Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hurricane Caroline

I consider myself to be pretty capable when it comes to caring for Caroline alone, so I try not to write posts like this, but tonight it really can't be helped. Buckle up, buttercups. This evening was rough.

Caroline has been sick and so I was up with her for most of last night. I went home after school today and laid down to take a nap, because she was supposed to be with Tyler tonight. The second I fell asleep, the phone rang. It was Tyler, saying that he was bringing her here instead because she wasn't feeling well and wanted to go home. I stumbled out of bed and answered the door. He handed her to me, accused me of loving the fact that she only wants to be with me, and stormed off. Caroline and I looked at each other for a minute and then I shook the sleep out of my eyes and told her we were going to the store to get medicine.

I dragged the poor sick kid out in the rain to pick up a filter for her humidifier and medicine and chicken soup. Got her home and set up with the soup. She wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink, wouldn't do anything but scream and beg to be held. I picked her up and carried her around, still screaming, while trying to run a bath for her and dose her with medicine and set up the humidifier and wade through the piles of laundry and toys that were covering my floors. This went on for about a half hour and by the end of it, I was near tears as well, and my arms were really tired from carrying her, and she was still howling. And I don't do well at all, running on no sleep.

I got mad. At Tyler. Which is totally stupid. But I was just mad that he thought I wanted to do all this alone, that I was happy about it all. I'm not. I want them to have a relationship and I don't want all of this responsibility to fall on my shoulders, every single time. I set the screaming Caroline down on the couch, gritted my teeth, squeezed my eyes shut, pressed my hands over my ears, took a deep breath, and counted to ten. (Moms. Single or otherwise. You've been right there with me. Don't deny it!) Then I got a grip and got to business.

I put Dora the Explorer on my laptop for Caroline to watch and stuck a binky in her mouth. (Judge me for the binky and die, betches.) I really try to avoid putting TV on to keep her busy, but this was an emergency for real, and anyway I suppose Dora is somewhat educational, even if she is super annoying and always wearing that little belly shirt, I mean what is up with that? There are kids watching, girlfriend, you think you could tone it down a little? I mean we get it, you're cute and all, we get it, but it's kind of inappropriate, no? Anyway did I mention I haven't slept, and where was I?

Oh right. So I put Dora on and whipped into supersinglemommy mode. Cleaned the place up at lightning speed, set up the humidifier in her room and closed the door, ran a steam bath, set up everything to put her to bed, and measured out her meds. Grabbed Caroline off the couch, turned off that annoying chick Dora, bathed her (uh, Caroline, not Dora), dosed her with meds, brushed her teeth, read her a book, rocked her, and laid her down in her crib. Oh, and collapsed myself onto the couch.

Now she's coughing up a storm in her bed but at least she's asleep and not crying, so the rest of my evening includes plans for a hot shower, a glass of wine, some mindless TV, and early to bed because I'm pretty sure I'll be up all night again.

I mean. Whatever. I can do the single mom thing. I've been doing it a long time now, starting from way back during my marriage. But when the plans change and you throw a very sick and very loudly screaming inconsolable toddler in there, things fall apart for me a little bit. It's okay though. I got this. We moms are tough. Right?


Bobbi Janay said...

Hugs. I feel your pain and I am not a single mom.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but that just shows Tyler's true colors. What a whimp (actually I am thinking of a word that begins with a D and ends with an H)...things got tough and he didn't want to deal with a sick kid? So he dumps her back on mom and walks away, but not before he turns it around on you to make it look like it's your fault for caring for her and making her dependant on you. UGH! I'm sorry, you don't deserve that.

I'd like to cyberpunch him in the nads for you, Julia!

Merks said...

Another reason we all need to move to our cul-de-sac...or Lithuania.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing Mom. I hope you enjoy that glass of wine and get more sleep then you expect tonight. Hang in there!

Emily said...

Ugh. I hope you get some sleep tonight Jules! And I don't know if you've tried it yet, but we swear by Hylands Cough and Cold here, it's pretty much the only thing that will touch Toph's cough. I hope both you and Caro are feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

I thought it started with a "D" and ended with an "E" or with a "bag"? Am I spelling things wrong?

You're awesome Jules. Loves you!


edmo said...

My sister's ex-husband does the same thing. He is a good dad, but when there is a sick kid, he brought them all straight back to my sister, not bothering to first fill a prescription or stop to get some supplies. I think maybe they don't have it in them. At the same time, maybe Caroline really was begging for you and it broke Tyler's heart to see her so miserable and just wanting her mommy. My boys are around their dad all the time, every day, but when they are sick all they want is their mommy.

Julia said...

This is it, really, if I'm being honest, and that's why I said it was stupid of me to be mad. She asks for me and he is trying to be sensitive to her needs by bringing her back to me, because he doesn't want to force it. And yet, as I mentioned in another recent post, they will never have a relationship if he ships her right back to me every time she asks... it's a tough situation. I don't think there's an easy answer. It's all part of coparenting post-divorce, I guess.

Julia said...

Not that I don't appreciate the supportive comments, because I totally do. ;)