Our worst night with Quint's earache was Friday night. So I napped hard Saturday. He felt pretty good all day Saturday. Sunday, he seemed to feel fine (smiling, happy, playing on his own) even though he had an amazing number of dirty diapers. I learned that being a child's only comfort can either be really annoying (when there's really only whining going on) or really rewarding (when you've managed to relieve a pretty severe discomfort).
I managed to get a good many chores done on Sunday, so I felt accomplished. Hubby had been complaining recently about the fact that I have the TV on a whole lot of the time. He kept asking me if all that radiation gave me a headache. (Does anyone have a clue what he's talking about?) He never said HE had a headache though. Lately, though, I hadn't found much on TV that I thought was spectacular. On the other hand, now that I'm not pumping at work anymore, I don't have a time set aside to read my Diana Gabaldon book. And only getting to read 3 or 4 pages right before bed just doesn't cut it with a 1000 page tome. So as much as possible this weekend, I turned on the radio or MP3 player when I wanted sound entertainment, and read my book when Quint was napping. Hubby didn't mention the difference, but perhaps he enjoyed it anyway.
The Grand Master:
The most exciting 30 minutes of my weekend happened at about 6pm on Saturday. I was coming home from running some errands. Quint was late getting his supper and seemed to need some more ibuprofen. He was clingy and whimpery and rested his head on my shoulder quite a lot. Have you ever tried to push a cart in Walmart while holding a 22 pound child? Not so easy. So Quint needed his dinner, and his medicine, and then he would probably be fine. I'm nearly home when Hubby calls to say that one friend is headed to the house (good friend, no problem) and he's also bringing the Grand Master by the house for a few minutes. That's the head of the Masonic Fraternity for the whole state. They've been at an event where Hubby was in full Highland dress and the Grand Master was in a tux. I am currently wearing a skimpy outfit that shows off my baby-play-bruises, my hair is unwashed and sculpted into a bun, Quint has normal 6pm dribbles on him, plus some crying/snottiness going on, and just wants to be held. Also, both living rooms have small toys scattered across the entire room. You know, it looks like a baby has played there. Great. Sure. No problem. I'm ready for the Grand Master to see my home for the first time ever.
Oh and can I pick up a six pack of that great beer on my way home. Sure. No problem. When might y'all be home? Oh, in about 30 minutes. Wonderful. Thankfully, everyone had already eaten so I didn't need to think about a meal for guests.
I wasn't quite even home yet. I stopped at our local Habib's whose credit card machine was on the blink. Could I use his ATM and use cash instead? Sure. No problem. Thank you, come again!
I race home. Our good friend is just getting out of his truck when I pull in. He helps me haul in the cold groceries. I plunk Quint down in the highchair with crackers and my friend keeps him entertained well. Or perhaps the baby is stunned by a stranger. Whatever, the whimpering stops, which was a big help. I dart into the front living room (beside the front door - first impression land) and rake all the loose toys into one huge basket, paying no attention to where they actually go. I jerk up other things like shoes and sweaters and fling them someplace better than the floor. I gather the big trash (store toy packaging) into a cubby in the hall. Hubby has arrived and moved our tower of mail off the kitchen counter to the dining table. He puts other things there too. This helps. I see the Grand Master pull up and dart around faster. I go to the other living room (the one adjoining the kitchen) and only start to rake small wooden blocks into a pile. At this point, our honored guest arrives in my kitchen. Breathe. Greet. Try to relax.
I continue to work on making Quint his dinner and putting away the cold groceries. I give Quint his ibuprofen and another cracker. I ask him if he wants milk or water. Milk. I manage to have a conversation about my pregnancy and Quint's current ills while shoving yogurt into the fridge. Our guest is also a medical doctor. Even he said something like "they gave him inoculations while he had an ear infection?" But he did not criticize my doctor. The men went out to the deck for drinks, cigars and bagpipes. Yes, that's right. Bagpipes. Mr. Doctor Grand Master had offered to help Hubby tune the drones on his new, fantastic bagpipes. He's a pretty good classical pianist as well. And a licensed plumber ("did we tell you about our water heater blowing up?").
While they're out there tuning bagpipes, I feed Quint his corn and carrots. He gets done eating and wants to get down, so I set him down. He crawls over to the patio door, stands up, and knocks to get out there. Big grin! Hubby brings him out and our boy joins the men. I clean up a few more things, prepare Quint's antibiotics, and go out to join them. They're done playing with the Uileann pipes (a different set from the new fantastic set Hubby has). I give Quint his medicine and then sit down to socialize. Finally, I can relax.
I play on the floor with Quint and a big ball, occasionally smacking mosquito off us both. After just a few minutes, Quint starts to feel markedly better. He starts to smile and laugh. The Grand Master probably wasn't at the house for longer than an hour. Good, eclectic conversation. I learned a good phrase signifying the middle of nowhere - 40 plum. Forty miles off the highway, plum in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you spell that plumb?
Not a bad visit. Our guest didn't seem uncomfortable, or judgmental of my less than perfect house.
It reminded me of another time my husband popped me into a socially awkward situation. The time I drove the Congressman's Husband to a political event.
The Congressman's Husband:
It was the first year of our marriage. Hubby was working for a female member of Congress. She insists on being called Congressman because that is the title. If she were Governor, you wouldn't call her a governess, so don't call her a congresswoman. I was out of work. Hubby had driven the Congressman, in her SUV, to an event 90 miles from home. I was also invited to the event as was the Congressman's husband. Hubby called me to ask me to pick him (Congressman's Hubby) up and drive him to the event so we wouldn't all get there in 3 cars. Coming home later, the couples could be in their respective cars.
Sounds logical. And a bit terrifying. I remember standing in our loft, hair dripping, towel clutched around me saying, "you want me to do WHAT?!" I may have met the man in passing once or twice. What would I talk about for 90 minutes! Certainly not politics! Also, what state was my car in? Nearly empty tank, a little trashed, and oh yeah, the transmission was shot, but still grudgingly working.
Somehow I managed to get ready in time. The carpooling cut an hour off my preparation time, so my hair had to dry on it's own in the car. So I pick the guy up, me in my fancy dress and basically a towel on my head. The guy is an incurable flirt - harmless, and good natured. After he made a few cracks about the desperate sound of my transmission, I loosened up, and the rest of the drive was un-memorable and pleasant. When we arrived, I encouraged him to go in without me, which was contradictory to his "escort the lady on your arm" instinct. After all, I had to completely fix my hair in the parking lot. Once he understood that, he went in without me. My own Hubby came out with an "are you ok?" type look on his face. I gave him a brief glare for putting me in that situation, but I had stopped sweating by then. It had turned out alright. I finished fixing my hair and braced myself for an evening of political hobnobbing while not talking about politics.
See, both times, it turned out alright! Alright being defined as, I didn't say the wrong thing, accidentally flash anyone, visibly shake, or fall down. I should really have more confidence in myself. And be prepared for anything my Husband throws at me. And perhaps keep my hair washed and dried at all times....