It started on Monday night. The week had begun bright and promising, with a great walk and talk with a friend, but car trouble kept me from my awesome Tacoma clients. (Boo hiss!) Come 1am on Tuesday morning, I suddenly needed to more closely inspect my toilet by way of losing my dinner there... over and over for about 6 hours. When even water wouldn't stay down, we packed up and headed to the ER.
After about 6 hours in the ER (where they threw every anti nausea drug they had at me, ending up with what they called a 'migraine cocktail' - after I'd thrown up something that tasted like the saline solution they'd put in via IV...) I was sent home with still more anti nausea meds and explict instructions to not 'chase the nausea' for the next few days.
I don't remember much of Tuesday. Our entire household pretty much slept through it. After The Lady in Grey came to our rescue to let The Impossible Girl run around a bit while My Sailor sat with me in the ER, we all came home and snuggled into bed and slept until dinner time. All three of us...
By Wednesday it had already been - that kind of week.
I was feeling better in the morning and thinking that maybe this was just one of those nasty 24 hour flu bugs. I planned on going through with all of my appointments.
My Sailor, knowing I had had about 1000 calories in 3 days, thought I was ambitious...
And he was right. By the end of my first appointment, I was so dizzy I could barely stand. So I sat for a while, picked up The Impossible Girl from Child Watch, and went home, canceling or rescheduling my evening appointments.
So one more day of rest it was.
Then I work up Thursday hoping to get to my evening appointments in Tacoma. I was able to keep a homemade smoothie down foe breakfast just fine. But The Impossible Girl was impossible to get to sleep the night before. In fact, she slept from 3am until 7am... That was it. The rest of the night was a screaming fit that would not stop. (Gas pain plus molars plus being a baby is hard.)
Although I hadn't thrown up since Tuesday, the dizziness struck again (likely due to exhaustion) and long drives at night, spinning rooms, and anti nausea meds don't mix... so again, I was rescheduling my day.
But the day at home was hardly restful. The Impossible Girl was attached to me physically the entire day. And everything was a battle. No, not everything, breakfast was good, but everything else, from getting dressed to walking across a room was accompanied by screaming herself hoarse and tears.
Finally, sitting across the bathroom floor from her as she screamed at me across the room, I absorbed the weight of utter surrender. It just wasn't worth the battle - changing her soiled diaper was not worth this. I knew she was uncomfortable and guessed that was why she was crying, but the prospect of getting her diaper changed was completely overwhelming to my equally as exhausted toddler. She had run across the bathroom away from me and was letting me know how she felt in no uncertain terms. I offered her a hug if she'd come over to me. She didn't, probably (accurately) feeling that I'd sweep her up and change her (god forbid...). So after a good 8 minute stand off of her in of constant tears, I scooted over to her (which elicited half laughter through the tears and hollers) and offered her a hug at her place.
'Meet people where they are.' It wasn't a lesson taught to me in Foster care training. I'm not sure when I figured it out. Maybe it's because that is where most of the people who have greatly influenced my life have met me - where I was, rather than were they may have wanted me to be.
Anyway, it worked. She took me up on that hug. Collapsing into my shoulder. I laid back on the cold tile and hugged her to my chest, rubbing her back.
She stopped hollaring, and just sniffled softly, gradually relaxing. Sure, she still needed a diaper change, but right now, she needed comfort more.
I'm not sure how long we lay like that, against the cold tile floor. My mind filled with the agony of my nearly entire week of canceled work, the intense demands of the last few days, the fact that I still hadn't recovered, My Sailor was also still sick, and - to put the cherry on top- the damn giant great pyrenees would not stop barking all day long, I decided to join her in sniffling a few tears of frustration and surrender for myself- but no more than a few.
It's these moments that feel so big, but are really so fleeting that I understand the test of motherhood. There will come a day when she doesn't come to me for comfort like this, when the house will be too quiet, when everyone will be well and busy again. So, for now, even in the pit, I'll try to remember that the lesson is always - meet her where she is, and she'll come to you. No ulterior motivations. Even if it means spending a few more minutes in a nasty diaper.
So maybe today the bathroom floor is exactly where I needed to be.