I was sick yesterday. Very sick. I had a bad cold and even though I’m usually a very upbeat person, the cold with the daylight saving time shenanigan with the grayness outside with the kids asking for dinner at 5 did me in. It was a cluster of a mess and my body was slowly giving up. I didn’t want to rest but I also didn’t want to keep going. The nanny had gotten the cold before I got it so she was out. I had thought my husband would be able to get home early to relieve me but he had an important meeting. I was patiently attending to my kids. Finally I fed them dinner at 6, having given up on my husband coming home early.
Soon after dinner I expected them to relax for an hour or two before bedtime. But somehow today they were acting out of sorts. They were all over the place and the last thing I wanted was loud noises.
Soon my husband came home. After apologizing for being late he sent me to bed so I could rest. My eyes and nose were red and my voice was raspy. I went to bed.
I woke up at midnight with a jolt. Where are the kids, was my first thought? Where’s my husband?
I ran downstairs and found them all plonked in front of the TV watching Home Alone. Yes even my two year old.
I didn’t have enough strength to argue with my husband about why he and the kids were up so late. He said brightly “I’m gonna be home tomorrow. I told my team you aren’t feeling well and I won’t be able to come in”.
I smiled more gratefully than I felt. Him staying home usually leads to a completely different morning dynamic at our place and it is okay when that happens on the weekends, but I can’t afford that happening on weekdays.
But as I was traipsing up the stairs, holding my toddler’s hand in mine, I wondered why I felt like a buzzkill. Like I was Captain Hook. Did I have to be a little bit of a killjoy so the kids went to bed on time? Yeah!
Morning came and I made breakfast while my husband slept. I woke him up as soon as breakfast was done and reminded him that he had taken the day off for me. As a sign of chivalry he decided to rub my head. I have never said no to a head rub. But he couldn’t find the balm or Vick’s or anything to give me a good head rub with. I told him where it was in the medicine cabinet but he couldn’t find it. Like Florence Nightingale I looked for my supplies and brought them out for him. He happily gave me a minute-long head rub and skipped downstairs to have a leisurely breakfast.
At lunchtime I went downstairs to fix something. My husband announced that they’d eaten. Impressed at his so far hidden cooking skills I asked what he made. He said they ate McDonald’s. Oh yeah! Sure they ate McDonald’s because Gordon Ramsey is down with a cold.
At about 3 o’clock my husband waltzed into the room with my kids crying. Turns out he promised them a particular movie that he taped something else over and so was now unavailable. He asked me if I knew how to turn on the iPad so they could watch it on YouTube. According to him the iPad had been “acting up”. If you call “out of charge” acting up then indeed it was. But Steve Jobs to the rescue.
Finally when it was time for the kids to go biking I decided that this was right up my spouse’s alley and he didn’t need my assistance with it. Sadly, this also needed mom. As soon as they left my husband came back and asked if I could look for the scooter so my son could use it also. I went into the basement like the diligent house help that everyone considers me to be.
Dinner time never happened because my husband and the kids ate junk food all day. Finally when it was time to sleep, my son looked at his dad adoringly and asked,
“Daddy! Can you be home tomorrow also so we can have a great day again?”
Somewhat defensive, I came to my own rescue like Captain America,
“We have a great day everyday”.
My son considered this outright preposterous and said with some defiance,
“No, we don’t. Not this much”.
My husband, sensing some tension in the air patronizingly patted my shoulder and said in his sweetest, most placating voice,
“It’s okay, honey! This isn’t a competition”.
No kidding, champ, no kidding. If this was a competition, you’d be on my side for fear of losing.
I inwardly rolled my eyes and went about putting out clothes for the morning.