Sometime late last Saturday night Charlie started running a fever. Sunday morning it was up to 103. Monday morning, it was even higher, so we kept him home from school. Husband Charlie worked that morning, and I drove to the office around lunchtime for an afternoon meeting. Shortly after getting to work, husband Charlie was blowing up my phone that his temperature had spiked to 105. I called the pediatrician and sped back home (in my rental, which is a total POS. That's a story for another day).
Got to the pedi's office and waited and waited some more, before she came in and confirmed that it wasn't an ear infection, it wasn't strep throat, and it didn't sound like bronchitis or pneumonia, nor did it have the same symptoms of the flu.
All we could do was wait it out. And so we did. Husband Charlie stayed home on Tuesday, Grammie came by for a visit, I stayed home on Wednesday (and he seemed to be better, whipping spatulas at my head while trying to conduct a conference call). Yesterday it was back to school, with much drama after being at home for so many days.
We watched A LOT of TV. A LOT. Yo Gabba Gabba!, monster movies, animal movies, Blue's Clues. We had a heated discussion over whether Blue is a boy dog or a girl dog (it's a girl), talked a lot about why Sith Lords make lightening with their hands, why some jedis become bad guys (all the while I curse myself for letting him watch Star Wars - there have been some deep philosophical questions that I'm just not prepared to answer), all the important things in life.
Most of the time he just laid around all pathetic. It was sad.
And of course, this whole week has been a great source of anxiety as a working mom. Like any parent, when my kid is sick there's nothing I'd rather do than lay around on the couch with them. Unfortunately, I had a BIG meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon. BIG. As in, it's been on the calendar for months, there were lots of important people invited, and I've been working on my portion of the project for a long time. It was the last meeting before we tied up all the loose ends and presented it to the community next month. But needless (I hope!) to say, when Charlie called to tell me about the 105 temperature, it wasn't even a question about where I needed to be.
The constant push-and-pull that working parents experience is tiring. When you're playing one role, you're always worried that the other role is suffering. Pre-kids, I always thought that it was possible to be absolutely awesome at both parenting and working, but in reality, it's not as simple as it seems. You just can't be everything to everyone. I'm lucky that my employer understands that and doesn't force us to make tough decisions, but sad for the millions of other women who end up marginalized or out of work because of the lack of support.
(I'm not trying to leave the dads out of this discussion, but that's a sociological discussion for another time!)