Sunday, September 19, 2010

Two Sides, Same Coin

The Lag Liv family did not have a good night last night. To set the scene: Between 5:30 and 6:00 pm JP deteriorated from perfectly healthy to a total flu-like mess. 102 fever, body aches, chills, night sweats- I had to bench him as a parent and send him to bed at 7. Claire had spent all day being very mad at the world- whether it's allergies, a tummy ache, gas, teething, or more likely- a cataclysmic combination of all four, she was pissed and she wanted everyone to know. Holding her didn't seem to make much of a difference, but of course I spent all day doing it anyway, and she's heavy. Landon has had a cough and runny nose for a few weeks, though the pediatrician thinks it's just allergies. I feel fine, which should be a good thing, but it's not because I had to deal with everything while my co-parent lay shaking and shivering in our bed.

angry biscuit

I got in bed about 11 p.m. because Claire didn't fall asleep until 10 and I still hadn't eaten dinner. Then Claire woke up at 2 a.m. oddly happy but quickly turning very angry. I finally got her back to sleep (with new non-snot covered sheets and a fresh batch of water in the humidifier) at 3:30 and crawled back into my bed after forcing some more Tylenol down JP. At 6:45 a.m. I heard a horrible screamy-whining sound coming from upstairs and remembered that my sister's dog was up there (long story; she's living with us for the next two weeks but didn't come home from wherever she was last night). I ran up to let him out but he was in such a frenzied state that he accidentally peed in the living room on the way outside. At that moment Landon walked up to me (he'd been in the play room where he usually is in the morning before we get up) and said, "Puppy is dirty." I look down at his little pound puppy and yep, his soft brown fur is matted with what can only be puke, which I then notice is also all over Landon, his pj's, and his hair. I went back upstairs and opened Landon's door to find what can only be described as a scene from a horror movie. Literal mounds of throw-up on his bed so thick I had to scoop them off before I could even think about putting anything in the wash. Landon has only thrown up twice since he was a baby and I am SO glad. I do not handle it well- I was fighting down dry heaves and only the fear of waking up Claire kept me from screaming for JP's help (well that and his own sickness, but I'm not sure that alone would have kept me from calling him back into duty).

hiding from the horror

I dealt with the washing and the scrubbing of both child and bedding (and carpet) while trying to explain to Landon that when he gets sick (or "makes a mess" in his bed, which seemed to make more sense to him than the word sick, because he insisted he felt just fine), he needs to TELL MOMMY AND DADDY. He apparently saw no need until he realized his puppy's fur was less than pristine. JP and Claire woke up a little later, both feeling slightly better, and the day proceeded much better than it started. Right now everyone is sleeping, including my sister and all three dogs, which is why you're getting this post.

happier children, 11 a.m. this morning

So that's one side of the parenting coin. The hard side, the side where you really think some sort of monetary bonus should be issued for mornings like this one.

Luckily, there's a completely awesome side as well. On a normal morning Claire gets up around 7:30 a.m. I pick her up and she greets me with a smile. Her, "oh yay, a person! I like persons! They bring warmth and verticalness and bottles. No one has ever been mean to me in my whole life, so I love every body" smile.

And then I wait, until approximately 1 full second after I've picked her up, and her "hi" turns into, "OMG OMG HAI!!! OMG IT'S YOU!!! My very FAVORITE person is HERE! Oh I LOVE you! Oh let's cuddle and smile for many minutes and I will wave my arms and make smiles so big they take up most of my face. Just for you, because you are my favorite. OMG YAY!!"

It is awesome. JP loves me, but even he does not go into literal spasmodic fits of delight because of my mere presence. I haven't been able to get the transformation on video yet, but here's a picture of a smile maybe 2 levels down from the mommy/daddy smile:


So being a parent, it can suck and it can be quite incredible-- and it can occasionally be incredible even while it's sucking. It's something I'm really glad I jumped into blind because until you're there, you can kind of see how the awful is really awful, but you can't fully grasp how absolutely awesome the awesome is. From the outside it seems irrational, and well, I suppose it is, but it's also really, really great.



  1. Oh, LL. I wish I lived closer so I could spell you. I hope you dodge the bug and that everyone's back to normal ASAP. What a night!

  2. I really like this post, LL. Thanks so much! :)(and feel better very soon, JP!)

  3. Exactly! I especially like what you said about jumping this blindly. I had NO idea how amazing, and how hard, this was going to be.

  4. That picture of Claire (and it is Claire Bear, just so you remember) "hiding from the horror" is just too cute. And, yeah, parenting can really suck sometimes. Many times. But it also has its really great moments - althogh, just for the record, I think you are getting more than your fair share with Claire Bear's normal wake up routine. I must say this post reminds me of one of my favourite oh-so-true sayings ... there's a reason why God gave kids two parents!

  5. Totally off topic, but Claire is looking more and more like Landon. They look so similar in the picture where they are together on the couch. I think that's awesome :)

  6. Yeah, that's one of those parenting moments from hell that you hear about ahead of time (or, like, the day before your own kids gets sick) and think, oh my gosh, I could never do that! And then you're living the puke-filled reality, and, well. You feel momentarily wistful for the days when scullery maids were in style, then dive into the vomit as figuratively as possible.

    I have to say that I do love how you finished the nasty story with how awesome it can be to parent, too. That's something I don't do very well, so I respect it all the more.

  7. I just dealt with a puking toddler on top of a sinus infected me, and oh. I know how you feel. I also just went on an absolute sobbing breakdown on my husband after we got the little one settled in bed about how I feel so guilty because I want only the good parts of parenting - I want a child who never gets sick, who always behaves, who is always fun, kind and polite. And that's unrealistic. And I know that. And it's totally unfair to my absolutely awesome 2 y.o. (who has her moments like all 2 y.o. do). But, in the midst of the puke, when I'm feeling like crap myself, when I've just finished the 3rd load of unplanned laundry of the night, and now I'm terrified that my husband and I will get this lovely bug and am dwelling on all of the big kisses, shared ice cream, etc. in the last 24 hours... it makes me long for my carefree single days. And then I feel horribly guilty. Despite the fact that I thought I was prepared to be a parent, no one can ever quite prepare you for the emotional roller coaster it can be.

    Sorry for the long comment. I guess I wasn't done with my breakdown, and this seemed like a good venue to spew some more (no pun intended).

  8. Sounds like you guys got what we had last week (or at least the mounds of vomit sounded familiar). I hope everyone is back to their healthy normal selves soon!