Survival Mode

Matt has now been gone on his business trip for more than a week.  The excitement of getting to video chat with daddy through an iPad screen has worn off, and the kids and I are just ready for him to be home.  I knew going into this situation that this past weekend was going to be the biggest challenge for our family.  At least during the week the kids had school to distract them so they wouldn’t notice daddy being gone quite so much.  Then with all that we did for Brendan’s birthday the nights seemed to fly by as well.

Saturday morning after the sleepover I planned on letting the kids have a relaxing day.  I figured we’d watch some cartoons, read some books, play some games, and just be kindof lazy.  We had tickets to a hockey game that night so this would allow them to recouperate before that.  About mid-morning my mom called and asked if we wanted to go with her to visit one of her former players who was in town for a weekend series.  I agreed and loaded up the kids.

It took us about 30-40 minutes to get across town to where he was staying and in that time both Cameron and Kaylee fell asleep in the car.  I wasn’t too surprised about Kaylee, it was around nap time when we finally left so she evidently needed a nap.  Cameron was much more surprising, he doesn’t nap any more and it’s extremely rare for him to fall asleep mid-day.

We spent about an hour at the hotel visiting and during that time Brendan was pushing everyone’s buttons and just being overall in a grumpy mood.  Kaylee had fun going from person to person and getting into our faces, but was overall quiet and well behaved during our short trip.  Cameron, again, was very surprising.  He spent the entire hour curled up on my lap and not talking.  He didn’t fidget at all, which never happens with him, and the fact that he wasn’t talking a mile a minute seemed odd as well.

It wasn’t until we were on our way home that I determined the issue.  He said he didn’t feel well and spent the car ride home laying down and trying to go back to sleep.  Of course he didn’t feel well.  Why didn’t I think of that before?  Kaylee had been sick earlier in the week, and the fact that Cameron had been coughing off and on for the previous couple of days didn’t register that he was coming down with the same thing.  All the way back to the house Brendan was physically and verbally poking his brother.  He and I had words about it at least a dozen times during the trip and every time I called him on it, Brendan would insist he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

The straw that broke the camel’s back that afternoon was when I rhetorically asked him who had been poking Cameron all the way home and he replied in a snotty voice, “Kaylee.”  My parents got out of the car at their house and I told my mom that unless Cameron perked up after a little medicine and Brendan had a major attitude change that we wouldn’t be going to the game.

And we didn’t.  Cameron crashed into his bed and didn’t get up again until the next morning.  Brendan had a complete meltdown by the time we got home and spent a good chunk of the afternoon sulking.  I was frustrated and tired and really ready for Matt to just be done with this trip.  I called him in tears and just spent about 20 minutes venting my frustrations to him.

After that, things got a lot better.  The kids went to bed fairly early, and I crashed as well.  On Sunday we got up late, and Cameron spent most of the morning in my bed watching cartoons.  It wasn’t until about 1:00 in the afternoon that he said he finally felt well enough to get up.  Brendan was also starting to show the beginning signs of the illness as well, and so was I.  Since we were all at varying stages of the illness we just stayed in our pajamas all day long and had the relaxing day that we were going to have on Saturday.

By dinner time I was too tired to cook, and since the kids had all had a really good day with no arguments or meltdowns I decided to reward them with Burger King for dinner.  We all piled into the car in our pajamas and were going to run through the drive thru.  Unfortunately as we pulled up to the speaker the voice on the other end says that they’ve run out of hamburger buns.  We all had a good laugh about that, a hamburger restaurant that has no hamburger buns.

Still laughing we pulled out of line and headed over to the McDonalds up the street.  Finally, with our dinner in hand we headed for home.  We survived our weekend without Matt and could now begin counting down the hours until his safe return to us late on Friday night.  We’re all eager to have him home, though I’m not so sure he’s as eager to leave the peaceful quiet of the hotel or the warmth surrounding him and come home to the chaos and cold weather that we call home.


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