stopped to get him a milkshake and then we had a low point when he threw up on the way home.
The truth is that I like taking care of him when he’s sick. I made him comfortable on the couch, got him whatever food and drink he wanted, and set him up with the iPad. I have less patience for that in-between stage, the cranky time before he is actually well again. That in-between stage lingered for about a week, so my Mother’s Day started at about 4:30 in the morning, when I forced Atticus to take a pain reliever and then settled into his (too small for me) sleeping bag on the floor of his room. As I listened to him sleep, I felt sorry for myself and thought up facebook statuses about how breakfast-in-(sleeping)bags should totally be a thing. Also mimosas.
And then I spent a fair amount of time staring up at the ceiling and wondered if I had made a wrong turn somewhere. He’s being awful to me, is this because I am a terrible mother? Am I a terrible mother because I want him to go away so I can get some sleep? And how terrible am I for feeling these things on Mother’s Day of all days?
In the give and take, ebb and flow of daily life it is easy to forget that what we are building is a relationship. Not a one-way system of parenting where I funnel my (questionable) wisdom into his brain and he does what I say. We are playing the long game, where we learn from each other, get mad at each other, forgive one another, love one another. A relationship is a long conversation. Thankfully our conversation has resumed and no longer consists of one person yelling NOOOOOOO a lot.
The crazy monster beast levels of stubbornness and orneriness (his and mine) have receded to normal toddler/parent levels and it is so nice to have my boy back. That is what is saving my life this week. What is saving your life this week?