Friday, May 30, 2008

On and On

Frances is still sick. Still. It's now been three weeks since she first got ill, and there is no sign of it getting better any time soon. I spent my day yesterday trying to get advice from some sort of medical professional. I know exactly what the doctor will say if I bring her in - she's got a virus, nothing they can do, these are the signs of dehydration, if she shows any of them bring her back. I KNOW all this. What I want is for someone to tell me how long is it safe to give her gravol so she doesn't barf all over everything (which she does if she doesn't get gravol twice a day)? How long can I give her pedialyte? What can I do for the brutal diaper rash? How long can I expect this to continue? What the HELL? How long does this have to go on before we are concerned about more than just dehydration? WHAT THE HELL? How do I keep sane when my days are filled with diarrhea all over everything, miserable sobbing baby, more diarrhea, vomit, and more misery? HOW DO I STOP FROM LOOSING MY MIND??? Ahem. But no one will tell me anything other than take her to the doctor. I am unwilling to spend the obscene amount of money it now takes to put gas in the van to take Frances to a doctor who will just tell me what I already know. Why can no one help me? I spend my days vacillating between tears and rage, with a little despair thrown in just to make things fun.

Anyways. A friend is coming down from Saskatoon tomorrow, and I was supposed to meet him at another persons house who I don't know but would really like to know. Unfortunately I can't now. I am doomed to a friendless, diarrhea filled small town life. Loneliness, sick children and Ian will be my only companions. I feel sorry for myself, can you tell?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Arts

Ian had to get up early for work this morning, around 6:30 or so. Apparently Mary got up at the same time. Ian decided to be nice, he let me sleep and while he was getting ready he fed Mary and changed her bum. Then he left for work. Without letting me know that Mary was up and about. A couple of hours later Mary came into my room bearing a glass of water just for me (she can get to the water cooler and use it all by herself now. Yay. Isn't that super?). I told her I was getting up, but she patted my hand, tried to tuck me in and told me to sleep. At this point I got suspicious. I got even more suspicious when I spotted the green permanent marker all over her face and hands. Swallowing my dread, I got up and stumbled to the kitchen. The fridge was wide open, a chair in front of it. An apple was half eaten, as were several cookies. My hutch, my beautiful natural wood finish hutch was COVERED in green sharpie ink. I flipped. I yelled, and then I realized that I was very close to beating the small child cowering in front of me, so I picked her up and put her (locked her) in her room so I could calm down and do some damage control. There is nothing to be done for the wood, the ink won't come out. Ian thinks that he can sand it, but I'm not so sure. I've recovered from my anger, but I still see a little red when I look at the green ink. Mary spent an hour and a half in her room, I told her she could come out when she apologized to me, and it took her that long to decide she was sorrier than she was stubborn.

She also had a raging temper tantrum at lunch today. She refuses to eat anything she considers baby food, which is pretty much anything that Frances eats. Now that Frances has graduated to finger foods, Mary's list of acceptable foods (always small) is shrinking. Today I made noodles, but because Frances was eating them, Mary freaked and refused to eat "baby foods." Needless to say the screaming went on for over an hour, and Fran was happy (though somewhat bemused by the carry on) to eat all her noodles and some of Mary's.

I love being a parent. Really. I do.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

From Away

Can someone please tell me what exactly I need to do to have the people in this stupid town include me and my children? Please? I'm relatively sure they aren't doing these things intentionally, but man I'm getting pissed off.

It started with play school, do you remember that? I went to the meeting, told them about Mary, gave them my phone number and said that I would be bringing Mary the very next class. I showed up, and no one was there, I showed up the next class, no one was there. It turned out that the teacher was ill and they forgot to phone me. She was very sick and they weren't sure when she would be back, so I asked them to call me when she was so I could take Mary. Months later I ran into one of the ladies and she mentioned how they were all sorry I decided not to bring Mary to preschool. Excuse me? So I asked, surprised, if the teacher was well. Oh yeah, she had started back less than a week after I had spoken to the mother in charge of everything, and no one bothered to phone me. I was annoyed.

Two, maybe three weeks ago, I called the contact about soccer, I wanted to get Mary involved. The woman I spoke too said that they weren't sure that they would even be having soccer this year, they didn't have enough people willing to help out. I said I would be happy to help out if they needed me. The woman took my number and said that I should expect a call. I asked her to call me even if they didn't need my help and soccer was going to happen. She promised to pass my name and number along to the phone person, but if I didn't get a call that meant that soccer wouldn't be happening this spring. I didn't get a call so I assumed that they didn't have enough helpers and that it wasn't going to happen. Then, today, I go to the Co-op to pick up some milk and there is a sign that soccer is starting on the 21st (last night!). The sign wasn't up on Saturday when I was there last, and not a soul called me.

