Monday, June 9, 2008

Heartbreak and My Dirty Little Secret

Uberman and I enjoyed a very nice kid-free weekend, thanks to my mom and dad. On a side note, I really don't know what we would do without our parents. They are so supportive and helpful to us when it comes to the kids. My mother in law and father in law watch Boo Monday through Thursday while I work and they pick the boys up from their summer recreation program at 2:30 everyday and keep them until I come pick all three of them up an hour or so later. Plus they occasionally watch them on a weekend night so Uberman and I can go out on a hot date. My parents live over an hour away, but every couple of months they volunteer to take the kids for a few days and it is bliss. Of course by the time the little monkeys come home we have missed them like crazy, but the mini-breaks are good for all of us.

So this weekend was no exception. My mom picked the kids up on Thursday afternoon, allowing me a free night to go see the Sex and the City Movie with a group of girlfriends. Friday evening Uberman and I ran a few errands and then had dinner at a new little neighborhood bar and grill by our house. Holy crap, can anyone say strong margarita? Wow! Saturday night we had dinner with The Maid and her fabulous, um, Butler.

Sunday morning I woke up early. The plan was to start working on my Dirty Little Secret as Coffee Bean calls them. It's that spot in your house that you would DIE if anyone saw or discovered. Mine is the office. It's atrocious. No really, there is a path from the door to the computer and that is it. The floor is covered with boxes of paperwork, scrapbooking and sewing supplies, books, fabric, papers to shred, toys and clothes I am sending to Goodwill, Christmas decorations I don't have room for in the closet, etc. It's a mess. It's not even a mess. It looks like the aftermath of a tornado. But I have set a date!! Yes, I am committing to having this room "show ready" by July 6th! Show ready means I will leave the door to this room open when people come over. Yes! No shame here! "Would you like to see my office?" These words might actually come out of my mouth. Instead of "No! If you open that door I SWEAR this friendship is OVER!!"

So I started working on the DLS, and boy did the paper shredder get a work out! I decided to call my mom and check on the monkeys. I knew as soon as she answered something was not right. And strangely enough, Friday night I had a bad dream about Boo. It bothered me all day Saturday. And I called to check on her a few times during the day but they were at the zoo and having a great time. So when she answered Sunday I asked what was wrong. Boo had been up all night throwing up. My parents had not had any sleep. Boo had finally gone back to sleep right before I called. My mom had not called me because she didn't want me to worry. She said she would call me back when Boo woke up. An hour later she called and I could hear Boo crying "I want mommy!"

Uberman and I got in the car to go get her. My dad drove her halfway to meet us. As soon as I opened the back door to get her she burst into tears. Oh people, I cannot tell you enough how much this broke my heart. My poor little baby, sad and sick and just wanting to be home. I stood there in a hot parking lot hugging her as tight as I could. And I cried. I cried like a baby. I felt so bad for her. You should have seen her. She's a tiny little thing anyway, four years old and barely 30 pounds. She has always been so petite. She was sitting there in her car seat with a towel on her lap in case she threw up again, wearing her purple Disney Princess night gown and holding her fluffy teddy bear. Dark circles under her big brown eyes and chin quivering. It was devastating.

I cried on the way home as she slept. I felt like the worst mother ever. I didn't know she was going to get sick. And she could have gotten sick at any time. But I just felt like I had let her down. Sending the kids away (even though they really wanted to go) so I could rejuvenate my batteries. I just felt so selfish. Which I realize now as I type this, tears again sliding down my cheeks, that I was being a little ridiculous and hard on myself. But the look on her face when I opened the door shattered my heart into a million pieces.

So I stayed home with her today. She's asleep on a chair in front of the Backyardigans, while I continue to sort through the Dirty Little Secret. I can actually see the top of my desk! The boys stayed at my mom and dad's and are having a great time. They will come home tomorrow.

Why didn't anyone tell me it would be this hard to be a mom? That I would question almost every decision I made? That I would constantly look back and see that I should have handled it better? We want so badly to protect them, to keep them safe and secure. Why is it that I can see only the times where I have failed and not all the times I have succeeded? And my kids are still young. I have the hardest years ahead of me. How am I going to do this? How am I going to get through this without becoming a raging alcoholic? Or a drooling idiot in the fetal position, rocking under the kitchen table?

Will I ever be able to look back on these years when my babies are gone and see that I did the best that I could? Will I always have regrets?

Will I ever feel confident that I made the right decisions for them?

I hope so. I really, really hope so.


Becky said...

You are a good mom. I would have told my peanut to suck it up and I would see her tomorrow. (I'm kidding, sort of.)

