Hubby routinely accuses me of joyfully whisking off to business trips because, rightly so, sometimes they feel like mini-vacations. Hotel rooms are like spas to working mothers. You can pee without people sitting in your lap, you’re only responsible for wiping one person, and you wake up with the same number of people in the bed as when you fell asleep. I have been notorious for jumping on planes and telling my family “see you when I get back,” which doesn’t work so well when you’ve parented three rambunctious kiddos in a dual-career household. I just returned from a three day business trip to Boston, but this time around I took Hubby’s feedback seriously and tried my best to support the house running as smoothly as possible while I was gone. If you have children and are left to man the house while a spouse travels, you know the parent role intensifies when you’re doing it alone. Inevitably, something goes wrong and one parent is left to hold all the reigns while the carriage of life feels like it’s rolling down a hill without brakes. Hubby was truly a hero, as he always is, and deserves a huge thank you for his patience, support and excellent daddy skills.
Before I tell you how Boots ended up with three staples in his head, I want to pat myself on the back for my business travel “pre-work.” In Miss C’s room the design theme is “It takes a village,” and the full village was on duty this trip. It was a three-team crew to assist Hubby this go around. They helped dress, nourish and transport my three kiddos starting with the babysitter. Instead of her only working one evening, I asked her to double up on pick up from after school. Normally, she folds and puts up all the kids’ laundry, but all their clothes were already cleaned. She fixed their lunches for the next day and helped them lay out clothes to wear. I asked the housekeeper to do an extra clean since they’d broken something and owed us a free service. Finally, members of our church small group made dinner and brought it over during dinnertime. I was so grateful for their help and was proud to still be able to “feed” my family even though I was miles away.
All my efforts seemed to unravel when Hubby texted me at 6:30a that they were headed to the ER. WHAT?! was my first response. Several thoughts ran through my mind with that single text. First, I thought it must not be life or death, because that definitely seemed a phone-call worthy status. Also, Hubby must have it under control because I could sense the stern yet calm tone emanating from the text. I wondered which child of mine was involved and cursed the extra burden this placed on him that I’d tried to reduce even if by a sliver. My last thought was that we’d have to add funds to the HSA because I’d just exhausted them at the eye-doctor and this bill would not be cheap.
I called him back to learn the chain of events that lead to Boots and his staples. Miss C was on a discovery-pee episode, that is, selecting a different bathroom every morning, and this time she’d peed in boys’ bathroom. Gadget tried his best to effectively mop it up, but Hubby took a stab at it with some Lysol to properly sanitize. The wet floor and my energetic son combined, resulting in a three-contact fall: the toilet, the wall and finally the floor. I was told there was twenty minutes of crying, of course lots of blood, and a trail of blood from their bathroom to my room on carpet nonetheless. (Note the mommy hack: hydrogen peroxide is killer at removing blood stains because head wounds bleed A LOT).
Unfortunately, these things happen and create mommy guilt. If I’d been home would this have happened? I can’t answer that. Perhaps something worse could have happened. No one knows. What I do know is that my little boy will be alright. I trust that Hubby handled the situation equally if not better than I would have.