Of sickness and apologies (aka Worst mommy ever)

It wasn’t his fault—not really.  He’d only been trying to do what FatherWinter and I teach him. He was only trying to be a bit independent and handle those tasks that he was old enough to do.  It ended in a big mess, a frustrated sigh, and a lot of milk. 

Yesterday, while sitting at work, I suddenly got hit with a wave of nausea and fatigue.  It came out of nowhere and I simply was not prepared.  I felt hot and cold at the same time and I suddenly did not want to be bothered.  Like really didn't want to be bothered...



When one of my dear colleagues presented me with a ridiculously difficult task in a ridiculously short timeline, I was uncharacteristically gruff.  I didn’t mean to be, but I was and I wasn’t happy about it.  I worked the document still feeling awful until I realized that I didn’t have a choice.  I had to leave.  The family had a church leadership conference to attend that started at 7:30.  Here it was 5:30 and I’d not yet picked up Honeybee from the daycare nor prepped dinner for the meal.  So, I left, picked up my daughter, and went home.  When I walked through the door with a sleeping Honeybee, my Superbug greeted me with his cheery “Hi Mommy!”  I responded with a polite “Hi, sweetie”.  He knew something was wrong because it lacked energy and exuberance.  I told him that I wasn’t feeling very well and that I was going to go upstairs for a while.  I laid Honeybee in her crib and I went to the bedroom. 

FatherWinter was already there with blinds drawn, lights off, and in bed resting before we had to leave.  I decided I’d lie down for just a few moments, but as soon as I lay down FatherWinter asked me to turn the heat off downstairs.  I was immediately frustrated.  I wasn’t feeling well.  All I wanted to do was to rest, but I sighed loudly, went downstairs, turned off the heat, and began to cook dinner.
In the course of cooking, my stomach started rolling.  It was all I could do to keep myself focus and NOT go running back to the bed.  I managed to make a hamburger stroganoff and plate it for FatherWinter and Superbug.  I then went upstairs, washed, and got Honeybee.  The guys had finished their meals and we left for church—late.

Because I was still feeling so yucky, I was not talking.  I wasn’t chipper.  I wasn’t too happy about being outside in cold weather and certainly not happy about attending the church lecture series late.  However, when we walked in, it was awesome.  The speaker was amazing.  He was articulate, engaging, kept our attention, and stepped on our toes with good WORD.  He was a great teacher and I enjoyed listening to the lesson until Honeybee got antsy.  By now it was approaching her bedtime and she wanted nothing to do with sitting still and listening to someone talk, so I excused myself and went to our fellowship hall where I fed Miss Honeybee her baby food and a follow-up bottle.  When she was done, so to was the service L.

As I walked back into the sanctuary past the exiting crowds, the wave of nausea hit me again and instantly my mood soured.  I was ready to go, go like right now; but it wasn’t to be.  Yesterday was my father in law’s birthday.  He turned 67 years young.  He has truly had a blessed life and I was happy that he was able to see it.  However, I STILL wanted to go home.  FatherWinter, however, had other plans.  He arranged for the entire family including all available siblings in laws to go to IHOP.  It was now 9:30 p.m.  Work would need to be attended the next day.  SuperBug had school.  I still hadn’t eaten because the thought of doing so didn’t appeal to me and now, now at almost 10 p.m.my husband wanted to go to eat pancakes?!

NOT Happy. 

BUT I remember a conversation my husband and I had many months ago where we discussed sacrifice.  There is no guarantee that any of us will see another day, let alone another birthday.  Why not take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with someone to express how much you love them?  So, not feeling well at all, I and our family trudged to the local IHOP where we met up with sister in law and a couple of brother in laws. For two hours, I stayed quiet while they laughed and discussed football, basketball, Kobe, Lynch, Superbowl, and finally (when I could barely keep Honeybee from fretting), we left.  My in laws were very happy to have been loved and celebrated.  I was pleased to have been able to do so.  But make no mistake about it.  I still wasn’t feeling that well.
So, when we got home, I went inside, changed Honeybee into sleeping attire, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.  Head. Pillow. Out.  I barely remember FatherWinter giving me his goodbye kiss this AM.  When the light streamed through the blinds, I knew something was wrong.  Light streams through blinds way too late for that to be the first thing I notice when I awake.  I looked at the clock and saw 7:40!  I was supposed to have been up at 6AM!  I immediately grabbed my phone and was so angry at myself to see that I had forgotten to set the alarm on my phone.