My kids seem to get sick A LOT when they are away. I don't know what it is. I have gotten "the call" from many sleepovers that "she's sick." Darn it.

I almost resent it when I have to go and get them and it puts a wrench in MY plans. There I said it. Now, I am OFFICIALLY the worst mom.

Thought it would make you feel better for sure. That and the fact that my whole house right now is a DLS.

Thanks Coffee Bean.

The Maid

PS - For those of you who see that I am often the first to comment, really I do have a life. I am not stalking the queen. Really.

Katie said...

Poor Boo! You doubt way too much, Queen. You had no way of knowing she'd get sick, so feel no guilt for your fun weekend to recharge.

How cool that you got a whole extra day to take care of your DLS??? I would take a before and after picture if it were me...and post it on your blog to show your pride. Or at least to keep for your own personal victory over the black hole!

Chris H said...

that is so creepy, here i am reading your blog and in comes a comment from you! I havn't read it yet.... wanted to just say.. as long as you do the best that you can as a parent you should never look back and question if you could have/should have done it any 'better'... as long as you love your kids and treat them as you would like to be treated you can't go wrong. Stop beating yourself up about Boo getting ill, you were not to know and it happens, kids get sick all the time. Now go take care of the DLS would ya?

kristen s said...

You wanna hear who's a bad mom? The person typing this, that's who.

Yesterday evening we went for a family swim... everyone had a lovely time, although I mentioned a few times that something outside smelled funky. My own 'Uberman' (we'll call him Gooberman. Don't tell) told me I was crazy, that someone nearby probably had their grill on and I was smelling the propane. Since I know nothing about propane or outdoor grilling, I believed him. My 3 year old is learning to swim, so we took his floaties off and let him practice, which, of course, means full immersion, lots of swallowed water, etc. The smell continued to bother me, but I said nothing.

So, this evening we all decided to do it again. As I was getting the kids suited up, Gooberman went outside and just by chance, decided to check the pool skimmer thing. Guess what was inside it? A friggin packrat the size of a Nerf football, that's what! AAAAHHHHH! The funky smell WAS NOT propane from someone else's yard, it was decomposing rat flesh in MY OWN POOL... the one I was floating around in like Shamu herself. Oh, the perils of living in the desert. I feel like the guy at the end of that Crying Game movie (although I have never had intimate relations with a tranny) just because I desperately want to curl up in the fetal position in my shower with scalding hot water and cry because I'm so grossed out. My poor kids all wallowed around in that nastiness. Oh, the shame! I should have followed my instincts and scouted out that smell, but no. I took Gooberman's word for it and now if one of the kids gets sick, I'll have to go admit to their doctor that I let them swim (albeit unknowingly) with a decomposing animal and they each probably swallowed a few shots worth of the tainted water. I don't know how much chlorine can be expected to kill.

Anyhoo, I know this has nothing to do with poor Boo getting sick, but I think me exposing my kids to dead rat toxins is far worse than you unknowingly sending a soon-to-be sick child away for a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa (which, by the way, I have also done... more than once...)

I guess if there is a lesson to be learned from all of this, it's that we need to trust our instincts more. I vow to thoroughly investigate all weird smells (such a scary thought) from here on out, and I'm sure your "mommy radar" will be kicked into overdrive after Boo's episode. Hopefully she's feeling better and the rest of you don't come down with it. As for me, I'll let you know if any of us end up in the hospital with some kind of nasty rat plague. I'm off to spray the family with Oust and Clorox Anywhere Spray... I wonder if it's safe to gargle that stuff?

Sandra D said...

I am guessing that some day someone will come up to you and tell you what delightful children you have. THIS will be the moment that you will realize that even though you could have done a million things better or different, you did a fine job. I am the mother of five and often wonder what sort of counseling my children are going to need, but honestly, they are great kids who have some odd parents;)

Don't be hard on yourself. Kids get sick all the time and while Boo wanted to be home, she was with the next best thing, her Grandma. You seemed to come out alright so I am guessing that she did a pretty good job. You left Boo in perfectly capable hands.

Anonymous said...

Oh... I so know how you feel. I think all moms have those times when they feel like the worst mom. It's just part of it all.

Woo Hoo on progress on the DLS. I really need to do a follow up on mine... a confessional I guess. I made some really good progress and then ran out of time and just shoved stuff back in... ugh.

Becky said...

Congratulations on your 50th post!

The queen is the bomb!

aka: stalker

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Damn it!! I just ordered you a smaller version of that wed Alien wedding cake cuz I thought you'd love it!!

Hallie :)

creative-type dad said...

That wasn't your fault. And you were there for her afterwards.

You can still keep your parent gold star sticker.

Katie said...

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth from Kristen's comment...