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Kiss My White (After Labor Day) Ass!

Because I like white pants all year round. I don't think they should be worn with white shoes (which are icky any way unless they are ballet blats) after labor day (or ever, for that matter!) but white can be winterized and looks great in the cooler months. Of course I am not suggesting white capris and sandals in the middle of December (unless you live in Palm Beach or Bermuda) but I love long white jeans and long black cashmere sweaters and boots... I love white jeans with chocolate colored and charcoal colored sweaters. I just love white jeans... and I refuse to pack them away!

I'm still home nursing sick children. There has been some member of this family home sick since September the 6th. I succumbed over the weekend and Rebecca woke up feverish yesterday morning after complaining all day on Sunday. (Truth be told, I am never sure as to whether to believe her dramatics or not. The proof was in the fever.) My Monday took a turn for the worst on that note. But seriously, I am coming to accept that this will most likely be a long winter with lots of missed school days and missed freedom. (Mine!) There's always next year, right?!

It amazes me just how much we have to suck up as Mothers. But I think I have to suck up more than my mother did. Not trying to start the whole Working Mother Versus Staying at Home Mother Debate. Not at all because each family is unique. I'm talking from what I know and what I have experienced.

I grew up with a working and very successful mother (who always put her whites away after Labor Day and still does and is appalled by the fact that I do not!) who did not have to worry about day care. We had live-in Nannies from France. I attended a French school and so it seemed fitting that I had French in the home. My Nannies were wonderful and I adored them all and feel very lucky to have had these wonderful people in my life. We still, in fact, keep in touch with a couple of them who now have grown children of their own. I'm getting a bit off track here...

Because my mother never had to worry about my care, for the most part her life could go on as needed, no matter whether I was ill or not. I had care in my own home. Of course she would take me to Doctors appointments and all that jazz, but she never had to stay home with me. I was in excellent care and she knew it.

I do not have full time care. I have part time (evenings when available) wonderful care. I love my sitter dearly, but I cannot rely on her around the clock. She has a job and a life and I would never dream of exposing a sitter, who was not full time, to a house filled with sick children. So here is just one of my many sacrifices. I'm complaining, but only minimally! Of course I want to be the one who is with my children when they need me, but it does not diminish the fact that I also want to be out and about and enjoying a little bit of my freedom. Some mothers are all about their kids. Some mothers lose sight of themselves by simply being all about their kids. But I have many other interests and they are all about me. I don't think it makes me a worse mother. Sometimes it makes me a better mother. I need to get out of the house. I don't think it makes me a worse mother. In fact, getting out of the house definitely makes me a better mother.

I have been denied much of my much-needed freedom. Perhaps it stems from my being an only child, perhaps it stems from being a wee bit of a free spirit, but I need my freedom to thrive and be a better person none the less. It was a long and un-free summer. Which has turned into a longer un-freer summer. So excuse me if as of late my posts seem bitchy or whiny or spoiled or bratty. But so much of what makes me, me, has been denied.

I spent all of my Twenties worrying and caring about Me. And as soon as I hit Thirty that all changed. And now I have given wholly of myself to my children for over 10 years without getting much back. I'm not saying parenting is not rewarding by any means, but again the parent side is just one side of me. As a parent I am fulfilled completely. As a person I need and desire so much more.

I had a hard weekend. This is not meant for anyone to take pity on me. After taking care of sick children and getting back into the grind of life with well children for a week I finally succumbed to this nasty bug. Though, because I am a mother, could not surrender myself wholly. I lied down when I could and napped and rested when I could. But I had children who would not leave me alone. And a husband who, well, just doesn't get it. As so many fathers don't. So as I fought the fevers and shakes and chills I had to smile and pretend that all was not as bad as it seemed. I had to muddle through and entertain and play and discipline. And now a bit of a whine. It really is totally unfair that Mothers are just not allowed to be sick. It sucks. It bites and yes, woe is me.

But I am over that now. I must move on. On Sunday night Rebecca claimed she was not feeling well. It's hard with her to tell what is and what is not. I live with The Little Girl That Cries Wolf. I gave her some Tylenol and said a prayer before bed. But deep down I knew. And so I was not in the least bit surprised when I woke up on Monday morning, and she told me all glassy eyes that she didn't feel well. Fuck, fuck, fuck and double fuck.

I gave her some Motrin and felt her burning head. Here we go again. I got her what she needed and then proceeded to get the boys ready for school. Race-rush-race-rush and out the door. On the way to school my "Old Swampy" took a tumble. I must have turned too hard. Crap. I got out of the car and tried to remedy my gator. I knew what he had been through, but most likely no one else would. We got to school, deposited the kids and, finally with no more damage, the gator. I had a quick meeting. Then rushed out to find and return home with a box of Saltines and let Rebecca eat them in my bed with some gingerale. I had a half an hour to catch my breath, then went to get Alexander from school and played with him all afternoon. (Couldn't go anywhere because I do not like to leave Rebecca home for more than a short while.)

Then it was pick up time again. I went back to school to get Christopher at the end of the day. The boys wanted to stay at the playground, but Christopher's back hurt. I could tell by looking at him. Something didn't seem right. We got home at 4:30 and I was not comfortable with Christopher's situation. When his back hurts like that there are usually underlying respiratory issues. I put a call into the pediatrician and was asked if I could be there in an hour's time. So off we went. No visible signs of respiratory distress. He looked under the weather. His nodes were swollen. Diagnosis; virus. We're waiting to see if he is still fighting the other one, or if a new one is underway. HALLELUJAH!!! Fuck Fuck double triple FUCK.

At 8:00 last night I had everyone ready for bed. The downstairs was all tidy and I was ready to settle on to my bed myself. But Rebecca had been there, and where she had been was a sleeve of Saltine crumbs. Not just a crumb or two. But enough to feed an army of ants. And on the floor as well. I nearly cried. I nearly screamed. Ok, I yelled at her a little bit. Maybe a little bit more than a little bit. I stripped my bed and tossed the sheets in to the washing machine. I had no back-up set. We upgraded our Queen to a King. New bed, new mattress one set of new sheets.... and there were miles to go before I sleep...

So While the sheets washed I poured myself a glass of Chardonnay and propped the pillows against the back of the bed... because I had to... I simply had to... and then I fell asleep in my unmade bed. I was too tuckered out.

I still have Rebecca home with me. But she is fever free. I'd like to hope for all three in school tomorrow. But I won't hold my breath. And even if they are all in school, I have the parents' association meeting and our Ways and Means meeting. And when those are over I will have to pick up Alexander.

Beggars can't be choosers. And I ought to be grateful for every second I get out of the house... and I am... but because of all of this I definitely think that my ass is entitled to wear white after labor day!

Now... Rebecca's driving me insane... so I have this crazy little idea... I'm thinking of taking her with me to see Julie & Julia. There's a showing in an hour and a half... but maybe... just maybe this is what the doctor would order... I'll bring my cell phone in case there is a call from school.

Tales from the Bedside...

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