Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Non-Vacation "Vacation"

I know it sounds weird but I was really looking forward to the work conference I just returned from.  It's awesome to get out of the office and hang out with my counterparts from around the state.  Every year it's done in a different part of the state, and this year it was (awesomely) held approximately 5 minutes from my work.  The even awesomer part is that every single attendee is entitled to stay overnight in the hotel in their own room (even if they could comfortably walk to their office from the hotel).
This year marked my third year attending, and I have looked forward to it every year.  Something about having a hotel room to myself makes me feel like I'm living in the lap of luxury.  Even if (as it was last year) it's a Super 8.  

It actually turned out to be super convenient that the conference was so close to home this year, because I was able to arrange to go and only have to leave L for one night.  (A huuuuuuuuuuuuge thank you to my parents for taking L since D was working!!)  Plus, I could go about my morning as usual and not have to get up 3 hours earlier to make a trip out to a different part of the state.  Not only did I not have to get up 3 hours early, I got to sleep in a bit because the conference started at 9:30 to allow for out of town travelers.  So I got to get up a little later, take a walk with L over to the school around the block to vote for school board (we heart doing our civic duty) and leisurely eat an apple for breakfast while catching the fun part of the Today show (all of which made me ache to be a stay at home mom).  

So basically, I was pumped for this conference.  The hotel it was held at was super, super nice, and right in the parking lot of a really awesome mall (to which I generously donated large portions of my paychecks when I was first hired).  And I didn't have to go into the office for two days.  Score.  

As luck would have it, Tuesday morning when L woke up, his cheeks looked like someone rubbed tomato all over them.  He's been having skin issues for a couple months, and I've been going crazy trying to figure out what's been causing it.  I've switched our laundry detergent, as well as the soap we use when we give him a bath, I no longer wear perfume or use scented lotion, we've been putting cortisone cream on the broken out areas, I've thrown salt over my left shoulder, jumped backwards 10 times into the setting sun and done a reverse rain dance.  Nothing.

So when his poor little face was stop-sign red on Tuesday morning, I'd had enough.  I've been trying to hold out until his 6 month check up next Friday, but I knew I didn't want to put it off any longer.  So I called my dad, who would be watching L on Wednesday, and asked him if he would pretty please take L to the doctor.  He agreed because he's awesome, so I had to call the doctor and sneak some time in between sessions to use the hotel computer to email my dad a brief history of L's skin issues and what we've done to give to the doctor.  

I don't know if you've ever had to give your child's history of anything to anyone, or if you've ever heard any mom do so, but it's virtually impossible to be brief.  I was sitting there typing things like, "On Wednesday, April 7 at 7:22 p.m. we switched from Johnson's Nighttime Baby Soap to Aveeno Baby.  At 7:46 and 3 seconds I noticed that L's skin was looking slightly less inflamed."  Once my email reached 6 paragraphs, I realized I needed to edit myself a little and just tried to stick with the basics.  

And of course at the end of the email, I wrote "I will have my cell phone on me at ALL TIMES so if you (dad) or the doctor have any questions or if there is an emergency of any kind, you will be able to reach me AT ALL TIMES."  Like the redness was life-threatening and was going to cause my child to spontaneously turn to ash or something.  What a spaz. 

So then I calmed down and was able to enjoy the rest of the day.  And when dinner was over at around 7:15, I was free.  And I mean FREE.  I went up to my room and it was beautiful and quiet.  There were two beds and I was overwhelmed with the freedom of which one to choose.  Naturally, I chose the one closest to the clock, and I didn't even have to argue with anyone over who got to sleep next to the clock.  Then I went over to the thermostat and turned it down to 67 because I like to sleep cold and I didn't have anyone bother me about how it was too cold and how air conditioning costs money.

And then I had an epiphany.  I could drive over to the mall and walk around and just.....browse.  As in, just wander in and out of stores at a slow and easy pace and go where I wanted and look at what I wanted for however long I wanted.  And the idea of shopping without a purpose was so beautiful that it almost brought tears to my eyes.  So I pulled on my comfy pants (because I was my own woman and I didn't care if I looked like a schmo and you don't own me so if you have a problem with it you can suck an egg), walked to my car and drove over to the mall to rediscover a practice that was once as natural as breathing but has since become as foreign as Spanish even though I took it for 5 years and still can only say "me llamo Katie".

Oh you guys, it was so wonderful.  I kept fighting the almost spastic urge to check my cell to see what time it was and just wandered around.  I browsed through the book store, discovered an Ann Taylor Loft store (which could very well have been there for a long time, but was new to me) and just had a great old time.  I was having so much fun that I was over-chatting with the sales people and they probably thought I was on some sort of sedative or something.  Except probably not a sedative so much, because I don't think I could disguise how giddy I was.

And then when the mall was closing, I went back over to the hotel and went back to my very own room, which had chilled nicely since my departure.  I got all ready for bed and turned on the tv.  I relished the knowledge that I was in bed before 10 and that I would not have to get out of that bed for any reason other than my 7:30 alarm.  Breakfast started at 7:30 and went until 8:15, and I had quickly decided that I would be downstairs for the 8:30 session at 8:20.  I didn't give a crap about breakfast because I can eat breakfast any time I want; I cannot, on the other hand, sleep until 7:30 any time I want.  In my world (at least this has not changed), sleep wins out over just about everything.  

Right before I nodded off, I thought to myself, "I sure do miss D and L, but boy, this is fan-freaking-tastic."  So when I was driving home after the last session of the day on Wednesday, I felt refreshed and ready to get back into real life.  A few hours of "me" time with no one to answer to had recharged my batteries.  

And then life re-initiated me at warp speed.  You know how you return from vacation and like 5 seconds later are like, "I could really use a vacation"?  Yeah, it was like that.  I had to go pick up L from my dad's while D had to mow our jungle of a backyard because he was developing a slight twitch from how long it was getting and would have probably gone a little wacky if he didn't get time tocut it.  Then I got home and had a fussy baby who would not nap even though it was nap time and he was tired.  Then I asked D if he had had a chance to get Brenda's present for Day Care Provider Appreciation Day, which is Friday, like I had asked, which of course, he did not.  Then I had to do laundry. 

Then I had to make dinner, which is a whole story in and of itself (I should really write about meals in our house.  I suspect it's the type of thing where, if you're removed from the situation, you would find it humorous.  I'm not removed from it, so draw your own conclusions).  Then it was time to feed L his dinner.  Then D had to start getting ready for work.  Then it was time for L's bath and night bottle.  Then D left for work.  Then I had to put L to bed and go back into his room three times because he can't figure out that if he wants to roll from his stomach to his back, all he has to do is tuck that arm under him instead of sticking it straight out and almost breaking his shoulder in the process of trying to roll over. 

Then as I was walking down the stairs after finally getting L off to bed, I was like "Man, I could really use a break."        

No comments: