This last week has been rough.
Chris has been out of town, analyzing soil samples twelve hours a day in a lab six floors underground somewhere in Minneapolis. Quinn and I are on our own. Quinn has woken me up most mornings by kicking me shortly after six a.m., moaning and groaning and whining that he wants "bres-feth". Over and over I remind him he has to stop whining, to say please, to not kick me, to no avail.
Mid-week, I told him he could go pour his own cereal and watch a show on his iPad. He responded, "I'm not old enough, mommy." Then: "Get me a waffle."
Me: "Say please."
Q: "Waffle please." Then, when we'd gotten to the kitchen, "I need green juice!"
Me: "Say please."
Q: "Please I need green juice?" he asked. Then he whined, "I don't want that plate! No! The orange one!" He was near hysterics over a damn purple plate. I hadn't even had coffee yet.
Me: "Say please, Quinn." I could feel myself growing more aggravated. I was ready to throw all of his plastic plates away, but I restrained myself. I mean, look at this face. You couldn't stay mad for long, either.
He ate two bites of waffle and told me he was done. I couldn't tell if my eyes were burning because they were so tired or because I was about to cry. Over a three-year-old and his waffle, for chrissake.
This morning, he didn't want to pick out an outfit, but didn't like the one I picked. He wanted to take his brown blanket to school and wrapped himself in it like he is a superhero, but then he didn't want it wrapped around his body in the carseat. He was mad that I couldn't fix it while I drove.
And when I dropped him off, he clung to me like he hasn't in a very long time, begging me to play with him just a little bit more, sobbing when I told him I had to leave because I have a dentist appointment and a doctor's appointment today. My heart ached. I couldn't wait to get a little break after an incredibly rough day yesterday, but when the time came to leave him, all I wanted to do was hold him and apologize for my impatience, my shortcomings as a Lego builder, my lack of energy this week.
I cried to Chris on the phone yesterday (Happy Father's Day!) because I'd seen a little girl in Quinn's class writing her OWN NAME on a piece of artwork last week. She'd drawn a picture of her mom in a red dress, and it looked like an actual mom in a red dress. Quinn scribbles in green and calls it a map to our house. I can't even take the time to get him to hold a crayon correctly, let alone teach him how to write letters. I'm pretty sure he thinks the alphabet goes "A, B, C, Q, R, S, W, X, Y and Z."
I try so hard not to compare, and maybe I wouldn't if I knew what was normal, what it was like to raise a child outside of cancer treatments, what it was like to have energy more than fifty percent of the time.
I had chemo last Monday, the day after Chris left for Minnesota. That night, I was up late because of the steroids, but the rest of the week I went to bed at the same time as Quinn: 8:15 or so. I got more sleep last week than I have in months, and I was still dragging most days. My head felt like it was in a vice, either from the chemo or the triple-digit heat, I'm not sure. Quinn and I watched an excessive amount of television, including "How to Train Your Dragon" at least three times.
Chris is home next week for a week, then off again for a couple of weeks in Kenya on the same day I have my next round of chemo. I was so panicked at the idea of another week like this last one, I called my mom yesterday and begged her to come visit the first week of July.
As Quinn wanted me to know as he clung to my leg this morning, sometimes you just need your mommy.