This week, I was unexpectedly plunged into a world without Mommy. One day you’re at the library, singing and dancing with your mom, and at the gym’s daycare, playing with your little friends and knowing that your mother will be back in no more than 90 minutes, ready for a full day of book-reading, yogurt-dispensing and game-playing with you. The next, you’re rudely awakened by your crazed mother knocking things off shelves as she packs for the hospital, flashing lights outside your bedroom window, and the sight of your mommy being hauled off on a stretcher by serious, busy-looking men, waving bye-bye with an obviously fake smile.
Friday, Nov. 10
Still in the throes of cutting my canines (don’t you think that is bad enough?), I was totally blindsided in the wee hours of Friday by my mommy’s sudden hospitalization. Seven hours before, I’d capped a day of story requests and furniture jumping with a lasagna dinner and a bubble bath with a pink fizzie (a special treat and only my second fizzie ever!) and been put gently and sweetly to bed by Mommy and Daddy as happens every night. Those silly parents of mine hadn’t yet talked to me about the day Mommy would go to the hospital, stay for a while, and return with my new brother. (Mommy’s note: With two months to go, it seemed silly to get her stressed out over something so distantly removed from her current itinerary). And there I was, with no warning at all, racing to the hospital with Daddy and seeing my mom in a ridiculous blue gown which my fashionable mother would never wear and hooked up to IVs and monitors.
When Daddy and I left the hospital around 3:30 a.m., I was expecting Mommy to leave with us. And when we got home, I wondered where she was. After all, the longest waking time she has spent away from me has been four or five hours, and that has always been in the daytime with Daddy taking me on fun outings or in the evening with Nana rubbing my back while I fall asleep after a proper goodbye to Mommy and Daddy and some fun and games with Nana.
When Daddy took me home, it was 4:30 a.m. before I was in bed. It was 6 when I woke up, and there was no going back to sleep. It was “Mama, mama, mama” all morning. And why wouldn’t it be? Daddy gets up with me many mornings, but at some point, Mommy gets up and takes me to the gym or the library or playgroup or swimming class (with Daddy on the sidelines taking pictures, of course!). And Friday morning, I didn’t see Mommy until after noon, and it was in a crowded ultrasound room. Then Mommy got into a large and odd-looking stroller and was pushed around in it. Mama seemed very excited about the stroller, but I wasn’t buying it. To top it off, instead of going home and reading me stories, Mommy was delivered into a strange room, where she got into bed (what’s up with that? Mommies don’t sleep!) and gingerly held me in her lap, keeping my inquisitive hands away from her very fascinating IV site.
By our second visit later in the day, I wanted nothing to do with my mommy. I couldn’t bear to look into the face of the mommy who abandoned me, and didn’t want kisses, hugs or snuggles. Twice I had come to this place and seen Mommy lying around hooked up to tubes. Twice I had hoped for Mommy to come home and read “Rainbow Fish” to me, ad nauseam, and sing the bouncing rhymes we’d learned at the library. And twice Mommy had kissed me goodbye and remained in the hospital instead of being a good mommy and coming home to take care of me in the manner to which I have become accustomed.
Daddy put me to bed at 9:30, but not before I pooped in the tub. Daddy doesn’t have a strong tummy like Mommy does, and I’m banking on this. It will be only a matter of time before my big, strong (but weak-stomached and sleep-needing) daddy is all but forced to drag my wayward mommy back home to tend to my every need. After all, that tub isn’t going to clean itself, and I’m gonna need a bath again soon.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Despite my late bedtime yesterday, I woke at six and did not nap. Daddy must be punished too, after all, as I suspect he is partly responsible for this whole pregnancy situation. We brought Mommy a book, but I was still mad at her, so I spent my time trying to hide under the interesting mechanical beds and running out into the hallway to investigate the crying babies. After we visited Mommy and I refused to give her any hugs or kisses, Daddy brought me to my friend Delaney’s house. Since Delaney and her mommy had nothing to do with my mommy’s betrayal of me, I behaved very nicely except for one incident where Delaney pushed me and I smacked her a good one. But when we dropped by Mommy’s new home that night, I told Mommy that I played nicely with Delaney and had a good time, so she’s none the wiser. No time-out for me! Ha! (Mommy’s note: Delaney’s mommy now has permission to give time-outs for violence.)
I grudgingly gave Mommy a sweet kiss before Daddy and I left her tonight, but only because she bounced me and sang fun songs we learned at the library, and I suspected she did it against doctor’s orders. However, I was still mad at her and Daddy. I noticed Daddy had accidentally brought home the cell phone instead of leaving it for Mommy, so I asked for Mommy all night knowing she didn’t have a phone in her room. I’m certain if I make life miserable enough for Daddy, he will make Mommy move back in with us. Daddy put me in bed at 9, and I cried until 10.
Sunday, Nov. 12
I woke at 6 again. This is getting to be exhausting, but I’ve outlasted Mommy before, so I know I can outlast Daddy. I had the sniffles, but it was worth it. My crazy hours have pushed my sleepless Daddy into catching the flu. Since he was running a fever and had every respiratory symptom in the book, I figured that a little mischief might be just the thing he needed to motivate him to drag Mommy home by the hair and make her serve me. So I climbed in the drawers of the entertainment unit, stuck my hands in the VCR and hid in the closet, throwing shoes willy-nilly.
