OK, if that title doesn’t get attention on the blogosphere, I’m not sure what will!
This is the story of the humbling parenting moment this past week when two kids definitely felt like a bit more work than an additional 50%.
On Thursday around noon, Robert had some red streaks (blood) in his poopy diaper. (Sorry Robert for embarrassing you in the name of social media!). I called the doctor and was instructed to stand by — it probably wasn’t anything to worry about — but if it happened again, call back.
It happened again.
At 5 PM, I called the doctor.
“There’s a note here that says if it happens again, come right in,” the woman on the phone said. “We have a 5:45 appointment.”
It’s a 20-minute walk to the pediatrician, and probably a 35-minute cab ride in rush hour. I looked outside. It was nearly dark. June was already in her PJs, assembling the animal molds for our Red Jell-O project. I looked over at Robert, sleeping peaceful in the bouncy seat. I had no desire to disrupt this scene. I also had no desire to push the stroller with June standing on the roll-y board, in her PJs, 15 blocks in the dark.
“I’ll take it,” I said. Because so much of parenting is doing what you don’t want to do! But oddly, a lot of it feels good afterward. It’s rewarding.
I called my husband, on the off chance he might be able to come home early. And — hallelujah! — he could.
I looked at the clock. 5:10 PM. I looked at June, standing patiently on the little ladder against the kitchen counter, wanting nothing more than to make red Jell-O. Damn it, I thought, we are going to make this Jell-O.
And we did. Quickly. Me trying not to spill scalding hot water or syrupy liquid on anything or anybody. And at 5:20 my husband walked in, just as the Jell-O project concluded, and I began the process of bundling up Robert to go out. And ten minutes later — because I’m still in the Beginner Section of Bundling Up a Baby — Robert and I left, with me supremely grateful I was also not toting along a 2-year-old. And then after waiting for the elevator stop on 5 different floors, and getting out of the lobby, it was 5:33 PM and we were going to be late for our 5:45 appointment, the “last appointment of the day.”
Afraid the office might be closed when we arrived, I began to jog. And I jogged the whole way, pushing my non-jogging stroller.
And, damn. I felt powerful. Dodging groups of pedestrians left and right. AND, we made the appointment. I checked us in at 5:44 PM.
And Robert? Oh, he had an anal fissure. From his explosive poops. But he was smiley and flirtatious with the doctor, and after learning it would heal on its own and it was nothing to worry about, we headed home, this time at a more leisurely pace.
I felt accomplished when this was over. We made the Jell-O. We made it to the appointment. I adapted to changing circumstances, something I historically have been terrible at. And that extra work felt like an extra dose of endorphins, on top of those produced during the jog.
So far, I like this two kid thing, even if it does involve anal fissures.