Zach travels for work occasionally, usually a few days per week, a few times per month. It’s not too bad, unless you’re about to have a baby or have just had a baby. Pre-baby, he returned from a work trip about 24 hrs before I went into labor. (Phew…just made it!) Post-baby, he thankfully did not have to travel until Meg was 7 weeks old. He’s been gone a few days last week and now a few days this week.
So far, it’s been “on par” for days when Daddy is gone. This means that Luke is a little more weepy, Ben gets sick and is a lot more weepy, and Meg fusses as normal. The nights are really what kills me. Trying to put all three kids down for bedtime is an exercise in patience. Ben gets out of bed continually, asking really pathetic questions that he made up on the spot to justify getting out of bed.
“Um, Mom? What do bugs eat?”
“Ummmmm, how do we go downstairs?”
“Mom? Do you think there will be any bad guys to get in the morning? How many?”
While Meghan was successfully taking a bottle before Zach started travelling again, she now completely refuses a bottle. I’ve tried having Luke give her a bottle when Zach is gone, but she just wails and Luke looks at me as if I’m a bad mom.
“Mom? I don’t think she wants the bottle. She wants to nurse.” Luke would look all concerned at me, at Meg, at the bottle.
“Just put it in her mouth.”
He would dutifully try again, and Meg would continue to scream.
I go completely Nazi during bath time, which is usually Zach’s domain. Meghan is of course screaming in her crib because she wants to be held all evening long. Therefore, I try to bathe the boys as quickly as possible. No playing. No complaining. In and out. Just do what I say. If a miracle does occur and she falls asleep, then add No Talking to the list (the bathroom is right next to her bedroom).
I’m cranky and done with the day.
The other night, a giant floating head woke me up sometime after midnight and before Meg needed feeding. I was scared.
“I cannot breathe,” the giant head with enormous round eyes stated.
I looked at the face. This was not my sweet baby who needed to nurse. This was not my short, little toddler who comes to us at night, wailing about a bloody nose. Who was this? In my sleepy state, I was completely confused. “Who are you?”
Again, totally confused. Luke never gets out of bed. If he does, he goes to Zach. Where was Zach? “Where’s your dad?”
The round, white owl eyes blinked at me. “He’s in GEORGIA, Mom.”
Things started to click. I sat up, less confused, and turned on the light. My son, Luke, materialized in front of me. He wanted nose drops and help blowing his nose.
The next day, I felt completely awful that I did not recognize my own son the night before. Worried that he might have hurt feelings, I probed him about the incident. He remembered that I didn’t know who he was, but added, yeah, you said you were sleepy. I suppose that makes it kind of okay.
I’m trying not to be so cranky in the evening. So far it’s gone a little better. Regardless, it will be nice to have Zach around tomorrow night. He can bathe the boys and attempt a bottle with Meg. He can read books while I hold the baby. Or he can hold her too.
I’ll do the dishes and tidy up in peace, and hopefully will not forget that I have 3 kids when I’m sleeping.