A real Google Chat:
Daniel: I'm sick.
me: So's Eliana.
Daniel: So's Chunjiban
me: I just had one of the craziest parenting experiences over Eli's being ill.
me: Will be posting it to LJ shortly.
me: Most definitely blog-worthy.
Daniel: Don't call me shortly.
me: That joke only works if there's a comma after the first segment of the sentence.
me: In writing it doesn't work.
Daniel: It works fine for me.
me: eg., "Surely you can't be serious." "I am serious, and please don't call me Shirley."
me: Not nearly as funny as if it were to be told verbally. In writing, it doesn't work.
me: The advent of writing has killed so much comedic potential.
me: I say we stop writing altogether and focus on the spoken word.
The scene: One stop before Hadar Mall, on the bus.
The players: One sick, feverish, lethargic Eliana; one mildly stressed out Shawn trying to get stuff done for his brother-in-law's wedding next week.
The event: Vomit clean-up and dash.
Yesterday we walked to my in-laws to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday with a festive Shabbat lunch. Eliana, about halfway through the walk, started getting tired. When we got to the in-laws' apartment, Eliana was not interested in eating, and she actually put herself down for a nap. When she woke up, she was feverish. She spent all last night tossing and turning and whining and feverish and keeping up her two very overtired, overworked, and over-stressed out parents.
The plan for today was that I would go to work early, leave when Yaffa had dropped the girls off at gan, meet Yaffa in town so we could shop for the upcoming wedding, go to an appointment together with Yaffa, then part ways. Yaffa would go to work, I would go to the shuk to get a replacement hose for our vacuum cleaner and extra bags for it, and around then meet up with a friend of mine from nursing school that I hadn't seen in a long time. (That's what happens when you take a year off school.) I would head over to Hadar Mall to pick up prescriptions and drop off my pants to be tailored and cleaned. Time would have worked out that I'd meet up with Yaffa at the gan for our very first parent-teacher interview, and while we were doing that my mother-in-law would take care of the girls. Afterwards, I'd run off to an eye exam with the optometrist that Yaffa works for, and Yaffa would take the girls home. A moderately complicated, but otherwise well-planned out day.
Instead, this happened.
This morning, I go into work early after barely sleeping, then ran out of work by 8am, much to the dismay of my bosses and co-workers that were now stuck with one less worker to do an unusually large order. Yaffa dropped off Bracha at gan (preschool), then she went to town with Eliana where I met up with them. We did manage to get some stuff done for the wedding, and my outfit is nearly complete. Yaffa, unfortunately, did not get a chance to get stuff for herself. By some miracle, this was all done in time for us to make it on time to our appointment. We even had a bit of extra time, so we stopped by a local cafe and got some food.
Around this time, we noticed that Eliana was not doing well. She was getting feverish again, despite receiving children's tylenol shortly before. She was acting kinda lethargic, and didn't have much energy to even keep her eyes open.
Yaffa and I decided that the better idea was for me to skip the shuk, go to Hadar, get my prescriptions filled and my pants tailored and drycleaned, then head home so Eliana could get some much needed rest. If I would still be able to meet up with my friend, then so be it. We planned that I should be able to take Eliana to gan so that my mother-in-law would still be able to watch both girls, and the day's plan would continue as was originally intended.
Instead, Eliana upchucked everything she didn't eat for the past two days about one bus stop before we got to Hadar mall. Her shirt, her pants, and the stroller were all filthy. The floor of the bus was mercifully spared.
Oh, and while cleaning her up I ran out of wet wipes and tissues. Hoo boy.
At that point, I debated briefly if I should just run her home, which would take another ten minutes, or if I should run her into the mall, clean her up, then head home. I chose the latter, running right past the security guard. He's shouting at me, "Do you have a weapon?" I motor right past him through the doors and say, "No! But I'm in a bit of a rush!"
I run Eliana to the bathrooms, only to notice that the diaper changing room is occupied. Somewhat guiltily, I then took her into the spacious handicapped bathroom to try and clean her up there. The whole time, she's shivering and whimpering, as I manage to take off all her clothes and rub her down with water from the tap to try and clean her off as much as possible. The clothes are a complete write-off until they get cleaned at home, so I search the diaper bag for a spare outfit. And all I find is a pair of underwear and pants. No shirt. And Eliana's shivering and whimpering and cranky. Oh shit.
I clean off the stroller as best as I can, grab one of the spare bags I had from the earlier shopping spree and put it down to cover the still extremely dirty and stinky stroller chair, throw Eli in the stroller, wash my hands, and run off to Fox.
If you saw a frazzled-looking father running around a Gap-like clothing store with a topless 3-year-old, you might've called the cops. Heck, I would probably do that myself.
I ruffled through the baby clothes as fast as I could, noting that there was absolutely nothing for age 3. So I scooted over to the Kids section, and couldn't find any age 3 things either. A salesperson must have noticed my frantic search, and tried to calmly help me. He found one shirt that was 3, but Eliana rejected it. I figured, screw it, I just need her to wear a shirt, so I grabbed the closest shirt that said size 4 and she agreed. 40 shekel later, my kid was wearing goofy-looking oversized shirt.
Somewhat calmer now, I asked Eli if she was feeling ok. She said, "I'm sick," with the saddest eyes I've seen on her in a long time. I asked her if we could do some things before we head home, and she gave a weak "O.K." Poor kid.
This let me pick up my prescriptions, as well as drop off my pants to get tailored and drycleaned. We then walked home. I schlepped her and the stroller and all the bags from the day upstairs. Seeing as to how she still smelled of vomit, I gave her a lightning-fast bath and let her lay down in our bed to watch a bit of Barney. I then asked for her permission to shower (because when a child vomits, the parent smells of the clean-up efforts), explaining to her that I'll leave the door open so I can hear her and she can call for me if she needs anything. She said it was ok, so I hopped in the shower with the stroller and clothes, and hopped out as quickly as possible. When I checked on her after getting out of the shower, she said she was tired so she laid her head down and was asleep within seconds.
A quick change in plans had my mother-in-law pick up Bracha from gan then come to our place while Eliana slept. I missed most of the meeting with the ganenot (preschool teachers), but managed to make it in for a bit before I had to leave for my eye exam. Back home to Yaffa and the girls, and the rest of the day ended normally.
Well, as normally as could be expected.
May the rest of this week be considerably less hectic than today was.