Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Suck at Parenting...

It's true. I suck at parenting sick kids. Normal mothers fawn over their sweet, ruddy faced child, whereas I'm more worried about containing the infection. I admit to slapping "contaminated" cups out of my healthy children's hands, and diving across furniture to cover a coughing mouth, and yes I have even been heard screaming "Do YOU want to get SICK?!" Ultimately, I come off looking like a rabid Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible - karate chopping cups, diving over furniture, screaming in slow mode ...

Truth be told, I have never confessed my dread of virus's to anyone. It's much easier letting people think I have it all figured out and that I am a parenting Guru; just call me Master Sensei! ;) But the sad reality is...illness is my Achilles heal. Yup, June Cleaver I am NOT.

Their snotty noses, raspy voices, and disgusting diarrhea poops make my first instinct one I'm not proud of. If I could - if it weren't obviously inhumane - I would treat their illness like something that had the potential to kill a million people if it ever breached the walls of my home!

Oh how I wish this were possible because the hard and fast rule of parenting a sick kid is - if one gets sick they all get sick! I have three toddlers and this translates to three times the amount of bodily fluids to clean up, not to mention three times the tears, oh and three times the paranoia...hello heart defect child lives here!.

But what if I could contain the infection..what if somehow I could prevent transmission...


To do so effectively a person would have to follow a few steps. First and foremost isolate the carrier. Put patient Zero into a room that is easily sealed off *don't forget to wear a face mask and surgical gloves* and  remember that copious amount of ingested Vitamin C can never be wrong (probably). While the child is in lockdown resting comfortably, tape up some shower curtains and leave the room immediately. Once outside the area of contamination wipe down any and all surface that may have been touched, coughed, sneezed or barfed on!

Now don't forget about the tiny prisoner patient. They will need to be fed, bathed, and generally taken care of, so make sure to have a Hazmat suit on hand; one can always ask the CDC if they have an extra one laying around, and although this may insinuate intentions of terrorism - it's totally worth it. If obtaining said suit is impossible try surgical masks or holding one's breath when entering the room.  Above all touch NOTHING. If the child needs to be touched (to take a temperature or change a diaper) then throw on another pair of surgical gloves and burn all clothing afterwards.

It may seem as though these measures are extreme but a mother's sanity must be maintained at all costs, and being sick while taking care of sick kids is a torture I would not wish upon my worst enemy - Okay that's a lie.

Once the virus has run it's course then free the child.

Of course I'm not completely insane, I understand that I cannot in Canada in good conscience do this; plus the CDC refuses to return my calls. So I guess instead I will fall back on the old standby...

I will give them warm milk (ensuring no cross contamination occurs between the sick and the healthy), I will cuddle and rock the virus laden, tiny human (while breathing shallowly and heroically attempting not to pass out from lack of oxygen), and when they've spiked a fever I will put them in lukewarm baths smelling of lavender (while secretly plotting their next saline nose injection).

Yes I know how this all sounds - but I am not a germ-a-phobe! I'm just a parent who dreads the common cold as much as a single person dreads Valentines Day.

Inevitably it will all boil down to tears, snot, and liquid medication...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love and Life

To My Loves for Valentines Day,

     Before you swept me off my feet, I was a leaf upon a trembling branch caught between seasons. I held stubbornly to the life I had always known, too afraid to look down, and oh so terrified of letting go. Soon, a sky full of color billowed around my face, as one by one, those I'd  grown up with entered a new season of their lives and left my quaking side. I did not know how to follow their lead, and faked the flight all beside me took so willingly. But in truth, I still held desperately to the tree that was yellowing my silky skin, and crumbling the tough stem of my resolve.

    Then from the west a wind began to whip around my wilted frame, breathing new life into my aching soul. You wrapped yourself around me, gently tugging, until finally I flew with you. I twirled and danced upon your confidence, free at last to explore the world around me. Graceful and lithe, we remain, forever a leaf caught in the wind. You my sweet husband, will always be my fall - a head over heals tumble that freed me from my lifeless state.

