2.23.2009

The rest of the Valentines weekend that never EVER ended

So I'm thinking to myself, "I just survived a hockey game, swimming, and a grand total of 36 hours with the kids by myself (with the help of friends and family of course) and I'm feeling pretty good." And it was only getting better because I still had all Sunday afternoon AND Monday was a holiday. That's a lot of time to lay around and bask in my awesomeness. Chris played right along and when the kids ask what we were going to do after Sunday lunch she said, "Well, I know Daddy wants to lie down for a bit, then after that we'll go swimming." I'm telling you, if I didn't already love that woman, I'd love that woman.

So like a lion with a belly full of wildebeest, I settled in for the well-deserved Victors Nap of Triumph while the kids watched some Narnia DVD or whatever. I don't remember, it wasn't my shift and the lioness was back in charge. Sometime around mid-afternoon Chris shakes my foot and says that now that I've slept through the complete Voyage of the Dawn Treader, everybody's getting ready to go to the pool. Fine. I get up and stumble to the bathroom with one eye open. I pee, then look in the mirror and realize that there's still only one eye looking back. Leaning in close to the mirror, my brain knocked on it's back side while my finger poked at it from the front. A bright pink eye blinked back at me twice, punched me square in the face, and then closed again. I kid you not, I actually unscrewed the lightbulb and then put it back in with absolute disbelief that my eye could possibly be that disgruntled and discolored. Then I called Chris in to take a look and got the appropriate 'OMG' response, which alerted two more fuzzy black heads to come in for inspection. She ascertained that it was not 'the real' pink eye because other than my eye being obviously irritated there weren't any other symptoms. So she did what any good mother would do by making me a cocktail of some of leftover antibiotics and H's old eye drops and sending me back to bed.

I slept through swimming and then pretty much whatever else happened on Sunday.

That evening though, miracle of miracles, my eye actually started to clear up. The cats were a little miffed that their bedwarmer was actually moving around, but everyone else was happy for me. So you would think that after that I would have gotten a good night's sleep, but whatever was agitating my eye seemed to retreat straight into my nose cavity and hunkered down. Now, I'm normally a nasal drip, 85 tissue kind of guy but this stuff wasn't budging. I couldn't blow it out or seduce it with decongestants, all I could do was wake up every 20 minutes gasping because I'd subconsciously closed my mouth while sleeping.

So Monday was terrible. And contrary to popular belief, I do not ill gracefully. I know, it's hard to believe. I lose my mind and my body. I thought that spazzing out with a bottle of nasal spray and squirting myself right in the eye was the stupidest thing I could possibly do, but I was wrong. Mere hours later it occured to me that sometimes mouthwash can loosen up the nose and throat. So I go to the bathroom, take a capfull of Cool Minty Death, start to gargle and then remember that I can't breathe at all through my nose. Absolute Jenius. Funny how spitting seems so natural until your life depends on it. All I could think of was the headline, "Man found drowned in own bathroom, Police have taken in bottle of Listerine for questioning."

After a day of this, I had finally found a working combination of nasal spray, somethin-a-pheds, and horse tranquilizers that allowed me to breathe for about 90 minutes before I'd start feeling everything seal up again. However by now, Chris was exhausted and bedtime couldn't come soon enough. Monday was shot and I wasn't looking forward to going to work on Tuesday, but I could now at least foresee it actually happening. We got the kids to bed and collapsed.

10 minutes later we hear, "uuuuh... uh.uh.wuuhh... uuuuuuh" faintly floating down from upstairs and then the harsh reality from my son who can't sleep either so he starts yelling out the obvious, "MOM! YorDANos Scaried! Mom! MOM!!!"

We all know this dance and we (Chris and I) hate the song. The rules are as follows:

-No eye contact
-Break the "scared" cycle as quickly as possible, usually this is best accomplished by distraction. Try getting her out of bed, having her go to the bathroom, and then escorting her back to bed.
-Under no circumstances shall you engage the small child, especially not verbally.
-If you are feeling compassionate you can hastily rub her forehead.
-Walk away and don't look back

Breaking any of these rules will provide the desired attention and she will continue to descend and only say "still scared" until she's completely inconsolable. And I'll say this again... Chris and I still agree that this is not actual fear. This is over-tiredness, or 'I'll pretend I'm scared so Daddy will come talk to me-Oh crap I'm actually scared now' or it's one last power play for the day. We've played hardball, softball, good cop/bad cop, red light green light... you name it. It starts as a game then ends when she gets bored with it or falls asleep. So the running strategy is to make the game not worth playing as fast as possible, which is why getting her out of bed and then back in is particularly effective.

So Chris goes up there, pulls her covers off, and points to the bathroom. Yordi refuses to go. Because the only thing worse than this particular dance is a stubborn 7 year old calling audibles at 10 o'clock at night. I don't know what happened then, I just know Chris came back down and Y was still escalating her whimper into a high pitched whine while Habtamu continued the play-by-play commentary.

I don't remember all the details or the timeline of events, but I know how it ended. It ended like one of Habtamu's old tantrums except this was at 1:30 in the morning. It ended with me sitting on my daughter waiting for the words "I'm finished," knowing the cries of denial that have to come before acceptance. It ended with her exhausted, sweaty, stubborn body screaming first for mommy, then "Can't breathe!" (which honey, if you can yell that over 30 times, you're breathing just fine) then finally comes "JESUS! Please Jesus!" and I know we're in the home stretch. It ended with an angry "I'm finished!" She whimpered defiantly twice and then promptly fell asleep.

It ended with Yordanos willingly taking a 2 hour nap the next day and then coming downstairs all smiles and kisses.

It ended with me calling in sick on Tuesday (thanks to the exhaustion and my sinuses were still rendering me totally useless) and thereby officially becoming the longest weekend ever.

4 comments:

Katherine said...

well, I suppose on the plus side, you can only look forward to NEXT Valentine's day, right? It can't get much worse that THIS one, so it just HAS to be better, right? right? Am I helpful or what?

Kimberly Kulp said...

You're such wonderfully honest parents, two of my heroes! We're praying for your "ET dust" to settle (well, the bunnies He's not going to use anyway) in God's perfect timing (and before anyone really gets hurt ;0)

Kimberly
thekulpfamily.blogspot.com

Yarnsmith said...

It's funny, but I don't remember MY day off when I had both MY nostrils closed for 3 days... I must have been delirious. :)

Cuz Jill in SD said...

O...M...G....! I'm totally laughing throughout you're painful story. I'm sorry I can't stop to feel your pain, you just tell it so well. I hope you're feeling better by now- really, I do- and keep telling us your stories! Thanks, cuz, for the gut-busting hilarity of your story! :o)