Unfortunately, Daddy apparently has tricks of his own. He took the knobs off the closet and drawers and now that stupid living room is nearly completely me-proof. Now all that’s left to do is jump from one item of furniture to another, and Mommy and Daddy are used to me doing this and don’t have a real problem with it … so where’s the fun in that? Daddy hasn’t given me another bath, so I’m saving my poop. I’ll get my mommy back home yet if I have to drive Daddy crazy in the trying.
Today, I felt kind of sorry for her since she seemed to genuinely miss me. I’m still not entirely convinced that she’s not just doing this to be mean to me, and I am worried that she will never come home and take care of me again, but I gave her some snuggles and blew kisses anyway. I even sat on her lap and enjoyed some more bounces and rhymes and songs. Well, until Daddy left to get my diaper bag. I am so used to Daddy taking care of me that I started to worry when he didn’t come right back. Let’s face it, Mommy is pretty useless lying in bed with tubes in her, and her new apartment is boring. Plus, Daddy has been reading my stories, and he even makes the dolphin noises in “Rainbow Fish” like Mommy does. Between that and Mommy abandoning me, Mommy and Daddy are just about even in terms of my wanting to be cared for by them. But I have to say, Mommy did my diaper change this afternoon and she’s just so much better at it than Daddy. I guess I’d better keep kicking and trying to get up and crawl away so he can get good at it like Mommy did. Daddy strolled me out of Mommy’s new apartment and I didn’t look back. I’ve almost given up on getting Mommy back home. I will keep working on Daddy, of course, but I miss Mommy so much that it’s hard for me to punish her.
Daddy, on the other hand, is nearly broken. Tonight, I overheard him call Mommy and say he couldn’t take it anymore and she needed to call Delaney’s mommy again and that he wanted me to go to Delaney’s as early in the morning as possible and be gone as long as I could. Tomorrow, I get to go to Delaney’s at 8 and have a fun day with my friend. With any luck, her mommy will sit me on the counter and put my hair in two ponytails again. I should learn how to talk better so I can tell Mommy that Delaney’s mom makes better ponytails than she does. It’s true. Anyway, I suspect Daddy is planning to use my playdate as part of some nefarious plan to catch up on his sleep so that he can deal with my campaign of terror. I don’t think he understands who he is dealing with.
Tonight, Daddy gave me a dose and a half of Benadryl per the pharmacist’s instruction. It’s supposed to make me drowsy so I won’t stay up all night and wake at unholy hours of the morning. Just to show Daddy who’s boss around here, I screamed for an hour and 20 minutes in my crib. He called Mommy, and it’s a good thing because I was ready to pass out after all that Benadryl. I fell asleep while they were on the phone, but not before driving Daddy to the brink of insanity and causing Mommy great distress at the situation. Hopefully, she’ll come to her senses and be home and ready to feed me breakfast by 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Monday, Nov. 13
I woke up bright and early again at 4:30 this morning. Unfortunately, when the door opened, it was just Daddy. I think my plan is working pretty well though, because he seemed barely human today.
Daddy brought me to Delaney’s house again. All this staying up late, rising early and not napping was really getting to me, so I had an hour of quiet time in the morning on Delaney’s couch, and then a nice nap in the afternoon. I hope Delaney’s mommy doesn’t tell Daddy and Mommy, because then they’ll be even worse with the nap enforcement. I’m sure she’s on my side, though, because I am sweet and play nicely when I’m there!
About an hour from bedtime, Daddy showed up. And you’ll never guess who came into the house behind Daddy. Mommy!!! I finally did it! Since she wasn’t wearing that ugly dress or hooked up to any machines, I gave her a nice hug (after a thorough inspection, of course). I am definitely not letting Mommy out of my sight ever again.
Wednesday, Nov. 14
It has been so nice having Mommy back!!! I am sleeping through the night and taking all my naps and generally being the sweetest little girl in the world. Mommy and Daddy haven’t had it so well in several months. I have been in the best mood EVER, now that my precious Mommy is back to serve me! I have noticed that she doesn’t pick me up and has Daddy do a lot of things, but I am too glad to have her back to take much advantage of it. (Sure, I don’t take her threats of time-outs seriously anymore because I know she’s not going to move from that couch, but did you know that daddies can give time-outs too? I sure didn’t! But I’m only doing slightly naughty stuff to test my boundaries. I hardly ever hit or kick her in the tummy anymore!)
I have been giving Mommy and the baby extra kisses the last few days, too, so that she never goes away again. It was really hard living without proper baths, cream-cheese-and-honey sandwiches, and the silly songs we sing at library toddler time. I know that Mommy is bored lying there on the couch instead of taking me to the gym or vacuuming with me in the backpack, so I’ve been keeping her busy reading me all my favorite stories and drawing pictures of dolphins and kittycats for me on the Magnadoodle.
And just to reward my dear prodigal Mommy for coming home, I even pooped on the potty last night after my bath. Am I a good toddler or what? Mommy will never, ever leave me again! (Except, she says, to have the baby. But that had better not require a four-day hospital stay — or else!)
And here is a picture of me with my unfashionably dressed Mommy, before I got her to move out of her apartment. Notice how I am totally giving her the cold shoulder! Kids, this is exactly how you should treat your mommy if she abandons you. It’s definitely a tough-love approach — but it works!