I've been really energized so far this week, which is weird, considering that I'm taking in less caffeine in school than I did out of school. I chalk it up to the new diet finally kicking in AND the fact that I'm finally starting to catch up to the pace of my new life. My tasks are not out of control anymore, thanks in part to a "To-Do" list application on my iPod Touch which is making sure that less things fall through the cracks. For instance, my housework is actually doing well right now, thanks in LARGE part to 1) having the extra time on break to catch up, and 2) my wife taking a HUGE part of it on her shoulders. I've gotten home at 4 on both days, which is also a big deal - not having to jet out of school right away means I can get stuff done that, before, was being left alone.
She's doing well during her first two days off from school. Not that they've been "days off," per se; she's spent most of the days in the hospital, getting blood counts (Monday) and an ultrasound (Tuesday). That eats up lots of the day and makes 4 o'clock come REALLY quickly. I know that I didn't really feel like I was HOME HOME HOME hOME HOME until about the third week; the first couple weeks (saving for the 3AM baby rockings and marching band rehearsals) felt like vacation. The biggest differences between the two situations are:
1) itty bitty bitty infant vs. toddler, meaning more time spent holding and rocking and singing for me vs. more time spent chasing and talking and feeding
2) NO TUMORS (yet) means WAY less time back and forth and in the hospital for me
3) my lessons, marching band and choruses meant that I was still working six hours per day
4) my math degree stuff kept me busy outside of that, means that she has eight hours per day of less HER stuff than I did.
It's tough to make your life all about another person - in this case, a 16-month old that is barely communicative. Don't get me wrong - he communicates a LOT more than he did even a week ago. "Ip Ip Ip" means chips (or cookies, I think), and he can say "yes" and "no" when he wants. Today at lunch, we held up different items for him to choose from, and he said "no" "no" "yesh" to select what he wanted. And, when I carry him, if I ask, he'll point to exactly where he wants to go. (Interestingly enough, it goes from mezuza to mezuza - the Jewish luck / fortune / faith things that hang outside the two bedrooms and the kitchen. They're pretty, and he likes the way they look and that he can touch stuff that is so far above his head.) He also waves bye bye on command and recognizes that someone putting a jacket on means bye-bye is coming. He said "bye bye" to me tonight, also.
But, I digress.
He's not exactly the wit and charm of the professional dinner companion, is what I'm trying to say.
All in all, she has a MUCH harder job that I did - compound that with being pregnant, and triple that when the new baby comes. I don't necessarily envy her, but I know that I also wouldn't be sad if our employment situations were to suddenly reverse itself - G-d prevent that, as I make more money and have the ideal commute AND have great kids. I hope and pray that she is contented and fulfilled by it, as I was by my year out of the classroom.
Tomorrow is the outpatient surgery to get the stent removed from the kidney, and - with that, with luck - the last stench of our involvement with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is removed. (Well, that, and the bulging spot in the middle of his chest that is allegedly a "stich" but is more likely a leftover knot of something that will need to be removed, lest it look like he's growing a second penis out of the center of his chest. We'll take care of that soon as well.) I'm meeting one of my former students (nicknamed "Goofy") for coffee after work, and I think I'll get him to drive me to the hospital to catch up with my wife and son. Tough job for her tomorrow - he's supposed to be no food from 11AM until the surgery at 5.
That sucks, considering that the kid has been eating constantly this week - like, gained a half-pound eating. I mean, The Boy'll have a big dinner, and - an hour later - be yanking at the straps of his high chair for a snack and a sippy of juice. He's got a hollow leg to store the food, that's what I think... or, his stomach is expanding where his kidney used to be. (Too soon to joke about?) No fun to try to keep him away from food. My unsolicited advice? Get him the heck out of the house, particularly since his counts are good. At 2 o'clock, take him to the library for a half hour to run around, stop by the comic book store to say hi, walk around Border's to look at things, go to the nearby mall to do a lap or two, ANYTHING to keep him away from food. He can have clear liquids - which includes fruit ice and white grape juice, fortunately - until 3, so she can mitigate some of it.
But, not an easy job. He's inherited my one-track obsessive focus, which means he's going to be VERY difficult to distract.