Steroids and Roses

If you were to walk into my house right now you might notice a vase of lovely roses in my kitchen.

First, a back story, and then, the panoramic view.

Last night I should’ve gone to bed so much earlier than I did, but the Romantic in me thought it was worthwhile to wait for my husband to get home late from his evening of work so we could climb into bed together. As I set my alarm for a generous 6:00 my vision of the day was as follows: Since I’d be showing our apartment for my landlord on Saturday, I’d need to wash the floor. So I’d do it before the kids got up and then exit the premises, spending the morning at playgroup at a friend’s house. We’d come home to our clean house, eat lunch, and then while they slept I’d Skype with a dear friend – the “dessert” I’d been looking forward to all week. In the evening I’d get back to the composition I’m working on, cozy in my clean house.

I woke up to help Jacob four times through the night. The kids were clearly not getting over their little sniffles in time for playgroup. The second time I helped him I wasn’t exactly waking up, though, because the Sorority Sisters in the apartment a couple doors down were out on their porch in tank tops in the 0 degree weather, chugging from flasks, giggling, and hollering at the top of their girlie lungs. This I discovered when their noise woke me at 1:00 a.m. Jacob woke at 1:40. So that hour was a wash.

I compromised with myself when my alarm went off, rolling over to sleep past 7:00 and let the floor happen when it happened. After all, we clearly weren’t going to playgroup so we’d be tramping on it all day.

This morning the kids were sick enough and I was convinced enough through a random set of factors that it might be strep that I decided the responsible thing to do was call the doctor. At 8:45 as they were halfway through breakfast I heard myself telling the nurse, “Yeah, let’s do the 9:15.” So out we went, in the aforementioned 0 degrees and of course no gloves.

By the time the nurse practitioner saw us Jacob was wheezing pretty dramatically, something that happens almost every time he gets a respiratory bug. He got his daddy’s childhood asthma. The kids were crazy in that office and Jacob opted to perch on the doctor’s rolling stool while she listened to his chest. “This is no good,” she said, and I offered to convince him to sit up on the exam table, assuming she meant she couldn’t hear through all his Crazy. “No, I’m hearing just fine, I just don’t like what I’m hearing.” She floated the idea of pneumonia and said she’d listen again after a breathing treatment, so there we sat in the exam room reading a big book about amphibians while Jacob valiantly breathed through a Darth Vader mask and Meredith took apart every piece of my wallet, as she loves to do. It was pronounced Not Pneumonia when all was said and done and we were prescribed Some Steroids. Three Steroids. Twice a day for a week.

We got home to find Dear Daddy had come home from cancelled classes. He was just sitting down to play his Hanon exercises at the piano and I was just getting off the phone with a mom friend for some seasoned second-opinion about The Three Steroids. Go with it, she said. So I set Jacob to play dough at the kitchen counter and I transformed a bit of potato soup into mac-n-cheese (don’t think too hard) and Meredith, well, she got bit with the Hyper Crazy Insane Girl Child bug this week so she was probably either running or shrieking or both. I stopped noticing as each round of Hanon worked my heart rate up to another high and then let me down slow. My favorite.

Kids in beds, I’m ready to improvise my own lunch and see to that Skype date. As I sat on my couch luxuriating in the sight of my sweet friend’s smile and the sound of her always-lovely words, I ignored the sounds coming from above and below. When our conversation got cut short I went to go investigate what I had, as it turns out, accurately predicted…

Jacob hadn’t slept but he’d had a massive accident. So there was that. Meredith also hadn’t slept, for similar reasons, but bless her little heart, she’s still wearing diapers, and in case I’d forgotten that there was the evidence: She’d reached out her crib rails and obtained the wet diaper that was sitting on the changing table, opened it, and dropped it over the side of her crib along with all her animals. “No, no! Diapers are not for touching! Only Mommys touch diapers!” I give her The Serious Face and she gives me the I Know! I’m the Prettiest Princess of Them All! I Love That You Are In Love with Me! Face and I just started giggling like any reasonable grown-up would.

The good news was that Mike’s evening class – the one that happens during dinner time twice a week this year – had been cancelled. Which was good, because I’d forgotten about it and was gearing up to make dinner for us to all eat together – Oh The Novelty!

So I pack the babies off to the grocery store to pick up The Three Steroids and some veggies for stir fry. I ask the pharmacist what I can expect out of a two-year-old on three steroids and he literally LOL’d. (Go ahead and picture that.)

As I rounded the corner to the check out counters there were the day old flowers on clearance, and this bouquet of exquisite blush roses – the kind I thought I was getting in my wedding bouquet but then they weren’t quite what I expected. $3.00. And the pharmacist had laughed at me. And my house needs to be staged despite the piano lessons that got rescheduled to Saturday and the meeting that I’d just found out about for Saturday. If this is only Friday, clearly Saturday is going to need some roses.

I bought myself those roses and now they are sitting in a filthy vase, still in their plastic, surrounded by a kitchen full of this day’s disasters. And my floor is definitely not washed, not even swept. But before dinner I snuggled The Boy with the Steroids while we went to my happy place together: a ten minute YouTube publicity video for Alison Balsom. I just sat there in the middle of “the day’s work” that hadn’t even begun yet and enjoyed that soul-shaking beauty with my crazy babies. And now that they’re asleep it’s time I washed this floor and put those roses in their proper place.

Some days you just have to write about.


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