Little Bee is sick.
I had to send my first, “kid’s sick. Working from home,” email yesterday. I’ve only been back two weeks and already it’s happening! – I thought I’d have a bit more time before her first real gotta-stay-home sickness. But I guess the germ farm that is daycare is the perfect breeding ground for bugs like this, so really, I was just kidding myself.
And, is it just me, or does it feel like when your kid has even the smallest cough, it resonates through the house like it’s coming from a congested, snotty giant?!
When that cough rattles the walls – and me, for that matter – I turn into a crazy Mama Bear, chasing her around the living room with a sippy cup full of water because, aren’t we supposed to stay hydrated when we’re sick?! She doesn’t know that, so I have no choice but to force feed her water all day… right?
She’s not incapacitated; she was up and about this morning, so I took her to daycare and went into work… but, yeeew boy. My Mama guilt went into overdrive after dropping her off. “WHAT KIND OF MOTHER LEAVES HER CHILD WHEN THEY’RE SICK, YOU MONSTER?!?!”
BAH! Shut UP, stupid voice.
Full disclosure, though: a little part of me had been looking forward to her first stay-home-sick day. I imagined we’d spend it snuggling in bed, reading books and enjoying being together, like how it was for the 13-months I was on mat leave.
But of course that’s not how it went down. Since I am now a FTWM, I had to turn on my laptop, log-in remotely and do ACUTAL work while Little Bee threw me side-eye scowls from behind the baby gate. She had her toys and an uncomfortable amount of Elmo’s World to watch on Netflix (uncomfortable for me, not for her. She could watch Elmo all day… which, she kinda did), so she was in good spirits. But it wasn’t at all how I imagined the day to go.
And somehow, even though it was only a matter of weeks ago that we were in the dewy, blissful haze of being like one with each other, it feels like… forever ago. Really, truly.
Being back at work, in the “real world”, is like being in a vacuum. Time, already spinning past me, is now spinning even faster. Everything is in overdrive – the people, the energy, the way of life… down here, it’s “move it or lose it”, and no one stops to take a breath.
And I hate to say it, but the feeling is addictive.
I have a hard time shaking the buzz off at the end of the day, and every morning I feel an excited anticipation as we all scramble to get out the door. I think now that I’ve tackled 2.5 weeks back downtown, I’ve overcome the sadness that overtook me in the weeks leading up to it.
It’s easier now, as everyone said it would be.
And what makes it even easier is seeing how happy Little Bee is at “school” – she gets more excited than I do as we load into the car every morning. She cried for about 2 weeks, but since last Friday, she’s magically stopped. We get her in the front door, plop her on the floor to peel off the many layers – multiplying by the day as the weather gets colder – and can barely put on her “inside shoes” as she wiggles and giggles and tries to escape, eventually toddling away after her friends.
It’s a wonderful, heart warming thing to see. I once worried it would be hard to see her walking away from me so easily, but it’s quite the opposite.
She loves school, and I am enjoying being a grown-up with a grown-up job again.
Which is why, yesterday, at home together, WE. WERE. BORED.
Yes, there was some snuggling and lots of napping (her, not me. sigh). But for the most part, we were boooooooooored. It hung in the air, all stinky and stagnant. She wasn’t as enthusiastic with the toys as she was only a few weeks back – they’re old hat to her now, I suppose. She did laps around the living room like a mental patient pacing the halls of the asylum. Every now and then, she would look at me with expressionless eyes and list off the names of her school friends, “Beebee? Fan? Anana?” (obviously not their real names, but that’s how she says them).
I worked; she paced. I chased her with water. But both of us, bored.
But really, that only just proves we’re all moving in the right direction, right? We’re going forward and discovering ourselves. A whole new world is unfolding in front of Little Bee, and every day, with the help of her new friends and care givers, she is learning to love it.
And as for me? I’m re-learning about myself, my Big Girl self, I guess you could say. The woman who I’ve always been, but has been put on hold for a while. The woman who drinks lattes in the afternoon and wears high heels and has meetings and gets her nails painted red (over her lunch hour, of course). I’m hustling and bustling and making deadlines and new connections… and feeling good about all of it.
And THAT, my friends, is a good thing.
Now, what should I do about this tickle in my throat…..