Monday morning, 7 a.m.: Mom, Brent has the chicken pox!

I subject his back to a thorough inspection, hoping his sister is wrong.  I note a few teeny tiny red spots: does it itch? Does it itch? Do you have any more spots? “Nah, not too bad…” is the answer. A sneaky sigh of relief passes through me. Jokingly I say; You must have brought sand fleas from Schier, that’s what you get from all that digging in! Luckily, we can’t use this right now, Mom has a banging busy week ahead of her. After three days of relaxing on Schiermonnikoog, it’s time for plenty of action again! The new proofs of posters and clocks, among others, are ready and will be photographed on Thursday for the shop. The super cool Father’s Day keychains were ordered in large numbers this weekend and customer appointments were scheduled for the entire week.

Crowded calendar

In my head and calendar, all the days of the week are full. As much as I hate it, there is honestly no room for a sick child in there. As I look at it, I see more and more blisters and round pimples forming. Ohjee Brent, you are starting to look pretty much like a currant bun. You really do have the chicken pox!!! He is not sick of it and is only too happy to go to school. In the afternoon they have water fun at school and of course our stud can’t miss it. Armed with water pistol, he happily hops on his bike.  Standing in the schoolyard at a quarter past three, I can see it from afar. He’s not okay. Muddy eyes, fat rosy cheeks. No upbeat stories about the water afternoon… With tear-stained eyes, all he can say is that he is so itchy.

SOS for chicken pox

A friend whose children just had the chicken pox has a something for it. First a bran bath and then rub in with cooling gel, “guaranteed sleep” the bottle promises. OMG we knew that! At night, the misery really begins, feverish, crying and an unbearable itch spreads over his body. Out of helplessness and not knowing where to look for it, he turns all over the bed.  Mommy, I want to be in your bed… After an hour of tossing and turning with the three of us, Sytze decides to continue his sleep in Brent’s room. After seeing every hour on the alarm clock, he falls asleep by five, exhausted.

As long as everything is on track, entrepreneurship and motherhood are a great combination.  We are blessed with children who, thank God, have few illnesses, are healthy in every way, and can “get along nicely.” But as soon as a bolt comes loose in the well-oiled machine called “the family,” Mom is the one to blame. No one takes into account our schedule; a sick child belongs (if at all possible) with his mother. That it doesn’t fit into your schedule is unfortunate but unfortunate. Then try to keep all the balls high! Fortunately, we mothers are incredibly good at that. Shifting gears at the highest level I call it: adjusting, putting things into perspective and, above all, continuing to breathe for yourself.

In between changing beds, I shift a client appointment to the evening. The phone calls I really need to make I just barely don’t do on the toilet with the door locked. Washcloths, pieces of fruit,  glasses of water and an itchy hand…  And most of all, don’t leave his side.  Only the most necessary I can do:

  • Quickly checking email as soon as he falls asleep on the couch for even a moment;
  • At the kitchen table packing a few orders;
  • If I am quick, I can also just take a few packages to the post office (in the village).

Enterprising plodding mother

Really  believe me, my child does not hear about his mother secretly balking that she can only do half of what she would like. I coddle every chicken pox I can find and stand by him day and night with cooling washcloths.  But by now it is 11:45 p.m. and my PC is still on. “Just finishing up some more!” I call to Sytze who has long since left for upstairs.  I pour myself a glass of white wine and finish my work, at the end of this long almost 24 hours my “to do” list is almost crossed off.

With glassy eyes from sleep, I type a few more emails. Actually, I have to laugh at myself too, what will my clients think when they see that the mail was sent at 11:50 p.m. 😉

As a mother, even without a sick child, you have to do a lot. In addition to running your business, housekeeping, lice picking, going to swimming lessons with your offspring and, of course, there’s food to be had.  Of course heitie (dad) is there too, but from experience I know that he feels just a little less responsible for the household and parenting stuff. Not that he doesn’t want to, but he too goes out the door at 7 a.m. and comes home by the evening.  Then to continue working until 10 p.m. or so.

Exhausted after a sleepless night and a long day of mothering, I say to my hub,  when I finally crawl into bed, shall we trade a day tomorrow?