Saturday, September 1, 2012

Change of Plans

I'm not talking about the big things that change when you have kids.  You'd have to be in serious denial or exceptionally naive to think that your life stays the same.  I'm also not suggesting you also should plan to lose yourself completely.  You become a little more parents and a little less you of course, and the focus of your life does change, whether you think you prepared for it or not.  But this post isn't about that. 

This post is about the moments where you have to say "oh well" and move on to what the kids need, whether you want to or not.  Not because they are in charge or rule the house, but because it's the right thing to do.

I've already touched on this phenomenon in a couple of other posts, like the household takeover and my career path.  But this one follows more along the lines of a mundane day where nothing goes as you've planned.

Adam and I have had a stressful couple of weeks with some work we had done to the exterior of the house, refinancing the house (where absolutely every snag that can be hit has been hit), and some big job stress for him.  He took off this past Thursday and Friday, with the intention of making it a 5 day holiday weekend to play golf.  We carved out a couple of specific times to hang out as a family, but primarily he wanted to play golf, and I am totally fine with that.  A less stressed Adam is a happier Adam.  I planned on taking the girls to the pool in the afternoons, since Monday is the last day the pool is open, and Madison is FINALLY not scared of the water!  He can meet us there after his round and help me out while we enjoy the pool.

We DID know that my sister was probably going to have her baby this weekend, so he planned on being a little flexible with his tee times to allow me to visit her and my first niece in the hospital.  No problem.  Unfortunately the girls had other plans.

It started when Madison came down with what we think was a mild case of hand/foot/mouth on Wednesday afternoon.  She's had it before, so we recognized the symptoms.  Instead of having a normal day on Thursday and going to the pool, we laid low around the house.  Adam did manage to get out to golf.  Over dinner, we decided we'd play Friday morning (one of our designated "family times") by ear.

Madison wasn't feverish but was pretty cranky of Friday morning, so we decided to stay home.  I exchanged some texts with my sister over breakfast, and was pretty sure the baby would be born in the next day or so (although I had NO idea how quickly!).  Adam asked several times if I minded him going that day, since he knew Madison was still cranky.  But I reminded him that I'd probably be leaving him with the girls one of the next two days to visit the baby and I wanted to make sure he got his relaxation time in.  I did sneak out to grocery shop and he mentioned that Reagan was clingy and fussy.  But he doesn't often have her alone, so we chalked it up to that, and teething, which I feel like she's been dealing with for months.  As he headed out the door around lunchtime, he asked AGAIN if I minded, and I assured him I didn't.

I sent Janine another text as soon as the girls were asleep and was shocked to learn that she'd already had her baby in VERY dramatic fashion (talk about change of plans!).  When Adam got home that night with a fresh tee time for the next day I told him I planned on heading to the hospital the following morning.  After some talk during dinner, we decided that I would bring the girls to his parents' house instead of leaving them home with Adam.  It was on the way to the hospital, assured me that I wouldn't have to rush OR be away from my nursing baby too long, and allowed them to see their granddaughters.  Madison seemed better, so I could pick them up, have them nap in the car on the way home, and we would meet him at the pool later that afternoon.  Madison was excited to see Grandma and Grandpa, and we planned out the timing and what we needed to do to prepare for our day. 

Then plans changed.

At Reagan's 3:00 am wakeup, I thought she felt warm.  She'd gone to bed early the previous night, but seemed happy, and just tired.  At 3:00 she was acting fine, but she just felt HOT.  Now for reasons unknown, although I'm sure it made sense when we decided it, we had turned off the a/c Thursday night and kept it off throughout the 95 degree Friday, and the house was hot.  I chalked it up to that.  Oh, and, um, my own stupidity about how to work a thermometer (hint: turn it on).  She ate and went back to sleep.  At 7:00 when Adam got up with her this morning he mentioned she felt warm.  Reagan runs hot, and I thought I'd already taken her temp, so I said she was fine, but to humor him, I took it again.  103.2.  Whoops.

Clearly, I was not leaving one newly sick and one recovering child with my mother in the law.  And naturally, this fever spiked up at the very beginning of the holiday weekend, so I wanted to get her checked out.  So instead of heading off to visit new babies, see grandparents and play golf, we had to change our plans.  I headed off to the pediatrician with Reagan, and Adam took Madison out.

Since the pediatrician assured me that Reagan just had a virus, and Madison seemed better we adjusted our plans.  Adam stayed home while I did a quick trip to see my sister and the baby.  But it was a "nobody wins" situation.  I rushed my visit more than I'd have liked to.  Adam didn't golf.  Reagan felt lousy and didn't have her mommy.  And Madison played inside at home instead of seeing her grandparents and swimming.  We decided that with TWO sick girls we needed to spend the rest of the weekend staying home and low key, so we canceled a Labor Day cookout with my parents on Monday, which was disappointing as well.

Were we happy?  Maybe not.  But it is what it is.  When you have kids, you need to be prepared to change your plans as necessary and put their needs in front of your own wants, even if it means disappointing friends, parents, grandparents, yourself.  Could we have pressed on with our plans?  Sure.  But it wasn't the right choice.  One of the main mommy lessons I've learned is that flexibility is key.

And little Katie Elizabeth, 36 hours old, has already taught her parents that with her drama filled delivery that didn't follow a single one of their expectations.  I'm sure she'll be hard at work transforming Janine into Mommy before long.

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