Wishful Thinking

I didn’t know he had it in him. I never thought he could do what he did, but he did it. Well. This week I was sick. Well, three of us were, anyway, one at a time. First Rose got it – stomach bug – I’ll spare you the details of cleaning it up, but it started at 5 a.m. and continued through the day. Next day, gone. Two days later, Matt got it – same thing, misery for twenty-four hours, next day, gone. Two days later, I got it. Woke at 4 a.m. with the “brick” in my stomach that Matt warned about. In the morning, I told him I had it.

“Want me to stay home?” he asked.

“Let me get up,” I said. I rolled over and as soon as I got vertical, ugh, “Yes, I think you should,” I said.

Then Matt went into motion. He got up, got the kids changed and fed, ready for school and babysitting, and almost out the door before I heard yelling. “GET YOUR SHOW AND TELL NOW! I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY! YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT BEFORE! NOW GET YOUR SOCKS AND SHOES ON! GET YOUR SOCKS AND SHOES ON! GET! YOUR! SHOES! ON!”

There was a lot of yelling but I can’t say it was much different than my morning routine with Rose. She has to get her show and tell last minute and she’ll play with it when she’s supposed to be putting her shoes on. I yell at her too. It’s my fault, really. I need to structure her morning so these things run smoother. I vowed to get her to put socks on when she gets dressed and get her show and tell at the same time. I went back to sleep.

I got up about ten. Matt told me he and Rose had a talk in the car about listening and she, very sincerely, said she was sorry about not getting her socks and shoes on, and she’d do better. It was nice to hear things weren’t as tense in the car. What amazed me, though, is that Matt remembered how to get to the school by himself – he’d only been there once, and he doesn’t do much driving around home – and he got to the babysitter’s too, without calling me. I know Rose could have guided him to school but Christian, although he’s saying “Hi” and “Bye,” could never have gotten him to the babysitter’s house.

So Matt peacefully worked from home while I waited to yak. Once that was over, my stomach felt better, but all of my joints ached and my head was killing me. I went back to bed, but couldn’t sleep. Came out and watched a movie Matt had recorded for me.

Then, when it was time to pick up the kids, Matt got out on time, and he got back and nobody was crying. Unbelievable! He sent both of them to their naps and we had peace again, while I finished my movie.

I went back to bed when they got up but I was worried. Either I fell asleep right away or there was no yelling but Matt seemed to handle them all right. I got up at dinnertime and he had the kids eating tacos at the table and talking to Grandma on the phone. I had some rice. I still wasn’t up to handling the kids, but I hung out until 8:00 and went back to bed.

I can’t believe how well Matt did. The last time I’d seen him with the kids all day, I was there and he still had a huge blow-up by 1 p.m. Every time this happened, I’d think, wishfully, How could I go on a book tour? I know, I don’t have a book out yet, but I am close enough to dream about it. I could never go on one of these “girls’ weekends” I’ve heard so much about, I’d think. I could never visit my BFF in New York.

But now, a whole world of possibilities had opened up for me. Oddly enough, my BFF had called the night I got sick, in a crisis situation – just the kind I’d want to fly back for. Maybe Matt COULD handle the kids for a few days. Maybe I COULD go on that book tour. And then I heard “GET IN YOUR ROOM NOW! I DON’T EVEN WANT TO SEE YOU RIGHT NOW!” coming from the living room, and I thought, Naaaaah!