It was 12:30 p.m.. I was sitting in a mediation in Burlington working on settling a large workers compensation case. I saw the light of my Blackberry flashing at me. It was a message from my husband, a message I knew would be coming sooner or later…
“L is sick, he looks terrible”.
Okay, so I probably gave you all that build up and now you are thinking…so your son was sick, so what? Is this really all you have to blog about today?? Well, this wasn’t just any cold that had struck my little 6 month old, it was his FIRST.
L’s first cold had me feeling so many emotions. First of course, I pictured my little baby having to deal with the same cold I had been struggling with earlier in the week (and he couldn’t pop a pill to make it go away). But, L’s first cold was a cruel reminder that winter was finally here. I hate winter. Winter to me equals the time when daycare turns from a place of fun and education to a place of germs, colds, and hand sanitizer. The time when every day you dread walking into the daycare door because you don’t want to see the postings of what disease has hit the center. 4 years ago, I didn’t even know that humans could get Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Now? Well apparently not only can they get it…but they get it often.
Now L is not your typical daycare kid. I mean not sick until 6 months old? That has to be a record. For J and H, they were sick within days of starting daycare. L, through every sniffle and cough his fellow classmates had, stayed healthy. But now his luck had run out.
So there I was sitting in a mediation, knowing that I could not get home to comfort L. I hated that feeling. I’m always the one that is there when my kids are sick. But this time, I couldn’t be there. Now luckily L was at home when this hit, and so my husband was there, but I wanted to be there. Come on, everyone knows a mother’s love is the only cure for a baby’s cold, right?
The fact I wasn’t there that afternoon stacked on top of my already growing mountain of guilt surrounding L. Guilt that I don’t have nearly as much of for my two older children. I feel sorry for L a lot of the time, because he came into my life during a time when my life was the most chaotic. I mean J had it easy…I was able to spend all my time with her because she was my first baby. H had it easy too because he always got my attention because he was colicky. No one wanted to be around a screaming baby, so everyone took care of J, and gave me H (hence the reason I always say H taught me patience). But L…my baby… has to deal with a Mommy that is being pulled in so many different directions.
Everyone comments how L is such a great baby. He is. I don’t just say this because he is my son, but he is the greatest baby I have ever known. He never cries, he never whines, he smiles at everyone. Easy going, happy, pleasant, and absolutely adorable. And the “cherry on top”: He has slept through the night since he was 2 months old.
But, I believe there is a reason for this perfect personality. It stems from the fact that L has no choice but to be patient because he has to wait ALL THE TIME. I just sit down to feed him a bottle and CRASH, someone gets hurt and I have to put the bottle down. I lay him down to change his diaper and there is a major brother sister battle in the next room I have to break up. While L plays on the floor, I can’t play with him because I have to scan the floor to make sure to clean up all the Barbie shoes and Polly Pocket accessories nearby. I’m pretty sure L’s first words will be “I’ll be right there” because its feels like that’s all I say!
I know my guilt also has to deal with the fact that L is my last baby. So everything he does for the first time is the last time I am going to experience that. So I don’t want to miss anything. I treasure every little moment with him. So I absolutely hate that L gets one song sung to him at bedtime when his brother and sister basically got my whole song book (but then again he doesn’t have to hear me sing dozens of broadway classics so this might actually be a good thing). I absolutely hate that L gets to sit with my husband when we go somewhere because he won’t fuss and the other two would drive my husband crazy with their toddler ways if I let him deal with them. So the norm is I handle J and H, and Todd “handles” L. The easy one always goes to the Dad of course.
I finished the mediation and rushed home to L. I put down my bag and instantly swooped in to “rescue” my little boy. He looked horrible so I called the pediatrician and off we went to sit for an hour waiting for the doctor (yes even the doctor makes poor L wait). An hour wait, just to tell me he just a cold and pink eye and so besides the drops for his eyes there was nothing he could do for him.
But I didn’t mind the wait. That hour in the doctor’s office was priceless to me. Sure, L looked like the death, but I think we both knew that this was pretty much our only time we were actually going to be alone together. And so there, I got the one on one time with L that I love more than anything. There we were sitting in the doctor’s office…no distractions, no J and H screaming for me. Just us. My heart felt so much joy just to be with him all alone. So between wipes of his runny nose, I held him close, sang him songs (he does like broadway by the way), played pat-a-cake, and explored what “treasures” Mommy had in her purse.
So buckle up working Mommies…we are entering winter. Time for frequent sick days, doctor visits, and googling the name of the recent disease listed on the daycare board to make sure it isn’t “life threatening”. Let’s just hope my life calms down a bit this winter so I don’t have to wait for another cold to get special time with my little man.