Over a year ago, when I was discussing with our nanny how our arrangement would work, she asked whether I would mind if she didn’t work the two weeks when E. wasn’t at school over the holidays. I said that was fine.
I’ve been looking forward to this week ever since. I knew the first week of the holidays would be busy, with Christmas on the Monday and then us travelling to see the grandparents. But I figured the second week would allow me to spend some quality time with both kids. We’d be at home, in our comfort zone. We could play in the snow. We could go to the library to get some new books. We could make use of our annual passes to a couple of our city’s attractions.
It hasn’t quite worked out as I’d hoped.
Monday, the 1st, was quiet. We’d arrived home lateish the night before, so we spent the day cleaning, unpacking, doing laundry, and figuring out what we’d need from the grocery stores once they opened the next day. E. and I finished building an Eiffel Tower out of K’nex that we’d started on Christmas Day.
P. started vomiting in the wee hours of the 2nd and kept right on going that entire day. (My despondent post while I was waiting for laundry to finish so I could go to bed turned out to be the last time she threw up). So the 2nd (Tuesday) was very quiet indeed. E. and I packed up all the Christmas decorations (we even managed to get the tree outside onto the front porch, which was the only point any of us went outside all day).
E. was saintly on the 2nd. P. needed a lot of attention (and a lot of cleaning up) and he did a great job of amusing himself and helping me as much as he could (with the Christmas decorations, getting his own snack, watching P. in the bath while I cleaned the carpet, and running to get the vomit bowl when it was clear P. was about to be sick yet again).
Yesterday, the 3rd (Wednesday), P. was clearly on the mend and managed to keep (plain) food down all day. I bundled them both up and got them outside in the morning. E. and I dug a tunnel underneath the giant snow pile in our backyard (made from shovelling our parking pad and our section of sidewalk). P. poked morosely at a ball and then complained until it was time to go inside (she is really one year too little to be enjoying the snow). The wheels fell off a little bit in the afternoon but I managed to find an activity that both kids could do- building with the Crazy Fort sticks and balls. E. built a slide/ladder on our couch and P. was happy to stand in the cube I built for her, whacking whatever she could reach with spare sticks. Q. arrived home to find E. and I chasing each other around the house in a tickle war (using Crazy Fort sticks with balls on both ends as our magic tickle wands) while P. was stampeding along behind us, waving her sticks in the air, not understanding what was going on but joining in wholeheartedly (which is P. in a nutshell, really).
Everyone felt well.
I reached out to E’s best friend’s mum to see if they wanted to come with us on an outing the next day. We made tentative plans to meet for a playdate in the afternoon. E., P. and I hatched a plan to go to the museum in the morning.
And then, last night, almost exactly twenty-four hours after P. stopped vomiting, E. started.
So we’ve spent today at home, again. P. and I have sorted through the many, many piles and boxes of outgrown baby clothes that I’ve been meaning to donate. We organized them into three piles- give to the baby girl three houses down, give to the house for young mothers a few streets over, give to the Diabetes Clothesline the next time they’re in the area. We got out her 18-24 month bin and pulled out everything that was seasonally appropriate and sorted it into three piles- put in P’s dresser, send to Spud, give to house for young mothers (the baby on our street was born in the wrong season to need winter 18-24 month clothing).
E. has spent the day lying in his bed. He fell asleep for a couple of hours in the late morning, but mostly he’s just been lying there. He’s not even reading. He hasn’t thrown up since early this morning, and he isn’t running a fever, but he is clearly VERY UNWELL.
It hasn’t been a terrible week, and I’m glad I’ve been the one to be around. We’ve had some good moments. And I know there will be other opportunities to go to the museum or do any of the other things we’d planned.
This is the only week I’ll get at home with my kids between now and the summer holidays.
I wish it could have been different.