I left work just before noon yesterday.
I was sick all weekend and though I’d willed myself to feel better for Monday, by mid-morning I had a fever and chills and could barely make the short walk from my desk to the printer. I sat there looking at my inbox filling up, work piled all around me and laboured over having to tell the team that I was sick and needed to go home.
It’s not that my colleagues and boss wouldn’t understand or that I’m a martyr.
It's this: For us fulltime working moms of small kids, being sick and taking time off for it is anxiety inducing. What if the kids are sick tomorrow? Since Deaglan was one and in daycare, sick days have been earmarked for working from home and taking care of him, eventually Naveen and as they got older often both of them at the same time.
I got home on the heels of both kids’ dentist appointments. I’d scheduled them specifically for this week – Shaune would be off work; it's March Break here– because both boys needed cavities filled, and also because Naveen had never had a cavity filled, and for days leading up to the appointment, nothing I said, no picture I painted could deter his fear of A NEEDLE?!! I’M GETTING A NEEDLE???!! I have no idea where he got this but I wanted to be nowhere near him when the dentist gave him A NEEDLE (!!) to freeze his mouth.
Shaune said it was worse than either of us could have imagined. Even with a sedative that kicked in in plenty of time, he screamed and struggled the entire procedure.
So there I was, inadvertently home on the wrong day. I have never seen anything like it. Naveen was like an alcoholic who’d gotten hold of a bad batch of crack and a loaded gun. The active ingredient in the sedative had him swinging from one extreme to the other – one minute insisting on snuggling in my arms (and only my arms) and then the next pounding his tiny fists on anything and anyone within his reach.
Shaune did his best to keep the kids away from me so I could rest. But when I could hear Naveen crying for me downstairs, well, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be before he stopped crying for me for good. I wondered how long it would be until his limbs and body were too big to fit in the crook of my body. I wondered how long I'd possess this elusive power us Moms seem to have. I grasped these last bits of magic and held him for as long as he would let me until the drug released his small body, until he was back to his sweet and feisty self.
And I treated myself to another sick day today. I'm happy to say my lap has been free all morning – the only calls I hear from the other parts of the house are to settle the occasional dispute, fulfill a snack request or view the latest progress of the fort they're building.
Deaglan is under there somewhere. This is every single pillow, blanket, placemat and foam couch we own.
Still chipping away at perfecting my Selfie skills - where can I get my hands on one of those selfie-sticks I keep hearing about???