I liked the gingerbread plan better.

So, I see that it has been 9 days since my last big whine of a post. Consider this post a continuation of the last one. And let me start by giving a warning: there will be mentions of vomit.

I had a commute day last Wednesday, for something work-related, but not something that leads to any sort of progress towards my degree. Thursday I miraculously managed a full day of work, finally making progress on the list of things I’d been trying to do the week before on a group project. Friday was going to be another commute/meeting day, so when we were all snowed in again, it didn’t feel like a huge loss in productivity to have my lab meeting by conference call instead. (Though it was a bit awkward, as John had a conference call at the same time, so neither of us was available to corral the kids. We put on a movie, which contained Phoebe pretty well, but Theo wandered in to contribute to my conference call several times. Mostly asking me to go watch the movie.) Then there came the weekend, during which I typically end up completely wiped out by the time the kids go to bed. But I wasn’t too stressed. The following week there were going to be 5 days of childcare, two days of which (Monday and Tuesday) I had no meetings or doctor’s appointments scheduled, and surely I would be able to get back to my own research project.

When Phoebe woke me up before 6 on Monday morning with a fever and an earache, I considered dropping out of my PhD program right then.

Happily, Phoebe perked right up with some Motrin, and John decided he could take her to his office for a few hours. However, with their late-morning departure coupled with other home and family things I had to deal with, I didn’t manage to start on my work till noon. That theoretically gave me about 4 hours to do work before it would be time to pick up Theo, but my focus pretty much sucked.

Tuesday I had the day with still feverish Phoebe, which included taking her to her preschool for picture day, and taking her to the doctor’s office. In between, we went out for lunch and went to CVS. Afterwards, we had a bit more than an hour before it was time to pick up Theo. I squeezed in a few work-related tasks while Phoebe re-enacted picture day with my camera, John’s tripod, and a whole lot of stuffed animals.

Yesterday, Phoebe still had her fever, but John was able to stay home. I took Theo to daycare, and rushed off to a doctor’s appointment, which had been rescheduled from the afternoon in anticipation of the upcoming snowstorm. I drove into Cambridge for a work-related thing right after, and then back home just ahead of the snow. When I picked up Theo from daycare, I was optimistic that he’d be able to go to daycare again in the morning, as the snow was expected to be stopped by early morning. (Phoebe would still need to be home, as daycare policy is that kids need to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning.)

As we waffled about what to have for dinner, Theo sat on my lap and we looked at some pictures on my computer. He complained that his stomach hurt. Then he threw up. All over himself, me, the couch, the floor. (Happily, my open laptop was mostly spared.) The rest of the evening was spent cleaning up, and tending to miserable children. Phoebe didn’t want Theo in the same room with her, as she totally dreads vomit (not that any of us like it…). She ended up going to sleep in our bed. After a change of clothes, I sat holding Theo, empty yogurt container and towel-like things at the ready. I realized that we weren’t likely to fall asleep, and I certainly wasn’t going to be able to do work or read. So we watched a movie on the couch (the couch that wasn’t torn apart for cleaning),which distracted Theo nicely. My dinner ended up being some bread, eaten on the couch while I held Theo. Eventually, Theo and I went to settle down for the night on Phoebe’s toddler bed. (We didn’t want him alone in his crib since we were still expecting more vomit.)

Today, though home sick, both kids have seemed largely fine. But there was so much snow that we probably couldn’t have gotten them to daycare and preschool anyhow. It took most of the day to shovel out, as we had to take turns staying inside to referee the kids. The day was remarkably uneventful, if completely unproductive. (Not counting snow removal and additional vomit-related damage control.) And I was very regretful that all of these events didn’t even leave me enough time to bake more gingerbread.

As of now, both kids are asleep in their own beds. I am fully looking forward to sleeping with my legs fully extended in an adult-sized bed.

Theo asked for “the drum” (our nickname for the big empty yogurt containers) several times today, but didn’t end up needing to use it. Actually, what he said was “I need to put some corn in the drum.” (Apparently he’d had corn for lunch yesterday.) He’d sit with his face over the drum, cheerfully half-singing, “Here it comes! Here comes the corn!” Then he’d say “achoo!” (Clearly he is not as traumatized by vomiting as Phoebe.)

8 thoughts on “I liked the gingerbread plan better.

  1. Well, as whines go, this one had some good moments. I love Phoebe’s portraits of the animals, and the caption for Theo’s picture is quite entertaining.

    But there’s no doubt that gingerbread is vastly preferable to vomit. I’m sorry you had such a terrible week.

    Surely next week will be better!

  2. Phoebe’s “picture day” is adorable. Absolutely adorable.

    I’m getting in a lot of snow removal this year, as my kids are old enough to stay in the house alone (wow!) and get themselves geared up to come outside pretty much on their own (wow-wow!). It’s very cool. I am looking forward to the days when my husband and I can walk the dog around the neighborhood in the morning together while the kids either sleep or get dressed for school.

    Re: the vomit trauma, we have had the same experience. My daughter is freaked out by it (and has probably only thrown up a couple times in almost nine years) and my son can hurl at will and does so if he doesn’t like what’s for dinner. He’s an ogre.

  3. Sorry things haven’t been going so well. You know I can relate!

    I love Phoebe’s pictures. So damn cute! I have that same vomit phobia.

    There’s more I want to say, but …. you know how it goes. ;)

  4. I simply CANNOT imagine working on a PhD with 2 kids. Kudos to you and your efforts. Please know you have my deepest respect. Despite all your work related woes, can I pause to commend your brilliance re Picture Day. I am so getting M to do this tomorrow even though I doubt her elephants will match the posing brilliance of that stuffed dog.

  5. I forget there are people who are grossed out by vomit, I never warn people when it is going to come up (figuratively) in conversation. I used to be one of those people…then I had KayTar. We were on vacation with our best friends (a childless couple) this summer and KayTar vomited her feed up all over the hotel bed. I have NEVER seen two people evacuate an area so quickly. They were there and then POOF, they had vanished. We found them huddled in their adjoining room trying to erase the horrific image from their minds. It was just like any other Friday to us! ;)

    I hope the kids stay healthy for a while and you can get back to work. It is difficult balancing school work and kids, even more so when they are sick.

  6. When my daughter’s little one was at that age I was the backup babysitter. I clearly remember driving in to the city in a miserable snowstorm, crawling, and finding daughter waiting at the end of her driveway, briefcase in hand, when I finally got to her place. She made her lecture, five minutes late, but she did it.
    I don’t know how you young women do all that you do and stay anywhere near sane.

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