When I imagined my return to work I thought about coffee, adult conversation and the projects I would tackle. I did not suspect that my first day back would end in tears* and me having to leave work early because Molly had a fever that was spiking. The transition was working wonderfully, especially for the minions who barely seem to notice that we're leaving them anywhere in the morning and greeted us happily at the end of the day.
Our 3 day transition last week had them thrilled and me out of sorts. After a particular tough drop off** Chris and I took advantage of his vacation week and the kids being at daycare by going out to brunch, bowling, playing tennis and taking long luxurious naps. By Friday we were ready for this, or so I thought. Friday night Jack got his first daycare cold, was up a few times over night, but was entirely himself again by the next afternoon and almost 100% by Sunday. Then Chris got sick Sunday night, slept on the couch, but Advilled up and stumbled his way into work.
Yesterday Chris managed a successful drop off and I made it into work on time, in clean clothes, without baby drool anywhere or any deodorant stains on me.*** The day was going great, until my cell phone rang. It was daycare, Molly was ill, lethargic and had a fever that was nearing 102. Not only was I completely helpless across the city to get to my sick baby, but I had to drop everything****, leave work early and make arrangements for Molly to be taken care of tomorrow, all while ensuring that Jack got to daycare.
Instantly I was in tears. I explained to a couple of coworkers what was going on and ran out the door to my sick Molly's aid. Unfortunately I got caught in a subway delay en route to daycare. I stood, helplessly at St. George Station for what felt like an eternity, cursing the TTC under my breath. I finally arrived at the daycare, only 15 minutes earlier than my usual anticipated arrival because of the delay, and took my sick little girl home.
Last night, instead of high fives and a beer each on the back porch in celebration of my first day back we snuck into Molly's room to take her temperature rectally and played the riddle game of the wolf, the sheep, the bale of hay and the boat***** Only our version is the daycare, the sick child, the two working adults and the well child. We talked about the options we had: Babysitters: Really expensive, especially considering that we are paying for Molly's day in daycare today, even though she's sick, The Grandparents: One set is up North today and the other set is about to leave for England on their 45th Anniversary vacation, essentially vacation of a life time trumps baby germs.
We finally worked out that I would take Jack to and from daycare on my travels to and from work and Chris would work from home, as best he can, while taking care of Molly. This means that he's up working at the crack of dawn until she gets up, while she naps and then again in the evening when I return home. If the fever continues, we'll discuss other options tomorrow.
So we'll see how Jack fares without his sister for the first time in his life, and how I fare on my second day as I attempt to be a stoic mom. Stoic means crying about feeling helpless about the health of your children while you sit in your office and try to work, right?
*My own: of frustration, helplessness and general sadness.
**Again for me, not the minions, they're fine. It turns out that I'm the one having trouble adjusting.
***The absence of deodorant stains is a big feat for me, even pre-children.
****On the first day back none the less. Fate, are you F@%#ing kidding me?
*****If you are unfamiliar with this riddle, here's a link to it: http://www.riddlers.org/riddles/riddles/view/1288