...wednesday was a good one. We drove up to Baltimore for Clara's 18-month checkup. We had Starbucks, Clara's appointment (where we learned that she is tall...94th percentile tall!), Target, and Chick Fil A. The kids were happy, patient, kind to each other. The sun was shining.
Thursday was back to school for both kids and me, back to our normal routine. That night as we were putting Clara and Charlie into the tub, Clara started to fuss a little as I took her top off. And then she froze.
If you have met Clara in person, you know she doesn't freeze much.
Something was wrong. I put her in the tub to see if the water on her feet would startle her. Nothing. I handed her to Ken to see if she would react. Nothing. I ran for the phone to call 911 and as I was explaining what was happening, I saw her eyes roll into the back of her head, her lips start to turn blue.
God bless that person on the other end of the line and may I never hear a recording of that call.
Ken laid her on her back and swept her mouth to make sure there wasn't anything in there (per the 911 operator). At one point, what seemed like hours later but was really only minutes, she starting coughing and then she was back. I spent the rest of the 911 call trying to explain where we lived to the operator, even after he assured me they would find us.
And that they did. Six ambulances and 12 EMTs, to be exact. Our town's volunteers showed up first, followed by 10 more. It was humbling and made me love this town more than I thought possible. Any thoughts about what I can do to thank them?
No one was panicked (except Charlie, maybe a little, as Ken tried to comfort him). They did a quick exam and by then I had already diagnosed her. Febrile seizure. I had them as a baby, and I knew they were hereditary.
We made the trip to the hospital in the back of the ambulance. The only thing that would comfort Clara was watching videos on my phone of 1) Charlie and 2) Maddie (I later - in an extreme moment of weakness - told Ken that we should get her a puppy. Ha).
A high-dose of motrin, some gatorade, a little nap, and a negative flu test later, she was fine (and all like, "Hey! Being up at 10 p.m. is COOL!)
She is OK. It is a bad virus. And Charlie has croup. And mom and dad are tired. But we are OK. We know what to look for now and how to react if it happens again. And no, we aren't getting a puppy.
...I know a lot of moms feel this way after they have kids.
Parts of them, who they were, or who they thought they were, start to
disappear. I had one of those days this week. It was pouring rain; I had two
kids to drag in and out of the car multiple times. The car needed gas during a
small monsoon. I needed to miraculously get home, drop the kids off with a
babysitter, and make it to a meeting that was 45 minutes away in approximately
20 minutes. Everyone was tired. I thought about the days...before. I can’t even
remember what I did with my free time, sometimes I can’t remember who I used to
be. I know I had the memory at some point, but it’s like trying to find a file
that was erased from my hard drive years ago.
And then, just like that, it was bedtime. I gave Clara a
bottle, and after nuzzling in my neck for a moment, she slowly, quietly pushed
back, smiled ear-to-ear, ripped out her binky and screamed, “Momma!” Then I
went to Charlie’s room, where he slowly, quietly, read me Little Blue Truck. I
came downstairs and surveyed the day’s mess. The trains that met my feet with
every step. The random lego, golf ball, and hmm, I hope that’s a straw, under
the bookcase. The new scratches on my kitchen table, my new wood floors. The
questionable stains. And dear lord the crumbs. The crumbs.
And trust me, I hate it when people tell me to appreciate
this time just as much as this guy does (I know I'm not the only one who said a quiet, "amen," when they read, "There are people who say this to me: 'You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!' I usually smile and give some sort of
guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a
minute or so. Just until they panic a little.") Just until they panic. A little.
But, that night, I realized that some
day there will be no one to put to bed. There will be no trains and no cries in
the middle of the night. No backs to rub, no binkies to search for. There will be no one to dance to Twinkle, Twinkle
Little Star with. Suddenly, I became sentimental about sticky fingerprints.
There will be no Hansel and Gretel trail up the stairs at
There will be no one to stick an, “M” sticker to my butt,
which I walk around the better part of the day with, completely unaware.
But I digress.
I don’t just feel like I have disappeared from my every day
life, but also from my scrapbooks. And I’m OK with that. I’m all for guilt-free
scrapbooking, as in, you do what you can and that has to be good enough. So
when I was asked to participate in Lexi Bridges’ This is Me class at Studio
Calico, I really wondered if it was something I should do. Then I realized it
wasn’t something I should do, it was something I needed to do. Because one day,
some day, my kids might want to know more than just what they were like when
they were little. They might want to know what I was like too. It’s important
to remember them, but it’s also important to remember me too.
I used to scrapbook about myself, about us (when that was just two adults and a dog) all the time.
And I’m really, really going to try to keep this up (a few little sneaks from my album for the class):
The class is going to be great. Join us if you can, that is
if you aren’t too busy having someone embellish your butt with alpha stickers.
...it kind of dawned on me a few days ago that Clara's hair was probably long enough for ponytails.
I'm a little rusty. She's a lot wiggly.
They looked like little side buns but nope, that's just the curl.
Ken and I were saying how there's something about a baby's bare neck...it's like a vulnerability, of some sort, that I still even feel when I see Charlie from the back. It makes me want to protect them with all that I have.
...Charlie loves his room. When he's in charge of the house tour (which he often is), he will insist (pretty abruptly) that the first place you need to go is "Charlie's Room." (Don't tell him I didn't start this tour with his room).
His bed is BIG. He transitioned into it with no problem whatsoever, which means that Clara probably won't transition into a big girl bed until she goes to college.
The wooden toys on Charlie's windowsill and bookshelf are both new to him and family toys. (Given to my brother from my Pop Pop Charlie).
The wall o' art is my favorite thing, hands-down, in the room. I love that Charlie thinks the little boy playing with the trains on the left bottom is him.
(All the artwork is listed over there on the left of my blog).
...Charlie's speech pathologist describes the feeling when your second child starts reaching "normal" speech milestones as, "bittersweet."
And it's true.
Clara did things earlier, that as a second-time-around-mom, I realized Charlie never did (blow raspberries, sleep with her mouth closed, etc.)
You realize, in a sad way, sometimes, how much you missed with your first baby, the one who tries so hard for every single word that comes out of his mouth.
She goes to school with me two full days a week and the first thing she learned in her "classroom," was, "No, mine!"
Ken and I stifle a laugh every time she says it, especially when she holds whatever it is she is claiming as her own to her chest, like taking it from her means life or death.
Her teacher was very apologetic.
She explained that there's a little girl who is a bit older who says it a lot and Clara probably picked it up from her. I told her not to apologize, that this is just different for us from Charlie, who at Clara's age had no words. He very well might have been thinking in his head, "No, mine!" but he never vocalized it. It's just something we have to get used to....words...whether we want them or not.
Both Gamma and Maddie Dog are visiting. (Or, "Mad Dog" as Charlie calls her). Here's a little peak into her and Clara's relationship: