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One Sick Baby (and a Tired Mom) on Hanukkah

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

So, I’ve spent the last week nursing a very sick baby back to health. Today is actually the first day I’ve been able to leave the house since Wednesday (but for a quick trip to the doctor). Preston’s never been this sick -- I mean, sure, he’s had his bouts with diarrhea and the common cold/cough, but his temperature has never reached 102 before. It’s scary when your little one is burning up like that -- we swathed him in cold wash clothes the first night he had the fever, that was a LOT of fun. I am so grateful we seem to be through the worst of it. Apparently there’s a throat virus going around, causing little white dots to appear on Preston’s tiny little throat, giving him a lot of pain and a high fever, with little to no appetite…

The timing couldn’t have been worse: Not only did we have to put him back on the bottle after all that work getting him off it, ya know to make sure he was getting enough liquids, but we also missed both of our families’ Hanukkah parties this weekend. Total bummer. We tried to salvage the holiday by celebrating at home and lighting the candles with just the three of us, but Preston hasn’t been so into it…

I wanted to go all out for Hanukkah this year, since last year Preston was only a few months old (see photo) and didn’t have a clue what was going on. This year I wanted to drape the house in Hanukkah decorations, play “Spin the Dreidel” with him, make latkes, sing Hanukkah songs, and give him a little gift each night. But the virus sort of threw a wrench into my plans (thanks a lot, virus) --that, and apparently the City of Chicago doesn’t recognize Hanukkah as a major holiday. I started looking for Hanukkah decorations two weeks prior and couldn’t find anything. Our local Dominick’s: nothing! Two different Walgreens: zilch. Bed, Bath and Beyond said they had “the most beautiful decorations you’ve ever seen!” but they had to send them back (to where, I have no idea) because they were taking up too much space in the store (sure they were). And Home Depot had lots of Christmas decorations two weeks ago but they had absolutely NOTHING in the way of Hanukkah. Not that I’m bitter, of course…but, come on!

I stopped looking after the sixth store because I felt so defeated, though I heard Party City and Whole Foods had a section for Hanukkah. Next year I’ll know better. So we ended up putting up blue and clear Christmas lights on our balcony instead, which are quite beautiful I must say, but still -- it’s not the same.

Anyway, so much for making latkes, too -- with Preston trying to crawl back into my womb the last six days, I haven’t been able to do much of anything. If I so much as tried to go to the bathroom he went into hysterics, the poor kid. Making latkes and wrapping Hanukkah presents: Maybe next year.

So we celebrated, but not the way I was hoping… My parents came over yesterday to bring lox and bagels and all his Hanukkah presents, which was so nice of them. It felt a little more like Hanukkah yesterday, but Preston is still not himself. He’s crabby, whiney, needy, hardly eating anything, and this whole crawling back into the womb bit is starting to get on my nerves. At first it was sweet -- truth be told, I sort of liked being the only person he wanted to comfort him -- but after five straight days of it, and almost no other interaction with anyone but Jay, I am utterly spent. Not to mention, I’m also very behind on my work…

I don’t really have a question at the end of this post. If I ask: Does that make me a bad mom for feeling this way? I’m not sure I want to know the answer. I didn’t really hit a wall with it till yesterday, once he was clearly feeling better but still totally milking it.

So let’s end it with this: How did you celebrate the holidays, or how do you plan to celebrate the holidays with your little ones this year? When your kids are this young (Preston’s 15 months), do you even bother wrapping presents for them? I didn’t get to it this year, but even if I didn’t have a young toddler attached to me I still wouldn’t have -- seems like a waste of paper to me.

Even though our holiday didn’t turn out the way I would’ve liked (well, technically it’s still going on till Thursday), I would love to hear how you’re planning on spending yours!

And, don’t forget: Friend me on Facebook (Sarah Preston Gorenstein), and/or follow me on Twitter @thecosmomom! I promise, I’m not always this bitter around the holidays.

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