Monday, November 2, 2015

Exhaustion and Optimism

I am exhausted, y'all.  There's no other way to describe it. I am so tired.  I am about to scale back from trying to 'do all the things' have some quieter evenings and weekends.  I am definitely not a person who likes to be scheduled every minute of the day...but for the last few weeks, that's exactly what has happened.

In all honesty, tonight was very much an exercise in putting one foot in front of the other and going through the motions.  I've really been trying to do to much with a very limited amount of energy...and I definitely need a break.  Even though Patrick is the awesome-est husband ever and made me some sweet tea and watched the boys (who, quite literally, sat and watched cartoons the entire time, thank heavens) while I had a much needed break at the grocery store.

Let me back up a little. Today, especially, was an anomaly, but it was overwhelming. Patrick and I took today off to take care of an appointment that we had for one of our foster kids...only to arrive and find out that the appointment had been rescheduled...without anyone bothering to tell us.  We'd both taken the day off to go, and we knew to expect a few days like this when we began foster care. But it was definitely frustrating to realize that, with the new appointment upcoming, we have to miss another day of work.  Still, we decided to have a nice day, just the two of us, especially since this really doesn't happen often. This plan unraveled within seconds.

Literally, before we could start the car, Wonder Boy's preschool called me and said that he was running a fever.  While picking him up, Itty Bitty's teacher called me over and said that he had a low temp as well (he didn't, that I could tell - the highest reading I got on our thermometer was 98.9). And then Eli's teacher came out and asked me to come get him, as he was misbehaving and telling his teacher that "he didn't have to respect her or do what she said because she wasn't family."

After disciplining Eli, taking all of the kids home, and then calling and begging the doctor's office - twice - to please please please squeeze him in, we found out that Wonder Boy had dual ear infections and a high temperature.  Poor kiddo.  Then, although the doctor said that they called in his prescription when we were sitting in the office, the pharmacy currently has no record of it. And since I waited (stood) in line for more than 45 minutes at the pharmacy, by the time I knew they didn't have the prescription, the doctor's office was closed, and it took another hour to find out that the on-call doctor could not access his records. 

Oh, and to the snarky teenage cashier at the pharmacy...thanks so much for giving me a hard time when I was trying to get medicine that was supposed to have been ordered for a little kid who is clearly sick.  Advising me to drive back to the doctor's office (or to 'holler' out the pharmacy drive-thru window toward the pediatrician's office next door to see if they 'was' open) - which I assured her was CLOSED - is certainly not helpful. And saying "I don't never heard that name afore" when I tell you Wonder Boy's birth name sounds much less educated than a more pleasant alternative, such as "I'm sorry, I don't see his prescription in the computer." 

But, then, I do live in a town where it took nearly a year to open a brand-new Jimmy John's sandwich shop...because the owners had so much difficulty finding employable people. 

I did manage to go home, sneak a bite to eat (thanks to Patrick, who had the foresight to grab some take out), and start a roast for dinner (that later came out looking like a charcoal briquette, since I forgot to set a timer) before I made a run to the grocery store to correct an emergency diaper shortage.  While trying to buy said diapers and some ingredients for the week, my mother calls and asks me to come over tomorrow night to help set up her new home office.

Really?  I wonder what she will do when I show up with all three kids...

But in the wake of having a rough afternoon, it really wasn't all bad.  When I started writing, it certainly felt that way.  I definitely cried and started whining about how overwhelmed I felt.  As I started writing, though, my inner optimist fought her way to the surface.  Patrick helped by reading over my shoulder and giving a well-timed hug.

Then, I couldn't help thinking of a few good things that happened. For one, I was able to get Wonder Boy into our town's REALLY GOOD pediatrician.  That's hard to do. I had to wait about 2 months to get Eli in as a new patient when he was little, and was never able to get W into their practice. To have all 3 kids at the same (great) doctor's office is freaking fantastic.

Later, at the grocery store, I was so relieved when I turned from paying for my groceries and realized that someone had bagged them for me, put them in a cart, and offered to help me to the car.  This little bit of extra effort on someone else's part took a surprising amount of weight off of my shoulders. I normally would think someone was being ridiculous if they said this made them as happy as it made me...but I'm not kidding when I say that it made it possible for me to drive home, finish cooking dinner for my family, and (sort of) clean the kitchen afterward.  Though, it definitely did not make it possible for me to do laundry tonight...and I'm feeling very guilty for letting clothes 'marinate' in the hamper overnight while I write.

Now, this is not to mention that, while Wonder Boy's behavior is still very challenging, he is making major improvements.  He surprises me frequently with what he WILL do....and with what he thinks he WON'T do.  Getting dressed in the morning is on his "Nope" list. Sometimes getting in or out of the car is on his "Nope" list. Trust me when I say...his "No's" are almost always non-negotiable (for example, we're not going to preschool naked). But, his decisions to randomly decide to use the toilet instead of his diaper...and giving hugs in the doctor's office today...and quietly playing all afternoon with Eli have been pleasant surprises. Though, the fact that he is sick may have played a role in the 'quiet playing'. But, the unsolicited, freely given hugs were pretty awesome.

The potty thing was also pretty cool, and deserves an explanation. Though his teachers do have the kids "try" to potty 3 or 4 times per day, Wonder Boy is definitely not potty trained. Other than letting him 'try' at school, I wasn't planning on addressing this with him yet, as he's been through so many life changes lately. But then, we accidentally got him to go #2 on the toilet last night. I'd been changing him for bed, and realized that he was in the middle of 'the go', so put him on the potty to finish. And gave him a treat for doing so.  Tonight, he started grabbing his behind and fussing. Patrick figured out what he was trying to tell us, and took him...and he successfully went!  We're celebrating a bit, because this is how Eli started, too.  But we're not prepared to force the issue.  He will continue to wear diapers until he decides he wants to completely train, or until I think he's really ready.  I'm already having to put my foot down on too many other issues!

So, really it's not all bad. It's just a lot.  I know tomorrow will be better, and I'm glad that Patrick is staying with Wonder Boy tomorrow. For now, I'm going to indulge in some old sitcoms, spicy chips, and that yummy sweet tea : ).

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