For the three long days and short interrupted nights that my sick son needed me, I was not really all that tired. I took some short naps, but mostly I was on ultra focus, watching, waiting, praying, and paying attention to every everything that nurses or doctors said or that Boy two did. They said he didn’t have a fever, I felt him and had them take it again. Second reading confirmed a definite fever. After the surgery, he had some kind of mild allergic reaction. His face went very red with white raccoon markings around his mouth and nose and eyebrows. He was very hot to the touch. Well, no fever, the night nurse said. Could you take it again, I asked. Still no fever, she said triumphant. Touch him please, I said. With her hand on his head, there was no argument. He was one hot little boy. I wiped him with a cool cloth and melted ice cubes on his face, she got him some medicine, and in an hour he was resting more peacefully without all the red hot glowing.
We arrived home to unmowed lawn and unmopped floors. It seemed like heaven. An hour at most (with bucket) away from perfect. The first afternoon, I noted the other children were a bit testy. To be expected, I smiled. No frazzlement here. Later it was obvious the husband was out of sorts. Interrupted routine and processing constant foreign stimulus (like covering for me) makes him crazy after awhile but I felt almost affectionate observing it. Hugs and smiles all around. I went to bed that night wondering if maybe the tired would never hit.
I awoke to a horrible house, an unbearable lawn, an inexcusably cranky husband, and three uncooperative children who should know better. The only one without blemish was Boy two, resting on soft chairs, walking slightly bent and slowly to get from place to place. But the most frustrating thing about my current life . . . lived so far from the ladders and loops that used to make up my days . . . is that there are so many fewer things to decide to quit when things are rotten. The best I could do was to tell my husband that I was never typing another word. In fact, I was selling my computer. As usual, he was unphased.
I said my prayers, went to bed, and in the morning, I got my hair cut. I found a picture of Maggie Gyllenhaal with approximately the hair I wanted. It said, “Maggie in a bold pixie cut.” The bold settled it.
The house and family seem ok again. I now have a new three step treatment plan to suggest to myself for future melt downs: say prayers, go to bed, get hair cut.