I was also sorely disappointed to find that the nausea and lump of ugh in my belly feeling had not gone away.  I rushed into the bathroom, got ready, and rushed downstairs.  Immediately I was happy for two things (1) Honeybee would be at home with NanaWinter today so I could make up a bit of time getting to work since I didn’t have to drop her off and (2) SuperBug was up and functioning.  When I went downstairs, he gave his cheerful greeting and asked for cereal.  I reached up, grabbed the yellow box, and deposited it beside him.  I then realized that even though Honeybee would be with NanaWinter, she still needed to be fed and changed for her morning.  So, I left SuperBug downstairs and slowly climbed the steps and went to Honeybee’s nursery.  I still felt too sick to do pretty outfits this morning, so I put her in her purple sleeper and bought her downstairs to feed.  And stopped mid-step.

The kitchen was chaos.  I don’t know how I missed it last night, but there was a pan that had cooked the stroganoff still in the sink.  There was burned food on the stove that, again, I’d missed the evening before.  While Honeybee was waiting for her food to warm, I started scrubbing stovetops, pots, and plates left in the sink the evening before.  The timer dinged to let me know Honeybee’s food was ready.  I grabbed it and her and bought them to the family area so that she could eat.  As I did so, I was again hit with a massively sick feeling such that I was on the verge of vomiting.  I closed my eyes and realized things were taking a turn.

I was sitting at the table, sick as all get out, the craziness of the day surrounding me, Honeybee vocalizing she wants more to eat and I hear “Mommy, I don’t think I want all of this”.  I knew he wouldn’t want all of the cereal he’d poured.  It was way too much and I told him to just toss the leftovers.  That’s when it occurred.  As Superbug tried to move the overloaded bowl, he dropped Cheerios and milk everywhere.  It was on the newly cleaned stovetop, the floors, his clothes.  He was a mess.

I heard him say “I am sooo sorry” and I felt the sincerity of it.  I didn’t yell.  But I was terse.  I told him I would get it.  I told him to go upstairs and clean.  And I watched his little lip quiver and his eyes well up as he left the room.

Worst. Mommy. Ever. Sighhhhh…..

While Superbug was upstairs, I cleaned the mess, finished packing his lunch, and waited for him to come downstairs.  When he did, I asked him to come beside me.  I then knelt in front of him to get eye level and explained that Mommy was not upset at him.  I explained that I was frustrated because I was not feeling well and that I seemed to be a bit overwhelmed.  I told him that it was not his fault and he had done nothing wrong.  I told him that I loved that he wanted to be a big boy and help out and that I appreciated him and his thoughtfulness very much.  I told him that I loved him to the moon and stars and back and that I always would.  And then, I told him that I was very, very, very sorry that I’d hurt his feelings and caused him to think that I was upset with him.  I reached out and gave him the biggest hug that I could possibly manage.  And he returned the same.

Later, after I was on the road driving to the office, still feeling poorly, I found myself extremely sad.  I’d hurt my little one’s feelings and I didn’t mean to at all.  All day long that feeling stayed with me.  It was the feeling that I’d hurt someone, not just anyone, but my firstborn, my heartstring.  I was ashamed and knew that even in sickness my being short with him was not a fair response.
When the work day ended, I rushed home, but wasn’t greeted with my usual “hi Mommy” and I was worried.  It was okay.  He was upstairs and hadn’t heard me arrive.  As soon as he knew I was home, there were hugs and kisses and stories about the day.  When I reminded him again that I was very sorry about being so short with him that morning, he simply shrugged it off. 

“It’s okay, Mommy.  You weren’t feeling well and you apologized.  So, it’s okay. Thanks for saying sorry though”

I love that kid.  Seriously, I love my son.  I’m so glad he is who he is and his heart is as big as it is.  I pray he never changes.

So, here we are tonight preparing to hear another night of the leadership series.  While I’m still not feeling the best (more tired than anything), I’m hoping tonight will be less stressful.  I have one stop to make (Valentine’s Day cards for class), but other than that; it should be a pretty good night.

Talk to you soon, family.

-WinterMommy

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