Monday, April 4, 2011

A Bad Case of the CCABs.

The Unlikely Origins house has been afflicted with a terrible case of the Can't Catch A Breaks lately.

Bob had an especially rotten week at work. (It was not made any better by sleep issues and a malfunctioning alarm clock!) My to-do list was so long that just looking at it made me want to curl up into the fetal position. I didn't get K to bed until after midnight most nights, and then there was still a pile of work manuscripts with quickly approaching deadlines staring at me. A client even offered me extra cash to "work faster," which while I would have found amusing at other times, in this case it nearly sent me over the edge.

But the winner of the CCAB perfect storm award? Ms. K, who simultaneously:

1)Is going through a growth spurt. For her, this always means sleep disruptions and major crankpants issues.
2)Is teething. Again. Hi, new molars!
3)Managed to catch strep throat (or something similar) which necessitated a trip to the doctor and some antibiotics. These antibiotics are supposed to be "orange berry caramel" flavored, and -- yep, taste just as horrible as "orange berry caramel" flavored antibiotics sound. Try selling a syringe-full of that to a cranky toddler twice a day.

By the end of the week, we were all dead tired.

On Saturday mornings I go workout -- but this week there was no class. Normally, I get home around 11 to find everyone still passed out from the night before. This weekend? My "free" weekend? K got up at 7:30. Fine, I thought. Let's make the best of it. We watched the sunrise through the kitchen window and pulled ourselves together and headed to the movie theater. (They show free kids movies on weekend mornings, and I thought it might be fun.) And it was! K loved it. She was attentive to the movie and kept her running commentary down to a moderate volume. She stayed in her seat. She smiled a lot. She inhaled her popcorn.

No, really. She must have literally inhaled her popcorn because about ten minutes before the end of the movie she turned to me with that oh-crap-there's-something-caught-in-my-throat face. The help-I-can't-breathe face that stops parents' hearts.

She did (obviously!) manage to get the offending choking hazard out of her throat, but she had coughed/gagged so hard that, uh -- well, she got *all* the popcorn out of her system. All. Of. It.

Dear Lord. There are some things that the parenting books just fail to cover. What's the protocol for when a toddler vomits in a movie theater? Do you stand up and issue an apology? Do you just discreetly wipe up as much as you can with tissues from your purse and shove them into the popcorn bucket? Do you rush out of there, avoid eye contact, and never show your face again? Do you go tell the 15 year old minimum wage worker at the concession stand that they're probably going to need a mop and some upholstery cleaner? I just . . . I don't know.

As I loaded her up in the truck, both of us with bits of "choke," as K calls it, still on our clothes -- I decided that was it. The weekend was going to get better. (It sort of had to, right?) We went home, changed, and got on with our day. It was gloomy and raining and cold, but we got some flower seeds to start indoors. We picked up a bird feeder for K to paint, and next weekend, assuming winter decides to finally pack its bags (seriously, this morning we had snow and sleet and rain and thunder! ENOUGH!) Bob will help her hang it outside where she can keep an eye on it from the picture window in the living room. We got chocolate in pretty pastel Easter wrapping. (Chocolate would still make me happy even if it were wrapped in the obituary page from the newspaper, to be honest, but all the pinks and yellows and greens of this time of year sure help make it *feel* special, you know?) We're choosing to believe that things will get better.

And if they don't? Well, K has taught us that even if you've got to suffer through the worst case of CCABs ever, you should do it with STYLE: