Monday, July 20, 2009

Adventures in Motherhood

I have a childhood memory that involves waking up in the middle of the night and puking. I remember my mother rousing my older sister to strip my bed to wash the bedding. She then put me in the bathtub. As she vigorously washed my hair I recall her muttering "I'm going to KILL David when he gets home."

Years later when I shared this recollection with my mom she said that she remembered the incident. Apparently half the house was sick, there was a young baby, and my dad had abandoned my mother to go camping or hunting or something.

This memory came back vividly today as I had my own mommy challenge to cope with.

It began with James' explosive diaper leaking all over my bed, soaking through the sheets and mattress pad. No biggie. That happens.

Then Jenny discovered how to crawl up onto the counter and got into some peanut butter. Heretofore things on the counter top have been safe from her, but alas no longer. Jenny comes into the living room where I'm nursing James to show me her prize, and being a toddler, promptly begins to rub it in her eyes.

Jenny happens to be allergic to peanuts, so immediately I whip into action. I have to put down the nursing baby, which of course makes him scream. "Sorry James!" I tell him, but in this moment a screaming baby is less of a problem than the potential of anaphylactic shock in my toddler.

I'm trying to clean Jenny up, but she continues to rub the peanut butter into her eyes. I'm washing her hands and face, and she's crying the whole while because her face has erupted into a bad rash, and I know it's hurting her.

She refuses to take any Benadryl, and so we have a power struggle about that. All the while I'm listening closely to her breathing to make sure her airway isn't swelling shut. She finally calms down and takes her medicine, and though her face is red and puffy, her breathing is fine and she seems to be okay. Into the bathtub we go.

By now James has quieted down and only whimpers occasionally. I decide not to disturb him and he drifts off to sleep in his swing, thank heavens, as I bathe Jenny. Soon she tells me her tummy hurts.

"That's because you're hungry sweetheart" I tell her, assuming it's hunger since she's hardly eaten anything in days. "Do you want some food?"

"No. All done bath."

I get her out and she proceeds to puke all over herself, me, the floor, the clean towels, and pretty much the entire bathroom, except for the toilet that I'm holding her over.

Of course that is very upsetting to her and she's crying and has bile in her mouth and nose that she can't get rid of. She allows me to wipe her up and put her back in the bathtub. More crying and needing to be held. At least the puffy face has gone away and I'm no longer worried about her allergies.

Meanwhile I'm praying that James will stay asleep.

I finally got Jenny cleaned and calmed, but by now I'm in more than a little pain from the 3rd degree laceration on my perineum. Alas, I cannot sit down because now begins the vomit and baby poop cleanup.

Thankfully Jenny is at this point happily watching Aladdin, though she refuses to put on clothes. Hopefully she won't tear off her diaper and pee on the floor next.

Then my mom and sister show up with lunch. All is restored to peace and happiness.

Fun times. My mother survived it, and I guess I will too.


Gentrey said...

Wow. Even after 4 kids, I still haven't had a day quite like that.

Also, Jame's birth story was amazing. If I didn't have to be hooked up to an antibiotic while in labor, I would totally try to do what you did. Maybe. I mean, I AM a total wimp.

We are HamakerLove! said...

You are a brick! Keep up the great work. You are amazing!

Joanne said...

Poor Maren. Ack.

Jaclyn said...

Not gonna lie, that story almost made ralph...however, I do think you've got a little gold mine in a new, possibly effective birth control method. Just tell that story!