At eleven p.m. on Sunday night, I was the only one in the house awake. Maybe I was only half awake, but when the screams started from Julianna’s room, I was out of bed and down the hall before she drew her first breath, hoping against hope to get her calmed down before she woke her roommate.
No such luck. I flew past Michael, standing in his crib and wailing, and gathered his big sister into my arms. “Shh, honey, it’s okay,” I said, assuming she’d had a nightmare or heard a firework or a fire engine siren. She didn’t stop screaming, and underneath the noise I heard a rumble from her midsection. I realized instantly what was coming. I scooped her up and ran for the bathroom. And Michael? Michael saw me ignore his wailing and LEAVE THE ROOM. You can imagine the outcry that followed!
We made it–she fought me as I tried to hold her hair back and get her to target the toilet instead of the floor. And all the while, Michael continued screaming. I was standing there thinking, There is NO WAY Christian is sleeping through this. Finally I yelled, “CHRISTIAN! A LITTLE HELP, PLEASE!” And just at that moment I heard his soothing voice and realized he was already in the room with Michael. Michael, who was, if anything, even more upset that the wrong parent had come to comfort him.
I will spare you the details of my half of the job (you can thank me with zucchini bread and book sales, 😉 ). I did the worst of the dirty work and then washed my hands and went to trade kids with my husband. At that point, Michael had just calmed down. But he still launched himself into my arms. I laid down with him chest to chest for a few minutes while Christian put Julianna in bed. I do like the feel of baby…oh, well, all right, he’s a toddler now, I have to admit it…against me. His poor heart was pounding. When it calmed down I rolled out of bed and put him back in his crib.
Due to that little drama, Julianna stayed home from school yesterday. And I spent a good portion of the day watching her anxiously and trying to make sure she got hydrated and got a bit of food in her. It took me most of the morning to write yesterday’s epic blog post, and I got very little done all day other than snuggle Julianna and clear out some minor jobs I’ve been procrastinating for lack of opportunity. (Call the dentist. Respond to that program survey.)
She perked up considerably after dinner and some chicken noodle soup, so I’m crossing my fingers for a back-to-school day today, so I can return to normal programming. Which brings me to another point:
I want your help. I want to do a fiction prompt this week for the Write On Edge people, who have asked us to be inspired by two of the most enchanting words I know: gossamer and affinity. But for some reason, I always do better with a third parameter; it seems to pinpoint a structure for the other two. So throw some ideas at me. A concept, a relationship, a place, a scenario–my poor brain is shot after the revolving bugs we’ve been fighting since school started again. I need your help!