On Mondays my mom watches Sophie and Michael, and when I came home from work she said she hadn't seen Sophie so moody in her entire five-month life. And Sophie stayed that way, alternating between grumpily crying to be held and hanging out contentedly, for most of the night. Mike and I attributed that to teething, getting over the first little cold she and Michael shared, and her just being a baby--literally.
On Tuesday the daycare left a message on my cell phone that Sophie had a low fever and a light rash. After talking to her caregiver, a nurse at the pediatrician's office, and her daddy, I arranged for Mike to take her in to the doctor midday.
Sophie was diagnosed with a virus (a cold, really), and Mike was told to just keep her home and to keep an eye on her for the rest of the day. He brought Michael home at that point as well, and I stayed at work for a teacher's meeting, taking over baby duty (and doodie) once home so Mike could be available for a conference call that evening.
Sophie slept uncharacterisically on my chest for hours, raising her head periodically to cry a tired and miserable cry for her pesky pacifier. Michael also slept off the last of his cold in a Rock and Play Sleeper next to us, both waking up happily just before their last feeding of the night. I read Sophie and Michael a story before bed, and they were both full of sweet smiles and coos. Cuddling did us all some good.
Michael fingerpainting an apple at the child care center
(sent to us in the daily email).
Two great achievements occured on Wednesday. One, I worked it out with the daycare to have them hold off on feeding the babies their afternoon bottles for as long as possible so I could try to pick them up and feed them myself. This routine is working on the days my mom is with Sophie and Michael, and it saves me from pumping a second time at work. And we did it! I left work as soon as I'm contractually allowed (instead of staying to pump), picked up my buds, and fed them at home. I even had time to do the unloading routine beforehand.
Let me describe the second achievement this way. Next Wednesday we will all leave from a dusty, dirty home and return to a clean one. I even negotiated for a better deal than we were initially quoted for this bi-weekly cleaning service. Wednesday rocked!
My mom is a church music director and had a funeral to play on Thursday morning, so we arranged for Mike's mom to watch the babies instead. I called home on my prep hour to be sure all was going well, and it was. Gail brought her best friend Carol along, and they were having a great day.
After the call I started pumping as I always do, with my nursing cover over me in my empty classroom with the door closed and locked. In the first few weeks I even hung a sign saying, "Do not enter. Testing in progress," to further prevent any intrusions. Had I done that on this particular day, I still don't think I would have prevented what transpired next.
I heard what any teacher would know to be a fight in the hallway. This was not during passing time, so it wasn't accompanied by the chaos of a big audience, but I heard banging into lockers, a slap, and a girl yell "Oh, my God!" Entangled in tubes and cords and with bottles of milk dangling from me, I knew I couldn't get to the commotion quickly enough, so I sent out an urgent email to the administrators and the office secretaries. It said, "I believe I just heard a fight outside of my classroom. I couldn't go out there."
Moments later there was a knock. "Sorry, I can't come to the door," I answered. Another knock. Again, "Sorry, I can't come to the door." I realized at this point that I should have just said what I was doing in my email. I consider all three administrators to be friends, but only the school principal is female. I knew the odds weren't good that it would be she who would soon be in my room. I heard keys, the handle jiggling, more keys, and the door opened. It was one of the dudes, of course. He looked confused, I told him I was pumping, he apologized, and sent in the principal. I told her what I heard, she also apologized, and I told her I was fine, totally covered, just sorry if I embarrassed anyone else.
Throughout the rest of the day I learned that the administrators frantically searched the halls, unsure if I was in my English classroom or the one where I teach art, and they thought for sure I was being held hostage in my room when I didn't open the door...oh, the times in which we live. After looking at camera footage from the halls and seeing nothing distinguishable as a fight, my bosses are certain the stress of juggling twins and my job is getting to me.
In all seriousness, I know what I heard. I wish I was wrong, but I'm worried about those mystery students...
I was out the next day with the school administrators and some other teachers to do some school improvement work, and I think all awkwardness from the pumping event has been dealt with. In fact, despite everyone's attempts to be mature, I'm counting on some good jokes to come from this over beers one day.
This meeting, however, took place offsite at a college. I stepped out mid-morning to pump in my car and all was great until I realized, because this meeting was catered by the college, that I didn't have my insulated lunch bag to store the milk in. My solution was to get a plastic shopping bag from the college bookstore (just steps from our conference room), but I instead found a $5 insulated bag to buy. Mainly I just didn't want anyone to go into the conference room fridge for a pop and discover a bottle of my bodily fluids starting back at them, so I put the bottle in this bag inside the refrigerator. Remarkably, I even remembered to take it home.
Feeding the babies after picking them up from daycare worked out again, and I spent the evening on my own with them. Mike was invited to dinner with his bosses and the company's president, and we're in favor of that kind of thing. We all went to bed early and appreciated the end of one eventful work week.