It’s August, but with both kids in school (Babyboy in his Special Ed summer program) and Babygirl at her daycare/ preschool, me in my usual clinic schedule (plus an unusually heavy paperwork load), and Hubby away, it’s been a hectic week. No lazy days of August.

Hubby left on Sunday for an extended work trip, back home tomorrow (Friday) morning. With a ton of help from Nana, I’m solo parenting. I have to say, I’m proud of us. Given everything going on, we’ve held the household together well.

We had just started toilet training Babyboy last week, out of necessity, and he’s been rocking the toilet training at home, school, and Nana’s house. He’s had a few accidents, and really ugly ones too; it took me a half hour to clean one memorable mess. He has to be reminded and encouraged to sit on the potty sometimes, but for the most part, he’s in big-boy undies, and that nasty rash has healed. It’s a change in our routine, and we’ve all needed to be on top of his elimination schedule, and prepared with extra clothes.

It’s recredentialing time at my hospital, and I had to find time to hunt down CME certificates, figure out when my last PPD placement was, sign on all the dotted lines, and get it in before the deadline. Then, we’ve had a nursing crisis, with several nurses out for various reasons, and we docs had to step up and deal with the annoying stuff, medication refill requests/ paperwork/ phone calls/ and general logistical figuring out things. Of course, I’ve also had several long-term disability and SSI/ federal disability applications to complete on behalf of patients. Plus, clinic has been fairly heavy, a steady flow of complicated/ intense patient encounters…

My grandmother hasn’t been well. At 90, she’s understandably fragile, has been in and out of the hospital several times within the past month. Nana cares for her, and it’s been tough on her to be the main caregiver to Grandma, as well as help us with the kids. She’s been over our house by 6 a.m. several days so I can leave for work, and then she gets the kids up, dressed, fed, and to school… She deserves a medal.

Then, we’ve all been sick. Babygirl started it, boogery mucousy nose and nighttime cough. We all got it. Hubby needs his voice for work as a radio sports broadcaster,  and we really need him to keep his job, so as soon as he felt ill, he hit the zinc lozenges, Emergen-c, and tea with honey. He managed to stave off the prolonged cough that I seem to have.

Last night I woke at 2 a.m. with a coughing fit. We had run out of all the adult cough medicine, so I rifled through the kid’s medicine cabinet and found this all-natural chemical-free cough syrup we bought for them: Zarbee’s, a mixture of honey, vitamin c, and zinc. I swigged it. I have to say, it worked pretty well, albeit with the side effect of immediate nausea. Between that, and copious Neti-potting, I stopped hacking and started to fall asleep.

And then, Beep. 3 a.m. Pager went off. Critical lab results. I called my patient and advised them to head to the emergency room. Called the emergency room with the Expect. Logged in to work and entered a note for the E.R. folks to follow. It was almost 5 a.m. when all was said and done, and then Babygirl was up at 6:30.

So, very little sleep, but thank goodness, today was my day off. I got the kids up, dressed, fed, and dropped Babyboy at school. Thursdays, Babygirl doesn’t go to daycare, she’s my partner in crime: we go to the town animal shelter and volunteer with the cats. I clean the cages, change the litterboxes, and feed them. Maybe I’m crazy, but I love it. Babygirl “plays” with them, which means she tosses catnip mice and jingle balls all over the place, and swats at the kitties with a feather stick. She loves it.

From there, to the gym. She goes to the gym daycare for an hour while I scrunch in my one official “real” workout of the week. From there we swung by the pharmacy and the grocery store, then to pick Babyboy up, then home so I could crash-clean the house, in preparation for hosting lunch… And old friend was in town and stopped by with her kids, and we had a lovely time catching up.

Somehow in there, I logged in to work, checked messages, answered a bunch of clinical questions/ filled prescriptions/ checked on my patient who was admitted from the emergency room.

The evening was bathtime/ book time/ bedtime… I always struggle through this routine, with all the pushback, the testing (examples: I don’t want to get in the tub now!/I don’t want to get out of the tub yet! Can I have one more book/ A glass of water/Juice/ Another milkie? Mommy I’m scared! Can you come? Mommy my dream lights went out! Can you turn them on? etc etc)  but lately, I’m been less irritable and naggy with the kids. I think since Hubby is gone, I’ve resigned myself to the idea that everything is going to be more difficult, and I don’t get worked up about it.

Now, both kids are fast asleep, and I’m listening to Hubby’s broadcast, with the game on mute. I knew I wanted to blog, but my head was spinning. What to write about? I’m delirious with exhaustion, still coughing, hoping that in all the running around I haven’t dropped any clinical balls.

I have an inkling that I’ve basically been spewing a combination of stream-of-conciousness reflection and a review of the week’s events, in 977 words… Oh well, for 5 days of solo parenting and 5 hours of sleep, I have to say, I’m proud of myself.