This is more of a general parenting rant than a widow rant. It is true, however, that I am not just a widow. It is also true that this situation is complicated by my new status as a single parent.
My kids are sick, and so am I.
First K got sick, over the weekend. He was worst on Saturday and a bit better on Sunday. I planned to send the kids to school Monday, but he had been up hacking and coughing most of the night. Plus his brother seemed to be getting sick so I kept them both home for an extra day of rest.
By “rest,” I mean “almost twelve straight hours of Minecraft while I try to work and to recover the house from all the birthday mess.”
I told them they were definitely going to school today.
Then at midnight last night, H woke up crying and screaming because his nose was so stuffy he couldn’t breathe and his throat hurt so bad when he coughed. He came to my bed.
This morning I woke to the sound of him still snuffling uncomfortably, miserably fighting to stay asleep. I was also snuffly and felt like my head could explode at any minute. I knew K was well enough to go to school, but . . .
I didn’t want to pull H out of bed to get dressed and get in the car so we could take K to school. This is where single parenting comes in. When Trey was alive, one of us would have stayed home while the other dropped K off at school. Now, I did think of calling my folks to come and stay with H while he slept.
But here’s the thing about help from others: you need so much of it, when you’re widowed, when you’re unexpectedly single. Every day it seems I’m asking my parents for help. So when you can get by without asking for yet another thing, you try.
Plus I did not particularly feel like getting up either.
I had this wild parent fantasy that if I called both kids out sick that we would snuggle up in the bed together, sleep until ten, then move to the sofa downstairs with a box of kleenex, some blankets and Netflix. So I called both boys out sick.
What was I thinking?!?!? Am I a total noob at this parenting thing?
H was already up and out of bed by the time I finished calling the school. He is definitely sick and I’m glad I kept him home, but if he was going to get out of bed anyway I would have brought K to school. I thought about hauling them all out to the car right then, but by that point it was getting pretty late and would have been a rush.
So we stayed home. One perfectly healthy kid and his sick and cranky (but not sleepy) brother. Plus their sick mom.
I have elected to not keep alcohol in the house since Trey died, mainly because I find it difficult to resist a nightcap, and then I get all sad about drinking alone. But after the kids’ party I got a bottle of bourbon. So it’s sitting on the shelf, and I keep thinking of it longingly. My head is pounding. My eyeballs feel like there is sand in them. My nose and eyes are leaking nonstop. I want to wrap up in a blanket, sip some warm bourbon, and binge watch Supernatural. Or at least to wrap up in a blanket with my kids, sip some orange juice and binge watch something of their choosing.
Instead I’m making lunch, fetching juice, refereeing arguments, putting away groceries, feeding the dog, doing laundry, and trying to put in a solid half day of work.
It’s such a cliche. When everyone is sick, mom takes care of them. When mom is sick, she still takes care of everyone else. Granted, I’m doing it in a very minimal fashion. So far today the kids have watched Captain Underpants and about a hundred episodes of the Thundermans, and have been on their tablets for about an hour now with half an hour left to go.
I’d better get to work!