Thursday, October 4, 2012

It Doesn't Matter That You're Sick -- Crazy Street Person Edition

My first clue should have been that I didn't want dessert.

On my way to dinner with friends last night, I needed to make a detour to lend another friend my Graco Snap-n-Go stroller. I strolled it like an old shopping cart, with my tote bag and a crumpled up plastic rain cover in the basket.

The humid air grabbed a hold of my windpipe and squeezed. My mascara started running; my hair frizzed. In a misguided attempt to look cute, I was wearing a skirt and knee-high black leather boots. Instead, I looked like a schizophrenic hooker -- I swear, there's a baby in here, can't you see it? -- which I suppose is fitting, since I had learned earlier in the day that the street I now live on used to be a hooker highway. 

And not the good hookers, he added. The crack-head hookers.


By the time I carried the babyless stroller down the subway stairs, I was drenched. Beads of sweat rolled down my back and nestled between my butt cheeks. (That's what happens when they are a shelf.) I got quite a few odd looks. Like a perspiring woman with an empty baby stroller is the craziest thing these people have seen on a New York City subway? Really?

Dinner was fun, but by the end of the night, I was dragging and my throat was beginning to hurt. 

It could only mean one thing: Baby Germs

The night sped downhill. Henry awoke inconsolable at 2:10 am. I tried nursing, rocking, lullabies, nursing again, bringing him into our bed -- all to no avail.

Delirious with fatigue, my throat screaming for a lozenge (or an ice pop, which I did have while letting Henry scream in his crib for ten minutes), I decided to sleep on the floor of Baby Jail and let him play until he exhausted himself.

Baby Jail. Not as bad as it sounds, right?
Here is the convict trying to eat his way out.

At which point I stepped, with the full force of my considerable weight, on this enlightened wooden baby toy:

It hurt. A lot. I screamed as I went down. My instincts kicked in and I saved Henry from smashing into anything. Sadly, I can't say the same for myself. Rayne sprang out of bed at the sound of my fall and Henry's ensuing shrieks of fear. Hudson sprinted from the living room to his safe place (the foyer). He's no dummy.

And with that, nary a soul was asleep in the Moo Cow household. 

Eventually, I did fall asleep in Baby Jail with Henry playing quietly next to me. At 4:40 am, Rayne carried our angelic bundle of sleeping joy back to his crib and guided me to bed as well.

This morning I woke up with a full-blown head cold. And a black-and-blue the size of a dime on the underside of my foot. No biggie. It's not like I'm running a half-marathon on Sunday or a marathon in 30 (!) days.

I dragged us to swim class anyway, because, like I've said before (and again here), you can't call in sick mom.

After class, I crouched on the (I'm sure very sanitary) locker room floor and changed Henry. (Believe it or not, this is the best strategy I've come up with.) He was tired from a sleepless night and, inexplicably, having skipped his morning nap. He was hungry for lunch, pawing at my shirt and banging his face futilely against my chest. He screeched and flailed as I tried to stuff him into the Beco carrier.

An older woman paused a few feet from the spectacle. "Oh, poor baby!" she exclaimed.

"Poor mommy!" I responded.

Seriously. Henry was fine three and a half minutes later. I was the one sweating, sick and exhausted. And limping. And mumbling to myself like a deranged bag lady.

Did I mention exhausted?