September 30, 2022

Nursery and 'The Panic'

When my phone says "nursery" as an incoming call my heart drops.

I instantly hope they're telling me it's a curtesy call for a head injury.  Why do I feel a sense of relief knowing my kid has bumped his head?

I think it's a holdover from Covid.  Maybe it's my planner mentality, maybe it's just life, but I hated the part of my life where a ringing phone could mean 10-14 days of isolation and no nursery.  I know that's not part of life anymore, but my heart sinks every time the phone rings.  "She's got a high temperature" they usually say.  And I'm annoyed I have to pick them up, and I'm sad they're ill, and also I don't like the disruption.  But the instant panic is far worse than all of that.

Today, while on a work call, I could see Nursery was trying to reach me.  I sent a teams message to my husband, who came and got my phone, and I tried to focus on what he was saying, while also focusing on the meeting at hand.

That is impossible, FYI.

I didn't hear him leave the house.  Half an hour later, when the call was finished, I asked what the deal was.

"She's got a rash" he said.

He had answered the phone, and gone back to work.

I convinced myself she was dying of meningitis.

Even now, in my once month 2 hours of free time on a Friday afternoon, I want to go pick them up now and bring them home.  I stare anxiously at my phone.  All I want, most of the time, is a bit of time for me.  Now that I have it I just want a bit of time for them.

And somehow Andy doesn't have this reaction.  Maybe the concept of Deep Work and Focus Time is something that is so innate to men, and so foreign to mothers, that we don't start on the same capacity to begin with.  He's not less focused on the kids, or less concerned about their welfare, but a rash on the face does not beget a mental tornado of possible outcomes.  For him, the call about the rash was merely that, a notice that our child had a rash.  

He went back to work, and I anxiously half focused for the remainder of the day.

In other news, I'm not sure if letting a 2 year old dress herself is the best idea, when this is the outfit of choice:

It's my free time now.  2 hours for the following:
  • Weekly Plan
  • Catch up on emails
  • Wrap presents for weekend parties
  • Put together felt play board

1 comment:

  1. Counterpoint: letting 2 year olds dress themselves IS the best idea. That pattern clash is practically sedate.