   With great anticipation I looked forward to the spring where new life would sprout and grow. The wind and I had worked as one, and the soft kisses of his breath placed me gently upon the ground. I settled in and sank beneath a piece of earth I would claim as "home". I changed completely then, from wind blown leaf to fertile soil, and soon I could feel new life pulse within me. A gorgeous and delicate flower breached the surface of the world, and at once I was anew. I would nourish you, my son, in every way I could. A life built from my own. I will always think of you Dear Gabriel, as the spring that enriched my world and introduced me to the possibility of renewal.

   The breeze gently blew around my son and I, whispering 'I love yous' and bringing relief from the relentless heat. And soon I was aware of another seedling beneath my soil, a gift from my beloved wind. She grew lovely and strong, and I was left breathless and dumbstruck by all that I had. This summer flower grew more quickly than the springs cautious bloom, developing at an alarming pace; and you little Edie, soon intertwined your roots with Gabe's, and we all grew as one. And so, my Dearest daughter, you will forever be the summer that created a garden from our little piece of nourished soil, a true and vibrant Eden.

   The winter came and I was aware of one more precious life within me. But when he began to sprout a defect within his stem stopped him from a full emergence into this bright and wonderful world. Before I could stop the change, my soil began to freeze and all nourishment from my ice encapsulated heart just stopped. Winter was upon me, and he was not at all what I was promised. I felt that I was once more, a leaf wilting on the branch, scared and frightened from all that was unknown.

    But within me a courage I had never met revealed a heart not dead from fear, but only in hibernation - a defence to the cruelty of nature. Beneath that frozen soil I discovered that my heart was not glacial, but instead beat so ferociously that the ice surrounding it, melted faster than it accumulated. And so my precious Preston, you will forever be the winter that taught me nourishment is not enough, a strong and ferocious heart is also needed.

You are all the seasons of my life, and I will nourish you for as long as my beating heart will allow. And when it's time I will float above the earth once more, dancing upon the clouds, no longer afraid to let go, for love was my life, and my life was lived.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This House

I shake my fist at the heritage artifice that is my home; often times cursing its poor construction and my naivety at being a first time home buyer. Against our better judgement, spurred on by excitement and the ultimate sign of independence, we waived the option for inspection. It was a brand new development surely it was built properly. It wasn’t.
Now I find that I fantasize about leaving this place and purchasing some land with a farm house nestled in its center. I live there most days, on this fantasy farm, picking fresh fruit and calling to my giggling children...

but something unexpected happened...

I choked up.

I fought back tears when my husband suggested we might have to go sooner than I was prepared for. Leave? But we only just got here. It seemed like we just moved in.

He apologized.

I chastised myself because its not his choice. When it's time to go – there is no debate. RCMP members are moved as often as every three years to reduce the chances of corruption and ensure impartiality. It doesn’t make leaving any easier, though. I tried to shake it off. Home is where the heart is. My heart is with them; with my sweet, beautiful, loving kids and him the husband.

But a part of me revolted against the reality. Leave my home? What about the measurements on the wall and the hardwood floor thats seen so many firsts, and we can't leave the bath I laboured in, or the yard they play in...

This house - It's only three years old, and I have lived here its entire life. A lifetime that has been spent standing tall during some of our family's most awe inspiring moments, and sheltering us during some of the worst trials we've ever endured.

It's a stubborn little house, a house with personality. And somewhere along the line this heritage artifice etched a place into my stone heart, cracked my hard facade and safely encased a million memories.

These walls, they whisper to me, they tell our story and if we leave it...will I somehow forget it all? So many events, so many beautiful, gut wrenching moments, so much life. How can I step away from that so easily?

It would seem I can't...

And so I have come to the only conclusion I can draw. I love this place. I love it despite its problems. I love it because it's more than a poorly constructed house, somewhere along the line it became a part of the family. And I heart is here too, between these walls, drumming a percussive beat that flashes through memories and moments in a blink of an eye. A beat that simply says...

love them, love them, love them

I'm linking up with YeahWrite this week (June 11, 2012) with one of my favourite posts from this year.

read to be read at