R. left Saturday on a work trip that keeps her out until Wednesday. While it is usual that she travels for work, and we have adjusted – continue to adjust – to that schedule, it is always a little, well, trickier, more accurately put, challenging, when she is gone for more than three days, leaves on a Saturday, and one, or both kids, get sick. The demands are higher, patience lower and meals are a little weirder.

A. has allergies, asthma, and about all the ailments that aggravate her esophagus and air ways, and I made a crucial error. She is supposed to take an allergy medication daily during Spring, she took it for five days, seemed to be fine, I quit giving it to her, her allergies came back with a vengeance, asthma attacks ensued, albuterol was used, and a sleepless puking night followed. Why didn’t I connect that her lack of symptoms was due to the medicine working?

This all took place during day three of R.’s trip. The weekend before she left we had celebrated A.’s birthday. Our refrigerator is packed with leftovers – sausage, cheeses, brats, mayo salads, pickles, hotdogs, did I say sausages? Wasting food bothers me and I make it my personal mission to use every last shred of a two-pound bag of sauerkraut – you were right R., there was no way that many people were going to want kraut, but I can use it all week – serve it hot, serve it cold, and on the third day the kids would get their choice. We all burn out on cooking, we stare in the cupboards and claim that three hundred dollars buys nothing to eat. Well, I was hitting that wall, and instead of new groceries, I was staring at leftovers of leftovers leftovers.

A. ‘s coughing, puking, rear in face tooting left me with an hour and a half of sleep, and H., who is potty training, woke at 6:30 to pee all over the floor, then A. was complaining of a side ache, and in my bleary eyed world I didn’t connect coughing with side pain, I thought she was having appendicitis, which I ruled out after pressing on her stomach a few times. So, this is what H. got for dinner, and she couldn’t have been happier. A. eventually ate a cheese tortilla on the couch.

flippin' lid dinner

My Papa Sense tells me:

Every once in a while you have to cut yourself some slack. Years ago, months ago, (I still do) I would have fought this, I would have driven myself crazy getting us all to the dinner table, making a meal that no one would eat, and pile another three containers of Tupperware in the fridge. I still do that from time to time, I Iike pushing myself, but when I looked over at H. sampling her smorgasbord – all I could think was ‘eat yourself tired’.