Friday, April 28, 2006

What Happens When Daddy's In Vegas...

I am sort of afraid to go to bed because today is the first day I've ever spent totally alone with Jarrah. David is in Las Vegas for NAB and hence I will not be posting these musings until his return, in the interest of not signaling to any particularly crafty ax murderers that I am husbandless at home. I realize that's kind of a reach, but what can I tell you? I am the kind of person that if a telephone rings when the lights are off (even if I wasn't asleep at the time) I'm totally, utterly convinced that the person is calling to let me know they are on their way over to kill me. Over the years, people have gently pointed out that it doesn't make much sense to give the game away with the phone call. But there's no reasoning with me. I'm sorry.

Anyway, that's not why I'm afraid to go to bed. I'm terrified that Jarrah is going to wake crying and inconsolable and that I won't have my trusty partner to ricochet ideas off of: "Should we try some Tylenol?" "Is her heater on?" "Does it sound like she's coughing?" David and I aren't all that effective when we have these groggy summit meetings, but it's comforting, somehow, to know that someone else currently has your same objective: silencing the crying in any way that might work. I dread asking those questions to the cold depression on the other side of the bed. So here's hoping she sleeps through the night.

The day itself was admittedly rather pleasant. We drove David to the airport very early, and then we came home for scrambled eggs. There was a bit of playing, and a lot of napping, during which I caught up on dead-heading the roses and got a short lecture on aphids from our next door neighbor. When Jarrah woke, we had lunch, and then got the sad news that Martha and Vincent were not feeling up to a walk with us this afternoon. I had a moment of interior panic, but I rallied and quickly drove Jarrah to the zoo before I could overthink the plan. It was a gorgeous day with a cooling breeze, and we had a lovely two-hour excursion with a long walk for me and some goat slapping for Jarrah. (All the children laughed at me when I turned my back to admire a Shetland pony and one of the goats tried to eat my sweater off my waist.) I was truly amazed at Jarrah's patience today; she amused herself by swaying and singing as we cruised around but never once made a peep that sounded other than satisfied. I do have moments when I think she's the most patient baby in the world. Then I have other moments.

We stopped at the park on the way home, where she got to pet a doggie and nearly give me a heart attack by crossing the wobbly bridge on her own, several times. She's worked out that she can hold the railing and cross slowly without holding my hand, which is a great relief for my back but not my conscience, since she could pitch over the side at any moment.

When we got home, it was time for Grace and Julianna to arrive with Chinese food, and I can't say enough about their kindness. Julianna played with Jarrah while Grace and I chatted, and the food was delicious. Jarrah ate and then threw a lot of noodles on the floor, but not before giving herself a jagged, punk hairdo with some lemon chicken styling gel. Both my guests helped with bath, story and bottle, and Grace (could she be any more wonderful?) even did the dishes while I washed that lemon sauce out of J's hair. I honestly think I would have been feeling very odd doing all this by myself, because evening is David's time with Jarrah. Even she noticed, because generally after being lotioned she likes to run howling from her room to the kitchen to show off her nudity while I'm doing the dishes. Then she runs howling back after I've admired how clean she is. Tonight she started running, then stopped, and looked over her shoulder, perplexed. Her expression seemed to say, "Wait. If Mommy is back there, then she isn't in the kitchen. And Daddy doesn't seem to be in the kitchen, either. So where IS Daddy?" I didn't want her thinking too hard about this, so I bundled her off to bed soon after. She went down willingly; hopefully she'll stay that way.

P.S. It's the next day, and my worst fears were founded. (Can you say "founded?" Or only "unfounded?") She not only woke up crying a few times before I went to sleep, but she kept coughing in this disturbing way. I finally decided that when I have a dry cough, a cup of tea makes me feel better, so I decided to improvise. I filled a bottle with very warm water, a spoonful of honey, and a splash of lemon juice. She was pretty upset when I opened her door but when I handed her the bottle, she knew what to do. I tiptoed out again and didn't hear a peep the rest of the night! I'm a genius! :)

Aside from one bloody wound (see previous post) I think we've done okay with David away. I'm totally exhausted, though. I can't underestimate the difference in having him wake up with her and put her to bed at night. But I know I've been very fortunate to have such good friends checking on me and keeping me company. Yesterday Grace even came by to give Jarrah lunch and play with her while I went shopping and out for coffee by myself for a couple hours. What a treat! I really enjoyed myself. I enjoyed myself so much that I managed to lose a rather sizeable check David had given me to deposit. I was a little disturbed by this, but not unduly concerned (that in itself is sort of alarming) until I returned home to three frantic phone calls: the first two from an incredibly sweet stranger named Erica who had found the check, and the third from Jonny at the mall security office, letting me know he had it. I must say that over the years I have managed to lose my wallet half a dozen times in this city and some kind stranger has always called me within minutes. Compare that to when I lived in Boston, and not once but three times someone actually stuck their hand in my purse and extracted my wallet and I had to spend weeks replacing all my cards. Not sure if that means San Diego is a particularly friendly city, or if I've used up my store of luck in the past 10 years on my wallet. So Jarrah and I spent the late afternoon traipsing back to the mall and wending through a slightly eerie warren of hallways behind the friendly retail facades to find Jonny and make up for my perpetual spaciness. I didn't get to feed Jarrah until close to 7:00, but she was surprisingly agreeable about it. And then Martha arrived with dessert to put the cherry on our day, and Jarrah drifted off to sleep in my lap while we were chatting and didn't make a sound for 11 hours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the story of Jarrah at the seaside -- just wanting to get as sandy and wet as possible! And, as always, adorable pictures. That's great that you got that important check back -- after the strain of those days alone, you deserved a little random kindness from the universe. Thinking of you guys, Liz