What the hell?? Is it because I am From Away? Most people have been friendly, if not terribly welcoming, but seriously. All I want is for my child to get involved in things around here, to be able to play soccer, go to play school, make some friends, I don't particularly care if they include me or not. That's a lie, I would like to have some friends, to be able to get out of the house without forcing myself on people, but that seems more and more unlikely as time passes. The play helped a bit, but I've not socialized with anyone from the play since it ended, aside from saying hello when we bump into each other in the street. I'm lonely, and Mary is lonely, and I don't know what to do to make it better.

I knew moving to a small town would be tough, but I had no idea that people would be this...well...unfriendly.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let it end

So. Frances is better. Like, 100 percent better. She is happiest sitting in her highchair shoveling cheerio's and chopped up banana's into her mouth. It's all good.

Mary....well, Mary is not so good. The liquid explosiveness started in earnest yesterday. This morning she barfed prodigiously on the couch. I should have known. Actually I did know. She was laying listlessly on the couch, and suddenly she sat up. I looked at her, narrowed my eyes and said "Mary, honey, do you need to throw up?" She looked at me, whimpered, and exploded. After she was done she looked at the mess in alarm and said "Oh dear. Oh no. Oh dear, Mama, I sorry." Ugh. I much prefer baby puke to toddler puke. Finally, something I prefer about babies. She seems to be feeling a bit better now, though she is still pale and sad looking. So, there is no end in sight, I am trapped in a house that smells of diarrhea and vomit, it's beautiful and sunny outside on this long weekend, and I'm not enjoying the weather, or getting any yard work done. Ian has escaped to work, and I have never envied his job more than I do today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hell Week

Yeesh. The last several days have been pretty awful to say the least. Here's the synopsis.

Starts as a day like any other. Halfway through the day Frances offers up her diaper. I think "Hmm. I wonder if she's finally teething." I deal with two or three more surprises (which are rapidly becoming less surprising) and carry on with life. She's still cheerful and playing, so I don't worry too much.

The day starts with an overflowing diaper. Frances is still cheerful, but not all that interested in solid foods. That's okay, she's sick, so I just give her bottles. Late at night after the diarrhea turns her bottom into hamburger (diaper rash is no fun) I decide to phone the 1-800-dial-a-nurse number. The nurse suggests I take her to the doctor. It's late at night and Fran is sleeping peacefully, so we put it off till morning.

Sunday Morning
We get up to yet another overflowing diaper, and I hop into the van and take her to the city to see a Doctor at the medicentre. While in the waiting room Frances wiggles, laughs, flirts and is generally adorable. She flirts with the Doctor and happily goes to his arms when he picks her up. He says we have nothing to worry about, she's still socializing, drinking her formula and well hydrated. Go home, don't worry. So, I do that.

Sunday Afternoon
The diarrhea gets worse, every hour, in fact. She stops eating, she stops smiling. At 5:30 or so we get her to drink some formula which she fountains all over Ian. I call my dad and step-mum. Michael has successfully raised three of these little buggers without killing any, so I figure she might have some good advice. The two of them hop in the car, pick up some pedialyte (which we cannot get here in Milestone) and head out to visit us. Michael manages to get Frances to drink a couple of ounces of pedialyte while Mary drags my Dad around the house showing him things. ("Look Grandpa! The kitchen! A fridge! The stove, careful, hot! Come with me. The TABLE! My CHAIR! Baby's chair! Come with me. The LIVING ROOOOM! COUCHES!")

That night I manage to get a couple ounces more of the pedialyte into Frances at about 10:30. When she wakes up at 3 AM, she refuses to drink any at all. We try some formula just to get something into her, and she barfs all over poor Ian again.

We wake up. Frances does not. I go into her room to find her white as a ghost and rag-doll limp. I worry. I stress. I try to get her to drink something. She refuses. I call the 1-800-Nurses number again, and the nurse suggests I take her to the hospital, like, NOW. So I do. I spend monday in the hospital while she gets fluids via IV. It is unpleasant, but not as bad as it could be. She is so sick that she doesn't even cry while they poke her in several places to get the IV in. By the end of the day she is drinking pedialyte on her own and keeping it down, so we are discharged.

A good day. Frances is miserable, but feeling well enough to let me know exactly how miserable she is, which is a good thing. She drinks a lot of pedialyte without vomiting, she only has 3 episodes of diarrhea all day long. I give her some formula before bed, for which she is pathetically grateful. She doesn't vomit. She sleeps well, even though I do not. She must be on the mend, right?

Not so good. Leaky diarrhea diaper first thing in the morning. Two more bouts of diarrhea in 2 hours. Vomiting. Refusing to drink pedialyte. Now Mary is complaining of not feeling well and refusing to leave my bed. I have gravol suppositories for Frances, but have you ever tried to shove something up a struggling babies bum all by yourself with no helper to pin said baby down? It's a beautiful, warm, sunny day outside already, but I'm stuck inside a house which smell vaguely of diarrhea and vomit with two sick children. Motherhood rocks. Frances is sleeping right now, thank God, but she'll be up soon, and it'll start over again.

Pray for me, my friends, that I might once again see the light of day without looking through a haze of germs and puke.