I can’t find the cheese

I have some very sweet friends who have recently told me they don’t know how I “do it all”. I do many things, but I hardly feel like I do it ALL. Especially when it comes to dinner. In fact, I can’t even find the cheese. I was going to title this post “Who moved my cheese?” but someone already wrote a book about that. And that book was a metaphor. I’m being literal here.

So where’s the cheese, you ask? Good question. I’m going to piece together my evening to try to figure it out. Like a crime scene.

On a typical night like tonight, I get home and turn the key in the door as quietly as I can, because the moment our dog, Pepper, catches on that I am home, all hell breaks loose. You know the video about the dog welcoming home his daddy who had been gone for 6 months (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC5DXGIC8s8)? That’s pretty much every welcome in our house. Even if all you did was take out the trash. Dogs are awesome.

Back to the crime scene.

So I unlock the door…
ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF AROOOOOO ARF ARF ARF
Pepper runs to the door, jumping all over me. Sienna shrieks and runs full speed towards me (which nearly gives me a heart attack out of fear she might fall. Any fall in an FOP kid could lead to a devastating flare-up). Both Sienna and Pepper are now both jumping on me, clamoring. I scoop up Sienna while Pepper continues to howl and Sienna yells to tell me about her day and be heard above the howls.

This lasts about 5 minutes but feels like 5 years.

I get them both calmed down, try to get an idea about Sienna’s day and say a polite “thank you for taking care of the most precious thing in all the world and have a great night” to our awesome nanny but it usually goes more like it did today:

AROOOO ARF ARF ARF
HI MOMMY!!! phblltt (that was a raspberry being given on my neck)
How was Sienna’s day?
AROOOO
Oh, what a beautiful piece of artwork! Sienna, did you do that yourself?!
AROOO
Pepper be quiet!
AROOO ARF ARF ARF
MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY I SAW A SCHOOL BUS!
AROOO
That’s great! What color was the bus?
AROOOOOOOOOO
Pepper, sit!
(Ah… quiet. Thank goodness she knows one trick and it usually quiets her down.)
Ok, thank you, have a great night!
(note that throughout the conversation I couldn’t hear any answers over all the commotion)

Then Sienna sprints to her bedroom, puts all her blankets and pillows on her floor, and asks for a show on the kindle. I don’t mind this game because it’s the first time she’s requested to do an activity independently, and it’s pretty safe, EXCEPT that once she’s on the floor with her show, she has about 34 reasons that she needs to get up, walking over slippery pillows and blankets to announce:

“Turn off my lights!”
“I need more water!”
“Fix my blankets”
“Come here, mommy!”
“I want Pepper to come in here!”
“Get out of here, mommy!”
“Get Pepper out of here!”
Therefore I try to stay close by her door waiting for the next request. But I have things to do. Mainly, I have to mix up her medicine and get her to take it.

Sienna takes lots of medicines to try to keep her FOP at bay –
Cromolyn 4X daily, 30 minutes before each meal and at bedtime
Celebrex 2X daily, with breakfast and right after dinner
Singulair 1X daily, right after dinner
Cromolyn Cream, directly on her bumps, 2-3X daily if she’s having a flare-up
This will be our routine until an actual FOP drug becomes available. Hopefully within the next few years.

I cannot relax until I have given her the medicine. I forgot one dose once and have since developed a fear of missing doses. I repeat “medicine, medicine, medicine” like a mantra until she has taken it.

Sienna has already eaten dinner when I get home from work, which is excellent, because she would never eat anything during the wildness of the nightly “mommy is home!” celebration. However, what I haven’t figured out yet is how I’m supposed to obtain and eat food myself. And as I’m starving as usual, I try to eat something in between mixing up her medicine and answering her requests. Whatever I find during this time usually ends up being my dinner because by the time I put her down for bedtime I’m too tired to bother. Mainly because I have more things to do.

Tonight I tried to eat cheese and crackers. I successfully obtained a delicious manchego over the weekend, got it out of the fridge tonight, cut myself a tiny piece and ate it with a pretzel crisp. Delicious!

“Mommy, I NEED TO GO POTTY!”
“Ok, on it!” I leave the cheese on the counter and zoom into her room.

After potty, it was “mommy, I need a popsicle”
(Note: Sienna requests a popsicle EVERY night and NEVER eats it. It melts on its little plate on the table. I tell her this every night, but every night she claims she’s going to really eat it this time. I don’t even argue anymore because at this point, I know she won’t eat the popsicle so I don’t have to worry that it’s bad for her, and this week, a wasted popsicle is worth a few minutes of time for me to make her medicine)

I sit her down with the popsicle, mix up the medicine and eat one more bite of cheese. Perfection!

Less than 2 minutes later, she’s up and running. Back to her pillow pile in her room. I bring her the medicine, get her to take it (phew! check the box!), pile in and we watch the show on the floor together. We hold hands. My heart is happy. Then it’s on to the bedtime routine – potty, bathtime, teeth brushing, bedtime medicines, stories, potty, water, potty, water, band-aid request, water, potty, lights out, snuggle time. Tonight Sienna tells me what she hopes to have on our upcoming flight (M&Ms, orange juice, marshmallows, a lollipop – things I only allow on an airplane when I need to entertain her for hours) I didn’t even have to mention Michael and Ellen. (https://raremom.com/2013/07/24/michael-and-ellen-and-other-stories-we-tell-our-kids/)

Now it’s 8 o’clock and all I want is maybe two more bites of cheese but it’s NOWHERE to be found. Not on the counter, not in the fridge, not in the cupboard, not in the trash, not in the bathroom… I didn’t think it could be in the bathroom, but hey, you never know. One of Pepper’s best qualities is that she NEVER steals food unless it’s given to her so I know she didn’t take it. Which is really too bad. Someone should have gotten to enjoy it.

I’d dust for fingerprints, but I don’t dust.

As I clean up the popsicle soup on the table, I decide I give up.

I’m having a cookie instead.

*****************************************************************************
* Update: It’s now the next day. The cheese was in the freezer. The house shall no longer be treated as a crime scene. I must have put it there when I put back the popsicle box.

So rest assured, friends. I may not be able to “do it all,” and I certainly can’t do dinner, but at least I CAN find the (frozen) cheese (a day later).

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