Surviving Miss E’s first cold should warrant a medal of some kind, or a spa day, or a big fat chocolate cake I didn’t have to bake or clean up after. But the only thing I got for it was a cold of my own, neglected long enough that it escalated into a sinus and an ear infection. Working through two boxes of tissues on my couch while she languished in her bouncy seat, not being read to or sung to or intellectually stimulated in any way, I felt like the worst ever mom. Even when she craned her little head to stare at the bewitching lights of the television, I only halfheartedly turned her chair so she couldn’t see, hoping for just a few more minutes of Not Being Needed.
Because that’s the thing; somebody always needs me. If it’s not the baby, it’s my husband. If not my husband, the cat. I don’t get sick days. It didn’t matter how badly I felt, she still needed to be fed and changed and loved. We still needed to eat and clean dishes to eat upon, and wallowing in congested misery was far more tolerable when the sheets smelled of laundry soap.
Having someone else dependent upon you for their survival is surreal enough when you’re not hopped up on antibiotics. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it.
But I could really go for that cake right about now.