Friday, December 28, 2007

It Is What It Is

I've been thinking about this post for several days now, as I read other people's stories of Christmas with their kids. We had a big first Christmas planned for Pumpkin, too. My parents were going to drive over with my grandparents. We were going to buy a nice ham, and dress Pumpkin in a new Christmas outfit made by Grandma. It was going to be a traditional Christmas with a big family get together.

And then Pumpkin threw up on the way home from daycare two weeks ago Thursday. This was the first time she'd really thrown up, and it was not fun for anyone involved. I'll spare you the details, and just say that it is a good thing that the fabric part of the car seat comes off and can be washed.

Pumpkin threw up again in the middle of the night, but it was more an immediate expulsion of the milk she'd just drunk than a "real" vomiting episode. She got diarrhea. She was definitely sick. We started sanitizing our hands AND washing them after diaper changes. However, she seemed perfectly happy and wasn't having frequent episodes of diarrhea, so we went out Christmas shopping on Saturday. She didn't throw up anymore, so we allowed ourselves to believe it was just a quick bug, and she was on the mend and would be able to go to day care on Monday. We both felt crappy, but we put that down to our lack of sleep, and in my case, to the fact that Pumpkin wouldn't touch solid food, so all her calories were again coming from me.

And then Pumpkin threw up again on Sunday. And her daddy woke up Monday feeling sick. So we all stayed home on Monday. Hubby and I tried to do some work, and we took turns entertaining Pumpkin, who still seemed happy. She seemed to be on the mend. We thought we'd back at work by Wednesday.

And then Pumpkin threw up again on Tuesday. We admitted we were beat, and called for reinforcements. My Mom agreed to fly over and help us out. My Dad would drive over later with my Grandparents.

And then my Mom got the stomach bug.

My grandparents decided not to risk coming into our sick house. Christmas was... well, not off. But delayed. My Dad would have Christmas with my grandparents, and then drive over on Thursday. My Mom, my sister, Hubby, Pumpkin , and I would have a very different sort of Christmas by ourselves.

I'll admit that I struggled a bit with this. It was Pumpkin's first Christmas! This is NOT how it was supposed to be. But this is how it was going to be, and there was nothing I could do but accept it. Pumpkin wouldn't know anything was "wrong"- she's too young to really understand what is going on with this Christmas thing, anyway.

It is what it is, I told myself, and we started making new plans. I dressed Pumpkin in her Christmas Eve outfit for Christmas. We let her open a few gifts, but saved the majority for our new Christmas Day, which is tomorrow. We took a walk by the bay. We ate a stir fry for dinner, and my sister made an excellent sticky toffee pudding for dessert. We'll dress Pumpkin in her new Christmas dress and have our traditional ham dinner tomorrow. We took pictures on the "real" Christmas, and we'll take more tomorrow. They'll all be of Pumpkin's first Christmas.

Maybe this parenting gig has finally taught me a little bit of the Zen attitude I've been trying to learn. I thought I might learn it on our big trip. We were going to backpack around Thailand, after all. Isn't that supposed to be transformative? Well, it was, but I still hadn't learned to be as Zen as Hubby was when things inevitably didn't go quite as planned (I think he was born that way). I've commented before about the Zen-teaching possibilities of babies, but I continue to try to change Pumpkin's sleeping habits (and sorry, I still can't just accept those). Although I can talk the talk, I've never before been able to walk the walk. I always struggle against the way things are, trying to make them into the way I want things to be. I definitely didn't want norovirus to come into our home and disrupt our Christmas plans. I definitely don't want to be spending several hours a night trying to sleep on a Thermarest next to Pumpkin's bouncy chair as she struggles to sleep through the symptoms of croup (which she came down with on the "real" Christmas day- the poor baby can't catch a break). But it is what it is. I have to take the bad with the good, and there is plenty of good associated with Pumpkin.

It is what it is, and in our house it is Christmas Eve. Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!


  1. So sorry you all got sick! That stomach bug went around my sister's family, my brother's family and my parents. The only reason we escaped it was that our Pumpkin had a cold and wasn't around the others!

    I hope you all are feeling better and enjoyed your extended Christmas!

    And what you said about being zen is so similar to what I've been thinking lately (since baby). I was thinking I'd come up with a book and title it Zen and the Art of Baby-Raising (if it doesn't already exist). I'm definitely not an expert, but I figure I'll get Moxie and her commenters to provide lots of input! haha.

  2. Hi Caramama- Check out a book called the Tao of Poop by Vivian Glyck. It isn't exactly Zen and the Art of Baby-Raising, but its close!

    Happy New Year! I'm up pumping because Pumpkin maybe, just maybe, has decided to drop one of her middle of the night feedings. Fingers crossed for a repeat tomorrow....


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