We've had a vendor in at work this week installing a bunch of upgrades, which always makes for an intense week, and one in which I cannot take any time off. So of course Petunia started getting a fever on Wednesday. She had been so looking forward to her class Valentine's party (and her fever wasn't technically high enough to require day care to send her home, and she has a history of non-contagious fevers), so day care worked with us to make sure she could go to the party. Our day care is awesome like that. Mr. Snarky had to go get her and take her home not long after it was over, though. Luckily, my parents were already on their way over for the weekend. They'll be watching the kids tomorrow, and also while Mr. Snarky and I escape for a couple of nights of uninterrupted sleep, dinners with adult beverages and adult conversation, and some exploration of an area of SoCal we haven't seen before.
I was struck by how crushed I was for Petunia when I thought she might not be able to take the cookies she'd picked out for her class party in to day care on Thursday. She'd been talking about doing that ever since we bought the cookies on our way home on Monday. Rationally, I knew it would be no big deal. We'd send the cookies some other day, and she'd get to share them with her friends (the key component of this experience, according to her). But it still made my heart hurt because it made her sad, and while I found that amusing, my heart still hurt.
So I was probably as happy as she was that she made it through the party on Thursday. And then I got home and saw the Valentine's card Pumpkin made at school. It has a heart on the front listing all of her family, including both sets of grandparents and both aunts. And two of my uncles who have visited relatively frequently. Names were spelled with the usual charming kindergartner spelling. And the rest of the card is in Spanish- and the first sentence is "Yo quiero a mi hermana." ("I love my sister.") The entire thing just made my heart melt.
Parenting is like that.
But I suck at writing about parenting, so lets read some posts from people who do a better job of capturing how it feels.
First up, Meagan Francis has a good post about why it is OK to look forward to the time when your kids' demands on you are a little less all-encompassing. I like this reminder: "Life holds so much living beyond the years of babies and toddlers."
Next, a post from Renegade Mothering about what it means to "become a mother." It is a very honest and raw post, and I don't think I can really explain which parts resonate with me and which don't, except to say that yes, it wasn't just that my life was turned inside out when I became a mother, it was that my entire concept of who I was had to be torn down and built back up, and I had to figure out which parts from before were essential and which I could jettison- had to jettison, even- now that I had this baby demanding so much from me. I know that the experience is not so jarring for everyone, but it was certainly jarring for me. (However, my husband's sleep patterns did change, and are still changed, although not exactly like mine, and yes, the middle of the night work falls more on me than him for a lot of complicated reasons that neither of us like and both of us wish we could change, and try to change. A full discussion of that is too much for a links post.)
Let's end on a lighthearted note, though. Scalzi is taking a break and posting some really old things to amuse us in his absence. The flaming diaper story is pretty funny, although I doubt his mother thought so at the time.
Happy weekend, everyone! I hope no one manages to reproduce the conditions that lead to flaming diapers.