Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is she Waving, or Drowning?

For me, the past 15 hours have been pretty hectic. Here they are:

3.25pm It is blowing a gale and pouring with rain. I drive to get Jerome, 11, from school.
3.28 Jerome is angry and sick
3.29 J. is holding his ear and moaning
3.35 We are home. J. is crying on the lounge. I get a cocktail of drugs ready. Is it legal to give codeine to a kid? Too late now.
3.45 Try to get J. to eat something. He turns his face away.
3.55 Ear drops & J's ear leads to...more Moaning
4.OO Trombone student arrives. Quickly! I must remember how to play trombone!
4.29 I write on a sticky note "Hugh has made a great imrovement since last week. Keep on practicing your tricky bits." (smiley face). I stick it on his chest for his Mom to read. Hugh smiles proudly.
4.3O Lesson ends.
4.32 I say hello to Annie, 13, our 'foster daughter' who comes over Wednesday nights. She is loud, boisterous, and she hugs a lot. I hug my son Harry, 13, who is tired from a day of coping with a broken left hand. He is left handed.
4.33 My husband gives Annie a cuddle. We talk about Stewart House, which is a special residential facility that Annie and her younger sister are going to, for 2 weeks. Annie wants to know why the school has recommended it. I gently explain to her why the school would be concerned about her and Jade.
4.43 My next student is cancelled. I heave a sigh of relief.
4.44 J. has fallen asleep on the lounge. I am shocked that he can sleep through the chaos around him.
4.45 Annie asks, "Can we do some baking today?" I say yes. We look through my recipe book. Annie chooses pancakes.
5.OO Annie finishes her usual lengthy routine of dancing around me and talking non stop. I check my blog. Try to comment to let certain people know I am thinking of them.
5.3O Time to go shopping. It is raining and small branches are being blown out of the trees. Annie decides to wear her Pajama Pants to the shops. I say "It's up to you, sweetie. Doesn't bother me." We swing by the pharmacy to get antibiotic pills for Jerome. When Annie comes in the pharmacy she is as nervous as a cat. Being from a very poor family who never take their children to the doctor, much less the pharmacy, Annie has been in here once in her life, and that was to get an ice cream (!)
6.1O Jerome is awake, sort of. I coax him to take his antibiotic pill. I try to get him to eat some yogurt with it.
6.2o J. rests his chin on his hand and goes back to sleep. The cat jumps into his lap and drapes her chin over his leg. J. doesn't stir.
6.3O I throw together a dinner. Weightwatchers meals for Layne and me. Sausage rolls, pies and steamed veges for Harry and Annie. Nothing for Jerome.
Annie makes pancake batter beside me in the kitchen. I can tell she is basking in the warmth of my attention.
7.OO We eat. J. eats nothing. He sips some juice.
7.3O Annie and I cook pancakes. The other guys clean up.
7.40 Pancake feast. Annie eats doubles of everything. Layne is dieting so he has none. He looks sad.
7.45 We all sit down as a family and watch some episodes from the Wonder Years. I lean against Layne. Jerome lies on Layne. Annie sits on the floor against Layne's legs. Harry leans on me.
9.00 Layne gets out the guitar and gets ready to play & sing (it's a Wednesday night thing). Jerome is vomiting in the bathroom. Annie is lying on the floor listening to Layne.
9.30 I am rub J's back in the bathroom. Layne goes on singing. He plays Big Yellow Taxi, the theme from Wonder Years, then we share the singing on Cat Stevens 'Father and Son'.
9.45 Layne drives Annie home. I wish she could be here more often, even though she is exhausting.
10pm J. still vomiting. I anticipate it will be a long night. I make up the bed in the den, so I can sleep near him.
10.15pm Harry is crying and telling me how hard it is to have a broken hand. He wants to rip his cast off. He can't sleep because the bathroom is right opposite his room and its too noisy with all the vomiting going on. He has a test tomorrow. I say, I know it's hard. I sing him a two songs that have been his favourites ever since he was a tiny kid. These songs are my 'magic bullet' that will always calm him down. He yawns and goes to sleep.
10.30pm I watch TV with Layne, a crime documentary.
11.30pm Layne goes to bed.
11.40pm I can't sleep! I am a little bit wired, expecting J. to wake up and vomit again.
12.30 pm J. wakes up in pain with his ear. I give him pills. He vomits.
1.00 am J. is hot and cold. He goes back to sleep. I lie next to him in a space about 1 ft wide and go to sleep.
5.00am J. is awake. I get him to take 2 sips of water.
7.45am I wake up. J. is awake. His face is white but he says he feels better.
7.50am H. is awake. His face is pale and his nose is streaming with a cold. Both of them will stay home today.

I am glad I do not have to work full time, so I can easily take care of my kids when they are sick. It's a luxury I wish all moms could have.

Have a great day, friends! xxoo
(P.S. I am waving, not drowning :)


  1. ::waving back::Whew! What a day - I think I would've been drowning - made me tired reading it.

    You are a special woman - I don't know how you do it, but you do and with aplomb! I hope you are getting a nap today - along with the sick guys, poor babies.

    Take care and good thoughts you way darling! Love ya!

  2. Aw, I hope everyone feels better soon! I don't know how you do it all either!

    I would love to hear more about Annie, how that came to be and everything. You are a very kind woman, I know that much!

  3. Yikes!

    You better take this swim ring, just in case. Good luck with the new nursing career.


  4. I was going to say that if you can't give the codeine to the kid, take it yourself, but then how would you have done all that? Maybe 1/2 a pill - just enough to take the edge off.

  5. When I read what happened at 7:00, I knew exactly what you were headed for--the evening of hugging the porcelain God. Empty stomachs, codeine and antibiotics are a recipe for disaster. I hope he's feeling better, my dear. And no, it's not a crime to treat your child's pain with codeine.

    I think my full time job taxes me less than yours!

    I hope today brings a little peace and quiet for you and yours. You are a saint to reach out and mentor other children. It's good you can model the very definition of the word, mother.

    I didn't know this before working in hospice...codeine does not work for 10% of the humans who take it. Those people lack an enzyme that converts the codeine into an effective analgesic. If your little guy did not get pain relief, this may be him.

  6. LOL. Thanks you guys for your comments and sympathy! Thanks Rudee for the info. I didn't know that! BTW another life lesson: If you let 2 kids stay home and one is vomiting, try to be sure the other kid is NOT a sympathy vomiter. Or, make sure you have ear muffs ready.
    36 hours later, J. has finally eaten Weetbix and gone to school. I am going to post a pis of myself attempting NOT to look shattered...

  7. oh you poor darling! i am so sorry...

    hugs, bee

  8. three words. You. Are. Amazing. What a woman! I admire your strength and hope to be as strong and caring and patient as you one day. I really do. Thanks for sharing and I hope everyone gets better REAL soon.

  9. ahhhh what a day! at least there was some singing, wonder years and pancakes. those are always good in my book :)