The lovely husband came home just after noon. He had a migraine. Now, for any of you who know my husband, you hear alarm bells ringing but let me explain for the rest of you: my husband puts workaholics to shame. He is a work junkie. He can't get a glass of water at 3am without checking his work-provided Blackberry charging peaceably on the counter. He will set the empty glass down, respond to messages, and forget to pour himself a drink. This is not a man who leaves work early. And then he did something unthinkably scary: in the middle of the work day he set down his Blackberry and closed his eyes.
Things were bad so I committed an unthinkably scary gesture of my own: I took all three kids out to dinner by myself so the lovely husband could recuperate in a quiet house. We went to the girls' favorite pasta joint. The one where they are ritualized to order their boxes of organic chocolate milk but also to request yellow paper cups so that they can dispense their own water at the soda fountain. The fountain that is too far from the table for me to feel comfortable leaving the baby in the stroller alone at, of course, which meant that I was blocking the soda fountain with a stroller and two children who want to do! it! them!selves! but can't actually reach.
L filled her cup with water first. I handed her the plastic lid and set her down. I lifted up E, who pushed her cup against the ice dispenser. L screamed. No! I no get ice and I WANTED ICE! At least three people were waiting to get their beverages. I set E down, who began to cry because we hadn't gotten her lid yet. G began pooping audibly and with great odor, and everyone knows how well poop goes with fresh brewed ice tea. At least five people were waiting to get their beverages. I picked up L, who took the lid off of her cup and poured it out ON THE FLOOR (and my shoes) so that she could begin anew with the ice dispenser. At least seven people were waiting to get their beverages. L pushed her cup against the ice dispenser. Nothing happened. It was empty. She threw herself to the floor in a tantrum of despair and spilled water. More than a dozen people were probably deciding that their meals didn't really need liquid accompaniment. I begged the counter boy to refill the ice.
You know how this turned out? We finally had all of our drinks in order and we set them down on our table while I made the girls go with me (fastfast!) to the restroom to change G's diaper before our food arrived. That mission accomplished, we sat down to eat. Both girls were about a third of the way through their meals (but seven-eighths through their chocolate milks and 0% through their important but tasteless waters) when E announced she needed the potty. I asked the busboy to leave our food; we'd be right back. You know how that turned out? We ordered our meals v.2.0 and waited for them to arrive tableside. The girls drank their second milks, took one bite each of their second pasta bowls, and declared themselves full. I packed up the leftovers, packed up three children, and got them home well past their bedtimes. And you know how that turned out.
See? Two weeks later I can remember that night without any more suffering from the wounds it left on my soul. Some stories are like that. They just hurt too much when they're fresh.
There is another story I owe you. Back in October, do you remember when E's ENT diagnosed her ear pain as a teeth-grinding problem and said we needed to have her seen by a dentist? E: who does not like strangers; who does not like strangers talking to her; who does not like strangers touching her; who hates loud noises so much that I carry ear plugs at all times; who has tactile defensiveness and can't deal with weird sensations. That's the child I was told needed to be seen urgently by a dentist. I was scared it would be bad. We made an appointment and just for fun, we made one for L, too. They would share the joy of their first dental appointment.
I was right to be scared. It was so bad that I never blogged about it. The soul-wounds were too deep.
So you know what's fun? October was six months ago. We're taking the girls back to the dentist tomorrow. Only this time, we'll also have a baby with us in a stroller who doesn't shriek at all when his sisters cry. Nope, not a bit.
I'm making the lovely husband skip work to be there with us to hold my hand. And he's not allowed to have a migraine until it's over.