Having one sick baby is hard enough. How about working all day and coming home to two sick babies and then losing power in winter? The old me would have been angry, upset and miserable, but instead I really did turn lemons into lemonade.
“Mommy, thank you for the great night.”
These words are my trophy for what I can only call the most unusual day I had yesterday. Maybe I should have been more careful what I wished for since I had been complaining about feeling stuck in a rut, or maybe it was one big fluke, but either way it was definitely unexpected. Really, I couldn’t make up this stuff!
It started yesterday around 2:00pm when I got a call from Daddy. The girls were both sick. June had a fever and Sansa’s nose was
running off her face. I had noticed they were a bit “off” yesterday, but I had no idea. He asked if I could take the next day off, but when I checked my schedule I couldn’t because I had an important meeting at 2pm. He warned me that it was gonna be a rough night.
But, I was positive. I stopped on the way home for a treat of coffee since I figured I would need it. I got in the door and there were both babies one on each of my parent’s laps looking sleepy, sick and very unhappy. As we did the “switch off” the power started flickering and at about 4:40pm it went out. Praying it would be temporary I said goodbye to my parents and tried to comfort the two now crying babies. Sawyer had recently broken our batter powered light by putting it in the dog dish, and we have no candles because well, three kids and three animals plus candles equals not safe.
But, I didn’t panic. I came up with an idea. I told Sawyer his sisters were sick and they needed our help, so he could be the doctor and I would be the nurse. Right away he got excited. But I need a doctor’s bag, he said. So I got him one of my old purses and he put it on. Inside he found a pen and an old receipt and so I told him he could start writing prescriptions. I gave him a specimen jar from the medicine cabinet, a bottle of vitamins and some bandages. I had even gotten a vitamin coupon in the mail with pills on it so I gave that to him as well and he was in heaven.
Taking advantage of the fleeting light I changed and cleaned up the girls and got them to eat some food. By 5:30pm still no power and it was getting dark. I remembered a picture I had seen on Facebook that in a pinch you could burn some wax crayons for light. So, by 6:00pm I tried it out.
First of all, they burned way quicker than what the picture said (I was supposed to get an hour out of a crayon). Then, they got so hot the glass jar I had put them in cracked in half and shattered! The girls freaked and were in tears while I was dousing the fire on my mantle with water and desperately trying to clean up the glass and wax while there was a tiny bit of light left. Unfortunately, the veneer on our wonderful television stand/ faux fireplace (our nicest piece of furniture) is now melted.
I decided to try again in a metal bowl that couldn’t break. That just ended up making the crayons smoke and then the fire alarm went off. All this time the girls are crying. I ran around fanning the air in the dark trying to get it to shut off. Luckily it only lasted a minute. So much for that idea.
I tried to calm the girls, but now we were on the bottles from the fridge. Not only were they not feeling well, they were not liking the cold bottles that I had no way of heating up.
It was now almost 7:00 and still no power. It is about -20 degrees outside and getting cold fast. I gather the kids (and dogs) around on the floor and using my phone as a flashlight we sing some songs together. That seemed to brighten their spirits. As every seemed to calm down we huddled in some blankets and I was actually enjoying myself cuddling and singing. I should mention I am a horrible singer, but I tried to sing songs I loved as a kid, and since I hadn’t sang them in a while it took a bit of concentration to remember all the words. Sansa actually rocked back and forth and “danced” as I sand Clouds by Joni Mitchell, Cherish by Madonna and of course Flashdance.
Then Sawyer, being too scared to go to the washroom in the dark peed in his pants. I helped him to the washroom, which really upset the girls and got out the spare underwear I keep in the diaper bag in the stroller so I didn’t have to leave them to go forage upstairs with no light. It took another half hour to settle everyone down again after that, but I felt bad for him, since it was an accident.
It was weird actually. In spite of the dark and cold and constant crying, once everyone was settled again I felt at peace. I felt grounded and connected, and I looked at all three of then huddled around me in the dark, the dogs sleeping beside us and I thought this is life. This is a beautiful moment, that I once might have missed because I was too caught up in wanting the evening I had envisioned in my head, instead of the one that was going on in front of my eyes.
By 8:00pm, the girls were clearly tired, but I couldn’t put them to bed because I couldn’t leave the others alone and it was pitch black so they cried as tried to comfort them and fell asleep on the floor. Then it was just me and Sawyer.
We talked. I spoke to Daddy who said it was a large area with the outage and we would hopefully have it back by 10:00pm. I was grateful for that and tried not to think about all the things I still had to do before I could go to bed, like clean up, have a shower, get the kids to bed etc. Instead I laughed at how this was gonna make a great blog post.
I could see the novelty of the situation was wearing off on Sawyer too so I told him we were playing pioneers. I explained to him all about the pioneers and how they lived and what pioneer village was like. He was very interested and kept asking questions so I kept talking.
By 9:00pm, hallelujah, the power came back. Thank goodness because the thermostat said what I already knew which was that it was down to 12-15 degrees in the house. I cranked the heat and boiled the kettle. Sawyer and I got something to eat (all we had eaten thus far were some strawberries) and I put the girls to bed.
He came upstairs and helped me get my things ready for work and take the dogs out to pee. By 10:00pm I was finally tucking him into bed and that’s when he told me, “thanks for the great night mommy”. In spite of everything I had somehow managed to give him a nice memory of an otherwise shitty situation. Even as I write this now, I am not sure how I did it, but I feel that it is an accomplishment and a demonstration of how we can actually shape our reality. I hope sharing my story with you will help you get through the next storm in your life, not by praying for sunshine but by dancing in the rain.
Oh, and it is also a reminder that I need to buy more flashlights ASAP!