Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deja vu all over again

I think Avtalyon's about to blow another eardrum. This is getting a little old, don't you think? First he ruptured two, and got 10 days of Amoxicillin. On day 7, I brought him in for a checkup, and he had one ear clear and one still cloudy; on day 13, he ruptured another ear. That got him 14 days of Cefprozil. We are now on Day 8 and he is giving every indication of being on the brink of yet another rupture. I called the doctor earlier asking for a referral to see an ENT; she said she'd request it but I should bring him in in the morning anyway, so they could switch his antibiotic. Not sure to what.

It's been a rough week. A lot has been going on, most of it, frankly, bad; the major thing has been a death in the community that has everyone pretty shaken up. Without getting into too many details, a mother a little older than me with kids a little older than mine got up out of bed one day and died, in front of her kids, for no clear reason, with very little indication beforehand that anything was wrong. She was not someone I was close to or had a lot in common with, but we have known the family for years, my husband worked closely with her husband for several of them, and she was a really, really good mother. Better than me, and too good to lose. That's terrible enough, obviously, and there are other aspects of it that have blown a lot of my own mother/child/no mother issues out of the water. I haven't been sleeping well or thinking about much else. Compartmentalizing has never been my strong suit.

In the absence of any ability to do anything helpful for the family, beyond paying shiva visits and getting on the list to make meals, I've been trying to work on other things; I invited a few Shabbos guests who really need invitations, and have been trying so, so hard to focus more on the kids and what they need from me. Which has been hard, because Barak and Iyyar are currently in a state of ongoing conflict--not constant, but much more frequent than has been the case historically--and Avtalyon, for whatever reason (ears, probably) has been really, really fussy. Plus I'm just very tired. The busiest time of the year at work is ending now, and while that is good it means that the pile of put-off tasks must be dealt with. The laundry never seems to end, and now that I'm in my fifth month (yes, I'm just sneaking that one in there) I can't just get by on five or six hours of sleep. This morning I was just too tired to think so I decided to lie down for fifteen minutes (at around 9:15). Need I even tell you what happened? The two-and-a-half-hour nap was awesome, but I have to make those hours up somewhere.

Oh, and we still need to figure out a way for my kids to see their grandparents this summer. We have a trip scheduled to see Grandma E in early August, but getting to see Bubbe & Zayde is a lot more complicated logistically; my MIL does not fly, their home is not somewhere we can stay with the kids (they'd be happy to have us, but it doesn't work practically), the one friend who lives nearby has a new baby of her own and almost certainly can't host us, and neither MHH nor I have flexible vacation schedules--if it doesn't happen between mid-July and mid-August, it isn't going to happen until next summer. The initial plan was to meet up with them in Boston, but that isn't working out for a number of reasons, even though it would have been by far the easiest and most enjoyable thing (IMHO, anyway). I feel awful putting a visit off indefinitely. The kids haven't seen their grandmother since before Avtalyon was born, and haven't seen their grandfather since we were in Israel. It's not like any of us lives on Mars. It's not like we all have a superabundance of family, either. Just not sure what to do about it.

Pause while I try to think of something cute or cheery to end this with...

Oh, the firetruck. I can tell you about the firetruck. That really was cool.

We had an absolutely awesome surprise visit to the fire station last Thursday. There is a single-engine company about five or six blocks from us, on the way to Barak's new kindergarten, where I had to drop off some registration forms last week. On the way there, we saw the firetruck parked on a corner, and saw firemen get out. This was from a few blocks down the street, as we were coming up toward the intersection of the main commercial stretch. Neat! we said. We'll get to watch firemen! A few minutes later, as we approached the corner, we saw them all get back into the truck. Oh well, show over--oh. No. Wait. What's that they're holding?

Ice cream cones. They had, apparently, stopped on the way back from a call for ice cream. I caught the look on Barak's face. "Barak, do you think that's fun? I bet that would be fun. Would eating ice cream cones in a firetruck be about the most fun anyone could have?" Barak, somewhat dreamily, agreed. Then we discussed further and upon careful reflection decided that the absolute most fun, the pinnacle of fun that one could have in this lifetime, would in fact be eating ice cream AND chocolate chip cookies in the back of a firetruck.

Got that? Good.

So we went on our way, passing the fire station, where we got to see the truck backing into the bay (remember, it is on the way to school--this is all along the same semi-major street). We dropped off our forms. We came back, on the other side of the street so as to get a better look through the doors at the firetruck. It was a warm day, and the door was still open. What the heck, I thought. I poked my nose inside and saw a fireman sitting by the door doing a crossword. Can't hurt to ask, can it?

"Excuse me? Would it be okay if my kids looked at the firetruck?" He got up. "Sure! Come on in."

We went in, Iyyar and Avtalyon in the double stroller and Barak holding on, all of them looking sort of... stoned. They all really like firetrucks, if this needs mentioning, and none of them was expecting this. Even Avtalyon, who can actually (sort of) say "firetruck" now, was awed by the big red machine. They stood and gazed, openmouthed. The firemen looked at them.

"Do they want to go inside?"

Um.... WHAT?!

Long story short, he let the bigger two play in and on the firetruck for at least 20 minutes. He even let them sit in front and pretend to drive. He answered their questions. He let them look around the bay. He asked me if I had a camera to take pictures with (I didn't, but I did have a phone and used that). He was SO NICE.

We are planning to make cookies to bring them this week, so that next time the firemen get ice cream, they can sit in the firetruck and eat cookies and ice cream and have the most fun anyone could possibly have. I think they deserve it.


shanna said...

Boston is sad that you're not coming, too. I even still have you on the calendar.

I can't process the mother dying thing. Too many other (similarly bad) things going on in my head right now.

But the firetruck incident sounds rather awesome.

Flan said...

I'm so torn about what to say...sadness about the death of the mother in your community, and the attendant issues it brings up in everyone....congratulations on your "slipped in" announcement, amusement at the fire truck excitement.

Too many emotions in one post!

Anonymous said...

congratulations on the forthcoming baby!

LC said...

Yeah; I'm reeling.

But try to hang on to the firetruck smile when everything else is making your head want to blow apart (for lack of anything more profound to say).

Deborah said...

I think I have never mentioned that Jay's brother is a volunteer fireman.

We have access to fire trucks here. They may be yellow, though. does that count?

And fireman clothes.

crunchygranolamom said...

b'sh'ah tova! Wow. That's lovely