Mom Stories

    Two Hands, Three Kids

    We did not have the type of May I thought we were going to have. I started into my second trimester this month so I figured I’d be feeling better, the weather would be warming up, and we’d be taking a few longish outings as a family since I’m having surgery in early June and I’ll be more restricted then.

    Or, you know, we’d all take turns being insanely sick and we’d visit the emergency room for the upteenth time since becoming parents.


    At least it was Calvin at the ER again. Eva’s ER visits tend to be a little more traumatic because she’s usually there for something awful and it’s all needles and rush rush while Calvin tends to be there for things he’s ingested or jammed up his nose. This one was just a bit more serious since he developed some bad stridor in the middle of a classic case of croup, but they still fixed him up within an hour. If you’ve never dealt with stridor, it’s when your kid’s breathing starts sounding like you’re swinging a door on rusty hinges. It happens because the airway is closing so it falls into the scary category but the good thing about stridor + croup is that the swelling is all pretty upper and as soon as you get them out into the cool night air (as you do on the way to the hospital) they tend to start feeling better.

    We still had to take him in to get steroids, though, to help with the swelling and we decided to split so I took Cal in and Kyle stayed home with sleeping Eva. Part of that decision was because Kyle was working the next day and it was the middle of the night, but ultimately it didn’t matter because he stayed up until we got back. Looking back, it would have been better if he went because I had sort of forgotten about the baby. The other baby. The still-internal baby.

    We had to wait in the ER for a bit and Calvin was bundled in a blanket and pajamas, shoeless because it was 2 AM and I didn’t think about. I was standing holding him because every time we go to the ER and touch anything we get sick and I didn’t want to bring anything home to Eva who has been having her own trouble with her asthma. So I’m standing, holding this not-so-light kid, and I started to cramp a little bit. I shifted and rocked and tried leaning against a wall but the cramping was non stop and pretty strong when we finally made it back into a room.

    Nothing bad happened with the pregnancy (as far as I can tell) but the cramping lasted for most of the weekend and every twinge reminded me that I had sort of put that internal kid last by not making Calvin stand up or deciding to put him on a potentially anti-Eva germy surface. Apparently mom guilt can start way before you ever meet the baby.

    I’m assuming I can handle three kids? Sometimes it seems like it won’t be a big deal and sometimes it seems absolutely impossible because I have two hands and two kids and things still get out of control. There were two parents and two kids this weekend and we still took turns tapping out to recharge because that crap is crazy when you put fevers and coughing and vomit in the mix. If you had handed us a baby this weekend, we would have had to kennel it.


    Plans for surviving life with three kids:

    1 /// Some kind of temporary holding pen or padded cell to rotate children in and out of.

    2 /// Sister wife or wives.

    3 /// We just won’t leave the house anymore or let anyone into the house so nobody gets sick ever again. Amazon delivers groceries now, right?

    4 /// iPads for everyone all the time and then some kind of rapid tablet detox recovery center the summer before college begins.

    5 /// I free range parent so hard that everyone is in charge of keeping themselves clean, finding their own nourishment, and sleeping when they need to. They’re learning independence! Don’t constrict them!!

    6 /// I rent the kids out to a local nursing center for people whose grandkids never visit. It’s the perfect arrangement, actually, since my kids do best in a hospital-like setting.

    7 /// Kyle stays home and I go back to being an attorney.

    8 /// Kyle stays home and I flip burgers.

    9 /// Kyle stays home and I stay home and we send the children out to flip burgers.

    10 /// I consume all the coffee, admit defeat in the battle of the clean house, and enjoy the next decade of snuggling with snotty sweaty kids.

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