Day one was marked by a clear sense of unease, a nervousness just beneath the surface. I first picked up on this when I began dinner preparations. Coop, who usually busies himself with a puzzle in the living room while my wife cooks, pulled up a stool in the kitchen when I fired up the oven. Throughout the process he kept offering subtle encouragement. “That looks good, dad,” or “You’re a good cook, dad,” but I could tell he was judging me. Maybe monitoring my handling of the ground beef.
(Definitely a Dad menu: grilled cheeseburgers, curly fries, carrots/ranch, watermelon slices, and yogurt.)
Everything was going smoothly until Bubba’s ride to b-ball fell through, so I dragged the little ones out of the tub, threw on Pjs and hauled everybody into the cold. By the time we got back, Ri-ri was spiking a fever.
5:30 in the morning and Coop rolls up (usually he has to be pried out of bed) complaining of a stomach ache. Nice morning cortisol spike. He climbs into bed with me and for the next hour, says, very softly “tic,toc,tic,toc.” He survived.
Thanks goodness that by this morning Ri-ri was perky, delightful, and raring to get back to school. Too bad she has a 101 temp. Which made the school sendoff a little easier, but has cut down my productivity a bit.
So here I am for the third straight day, working from home. Is this what it feels like to be a mom – to be planning the dinner menu at 11am?