My husband, very committed to bringing home the proverbial bacon, has spent most weekends working extra hours to work off debt. In addition to this, his "regular" hours at work were a little...what's the word? Extended? Inflexible? The timing could not have been worse as this was the summer Maddie, our soon to be first grader, needed to attend a special reading program due to her "orthographic visual processing disorder." Look it up. In summary, can't read.
Most days, my husband was gone before most of us woke up. The children had to be transported between reading "camp" by 8am, regular camp right after, and work as soon as I could get there. Then, I would have to rush back to pick up Maddie at noon and deliver her to her afternoon camp, and return to work before my first patient was signed in. The afternoons were a blur. I was pick up duty, too (Ha! I said "doodie!" Oh God...).
Then there's all the routine evening stuff - clean up, dinner, clean up, preparation for the next day, clean up, chasing the children both for fun and to get them to do their piano, chores, so on, clean up, and so on. Daddy walked in the door frequently after bath, as we were snuggling in the jammies to some suspenseful Junie B Jones books. Clean up. Whoa. I think it is a form of Tourette's.
Amidst all this, the garden needed tending to (I have not lost hope that I can serve fresh veggies every night for dinner), my nemesis - the laundry - had to be done (made big strides in this category this summer as I finally labeled the outside of all the drawers so both my 6 and 8 year old's can fold and put theirs' away!), clinic notes completed, resident teaching prepared, grants written, and running schedule adhered to (because NOW seems like the perfect time to train for a half-marathon; Honestly, I'm kinda proud of myself I can squeeze it in).
After about four weeks, I started to unravel. I know, I'm surprised it took that long, too. And then one day, when I thought everything was under control, I FORGOT MY DAUGHTER. It was the Thursday of the fourth week. I only had two reading camp pick-ups left. I rounded in the nursery, saw all those cute babies, contemplated having a fourth, ate lunch, noticed I had time to eat lunch, wanted to throw up as the realization hit me, and decided I'm not qualified to have a fourth child. My poor baby was likely sitting there, by herself, without a lunch, wondering why all the other mommies & daddies had picked their children up and why was she still their?
I immediately called my husband, who was confused about why we had not worked this out that morning. "I don't know! Just go get her! I am running a conference in an hour! I can not be in two places at once!" I waited for what seemed like forever and finally "The egg is in the nest" comes through as a text. Apparently, she was playing with all the toys and had barely noticed we were late.
The background here is of utmost importance, though. Ever since Izzy, Maddie's older sister, had her near-death experience in January, Maddie has been increasingly obsessed with other members of the family suffering a similar fate. She insists on saying good-bye to us every morning in case it is the last time she sees us, you know, 'cuz we might die. If we don't wake her to see us off, she is hysterical. If we do, she just goes back to bed.
I explained this to someone very wise, at work, as I was trying to keep from dry-heaving after abandoning my child who has abandonment issues. Her response was, "So, her pathologic behavior is changing your behavior?"
Wow. It's good to talk to others. I should really get a therapist. Or maybe my co-worker can do the job...
This weekend, we took the girls to Washington DC as a last "Hurrah" before school starts. We had big plans. Paddle boating in the Tidal Basin, ice cream, going up the Washington Monument. Our plans were quickly kinked as Maddie decided she was terrified of most of these activities due to impending death and that we would not be able to do them. We decided to bite the bullet and ...