the glamour of motherhood

Today has not gone as planned, but it is not today’s fault–it’s yesterday’s.

Yesterday, we accepted an invitation from a neighbor to go to a birthday party that was going to be at a local restaurant. Here, folks are completely fine taking their little ones and dropping them off, but we haven’t reached that level of comfort yet, so we stayed to offer parental guidance to our kids who are seven and under. We arrived on time, which is about twenty minutes early here and have decided it might be time to start being technically late, but really on time, though it goes against every polite bone in my body.

The party itself was normal: loud, chaotic and full of sugar. Two of our children were actually licking cake off of table tops–which probably contributed to today. The kids put their hands on every surface they could and despite my best efforts to make frequent use of my trusty bottle of anti-bacterial gel, today one has a fever and another came into our room this morning with her eyes sealed shut: pinkeye. And she’s the one that’s the absolute worst to have this because  she touches her eyes constantly. I have washed my hands fifty times and it’s only two in the afternoon. Ugh.

So today I got up at 5:30 am and since then we have watched five movies. Or at least the kids have. My job has been to keep the three-year old still so she doesn’t pass around her germs. Thus far I have endured a Barbie movie, Rudolph, Frog and Toad, Veggies, and the Justice League. It’s a bit problematic having a girl and boy sick at the same time–compromise is key in movie selection, but I must say Barbie was as tough for me to watch as it was my son.

What’s also a bit tough, and I know many moms will agree with me on this, is being left behind. Why does it always seem like kids get sick when there’s something planned that would be the least bit of fun to do? Like today–church then lunch with friends. Daddy gets to go ahead (because he can drive here and I refuse to) and takes the healthy child with him. But mom stays home. I’m not bitter about this, it’s just a reality in the world of motherhood. It is probably also a reality that the healthy child will return from Sunday school with some other type of malaise to add to our mix. If you’ve been around church nurseries you know it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

And while I’m bummed I couldn’t go to a new place to eat in the city with friends, I have to say I wouldn’t have it any other way. Babies need their mommies when they are sick if it is at all possible. So I’ll eat my Ramen noodles and continue to wipe out goopy eyes and take underarm temperatures.

I think it might be prudent to pretend to be sick myself the next time we get invited to a birthday party.

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