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When you can’t be in two places at once

So, daycare called me yesterday morning to tell me that Joshua was running a fever.  That explained the mega-crank from Sunday.  I went up to the receptionist and she got me a sub for the remainder of the day. 

I took Joshua to the pediatrician on Monday afternoon because Dan and I had both been sick. And the mother of one of the toddlers in his class had strep last week. (And her kid still came to school!)

But, wouldn’t you know, healthy baby.

Does this baby look healthy to you??

He was a messy puddle of drool almost the whole time we were there (which tells me TEETH are the culprit).  He crawled up in my lap and just kept his head down on my chest.  He didn’t even really react when the NP started poking and prodding and listening and looking. 

Then he got a dose of Motrin and seemed good as new. 

(And let me just interject here and say that stuff is a freaking miracle drug for toddlers. It works almost immediately and you. can. tell. when it’s been six hours and it’s time for another dose. To the minute. You can tell. OMG.)

While I was sitting there, I started making phone calls to the appropriate individuals to line up a sub for today as well.  The NP had said he needed to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning.  With no apparent signs of anything being wrong with him.  And then I called the daycare owner to let her know what the doctor had said and she said that he could return to daycare today provided his fever wasn’t above 100 and he didn’t have diarrhea or vomiting, per the state’s regulations.   

So I was all sorts of confused and conflicted.  I totally shouldn’t have been. 

I should’ve instinctively had no issue staying home with Joshua today. 

But I was seriously back-and-forth about staying or going for a good half an hour yesterday evening. 

It’s hard to be a mother and a teacher.  It’s hard to have priorities that seem so equally important. 

When I’m not there with my students, not a whole lot of learning takes place.  When I’m not home with my son, not a whole lot of cuddling takes place. 

(Which is kind of a lie because they totally cuddle my baby at his daycare. Which is one of the things I lovelovelove about the place.)

But, if a day of Mama Snuggles is what he needs to feel better, then I don’t want there to be a surrogate Mama snuggling him. 

So I stayed home.

And checked my work email every couple of hours expecting to be able to do what, exactly?  I don’t know. 

There’s nothing I could’ve done from here aside from make a few phone calls or send a few emails. But, I felt the need to check, just in case.

I’ll go in tomorrow not knowing how the first part of this week has truly gone and be all sorts of flustered because of it.  I just anticipate going in tomorrow and being all hectic and frustrated for most of the day. 

I feel like I do them an educational disservice when I’m not there.  Like somehow they won’t be as successful in their lives without me there to guide them. And we’re only talking about two days, not two weeks, or two years! 

My students need me. My son needs me.  I need a clone.

At the moment, sick baby duty falls to me because Dan is a man down at work.  (One of his employees just had a kidney transplant after 3 years on dialysis. WOOT for him!)  So, I’m the one. 

And I truly don’t mind being the one. 

I WANT to be there for my child when he’s sick.  I want to hold him close while he sleeps and feel his breathing on my chest and tousle his sweaty curls when he wakes up and smiles at me like “Whoa..Mom! What are you doing here?”

He was up at midnight, 3:30, and 5:00 and when he woke up the last time, I just said “Screw this!” and settled in for the long haul with him on my chest, just like we used to, except he’s much, much too long for my torso now, which makes me sad.

But that’s how he looked at me when we woke up together this morning at 8:00, snuggled into the chair in his nursery.  Like it was totally weird but totally cool that I was there.  He raised up his head and smiled and then buried his head back into my chest for a few more minutes. And then raised up and smiled again.

I love that. I love that in that moment, he was so happy that the first thing he did when he woke up was smile at my face.

I want to cry just thinking about how much I love that.

I wish I could bottle up the peaceful feeling I have when I snuggle with him. I would snuggle with him for eternity if that’s what it took to always feel that sort of…calm.

Because that calm?  That calm is beautiful. 

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