…It pours. That’s how the old saying goes, right?
I wanted to post about Gibson’s swim lessons. Or about how pumping at work is going. Or some of the new recipes I’ve been working on. But I can’t.
When something goes wrong as a couple, we curse our bad luck and deal with it. Now that Gibs is here, we’re cursing our luck as a family. You think you can slip a baby into your life and continue on much as you already had. Or at least that’s what I used to think. I mean, that’s how it had been working out.
I went back to work. The Man took over daytime point parent duties while I was at the office. Things were fairly seamless. Until this past week.
On Wednesday night, I returned from a trip to Toys R Us (one of my many trips there) to find that the air conditioning in the house wasn’t working. At 7 PM, there’s not much recourse. I called a technician and left a message on his voice mail hoping to hear from him the next morning. (No such luck, btw.) And then I set out to buy a couple extra fans for the bedroom that night.
Gibs was a bit more sweaty than usual, but otherwise no problem. The next morning I called another local company that opened at 7 AM. They answered and I asked them to take a look. I had my fingers crossed that we’d be basking in cool air by that evening. No such luck. The whole HVAC system needed to be replaced. And it wasn’t going to be cheap.
This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if we hadn’t JUST replaced the roof last month. We had applied for a loan and anticipated the payment in our finances going forward. But this HVAC thing was not in the plans. So much for trying to be good, proactive homeowners.
But all of this isn’t really the part that gets to me. For the first time, I had to bring Gibson to work. Keeping him at home in the evenings isn’t so bad with the fans blowing. But during the day, it would be boiling in the house. And while the work was being done, it would be noisy and chaotic. So while the estimate was being done and financing paperwork was filled out by The Man, Gibs stayed with me at the office.
I work a desk job, and I’m glad to have it. I don’t have to run a press or stand on an assembly line. So there’s no danger to Gibson at my office. And it’s nice and cool. But I GROSSLY over-estimated how much work I could possibly get done with a four month old on hand. I managed a little data entry during the 20 minutes he napped. But between feeding him, changing him and entertaining him (plus all the gear I had to drag up to the second floor to accomplish all this) I got almost nothing done. And then I heard I’d have to do it again a second day while installation occurred at home… forget about it.
So for the first time (but almost certainly not the last; not by a long shot) I took a sick day to take care of my son. We went to the National Aquarium. I thought it was an indoor activity we could do that would be nice and cool and take up most of the day. Unfortunately, Gibs wasn’t a huge fan of the new Blacktip Reef exhibit. Or the rainforest exhibit. Or anything really. He was in a teething mood apparently.
After we walked from the metro to the aquarium, got our tickets and dropped off our stroller, he needed to eat. Then he wouldn’t settle in his carrier. So we ate some more. Then he finally calmed down enough that I could carry him in my JJ Cole Agility carrier. We walked into the new exhibit, and he was calm for about ten minutes. I tried to point out a sting ray. Then I was trapped in the crowded exhibit with a screaming baby for the next ten minutes while I tried to pick my way to the nearest snack area or restroom to figure out his problem. We stayed there for over an hour while the teething tablets took effect. By the time I got him loaded up and headed to the rain forest exhibit, he was asleep.
Then I paid $8 for a hot dog while he slept. Once he woke up, I made damn sure he saw at least one thing at the aquarium- the jelly fish. He seemed unimpressed. *sigh*
Before Gibs, we would have fixed the HVAC eventually. But we would have had time to shop around the price of the fix. With a four month old you’re already terrified of hurting anyway, we didn’t have time to shop around the price. We needed it fixed immediately. A Maryland summer can be mild, but can we afford to wait a week? Maybe more? Nope.
Before Gibs, we would have sat in the living room, naked and sweating, drinking cheap pre-mixed margaritas and cursed our bad luck. Now with baby, we had to scramble to come up with a game plan and fast. Sacrifices had to be made at work, in the budget, etc. And you just do it without question.
I’m trying to keep it positive. Like I said, I’m grateful to have a job that allows me to occasionally bring the babe to work. And I’m grateful that even though it’s a scramble, we are able to afford fixing the HVAC and roof this year. Gym memberships can be suspended. Eating out at restaurants can be curtailed. New clothes or other indulgences can be postponed. And if it were a choice between having a pedicure or keeping Gibs comfortable in a fully-functioning house- well that’s no choice at all. Or at least it’s not a choice I think twice about making. I choose Gibs. I’ll always choose Gibs.