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Parent plans vs Toddler plans

So, just a week before my fifth anniversary, I tell my husband that we have to do something this year and not just sit at home and while away time. Before my husband could protest something in the lines of (But I only get a weekend to rest), I was quick to remind him of the past anniversaries that ended up being quite uneventful.

 And so, I let him know that I was determined not to let this year slip by me. Besides, it was important to mark the occasion. We were completing five years of married life in which we had managed to keep our sanity intact in the midst of driving each other crazy due to our erratic, intolerable habits which only spouses can understand. Not to mention, that we had also managed to create a little human being who was currently having his own plans for the upcoming big weekend.

The toddler must have heard about our plans. Why else would he unleash his own plans exactly at the wrong time? Five days before the weekend, toddler wakes up midnight, his skin radiating heat and face flushing red. I touch him and feel him five more times to make sure it’s real.

Oh my god, I think to myself, it’s really happening.

“Wake up, I need the thermometer. I need some Tylenol. I need the fan down,” I speak in loud whispers across the bed, to my husband who is sleeping soundly.

Not so long enough, we conclude that our toddler has a fever coming down. Okay, we tell each other, it’s no big deal. It’s just a fever. All kids fall sick. It’s the most normal thing to happen to any kid.

But the toddler was not planning to get back to sleep anytime sooner. He clung to me and started wailing, signaling me to sit on the rocking recliner. Okay, yes, that might put you to sleep, I think positively. Five minutes later, he says go downstairs. I want to play.

Alright, I agree to his wish. After all, he is the sick kid and needs all the attention. We are just halfway through a game of cars. He yawns and signals that he wants to be in bed. Okay, I cheerily carry him to the bed. There, he says, let’s go down again.

What? I stare at the toddler. We were just there a second ago. I will NOT go down again. I resisted but the toddler wailed and howled, knowing that I was losing patience. What sort of a game was this? I thought to myself. He does everything to make me angry and I don’t even get the chance to be angry.

He smiles slightly as if telling me, this is the toddler game. My wishes are your commands.
Anyway, from there, four sleepless nights followed, a trip to doctor who determined that the toddler had now developed a viral fever which was nothing to worry about. He just needed loads of liquids, loads of rest and comfort and in three days or four, he would fine as new again.

Whoever said that dealing with a sick toddler was easy was nuts. While we fought back sleep, with our toddler shoving down toys from our backs, we eyed the clock night after night, wondering when this was going to end. Toddler, on the other hand, enjoyed every bit of attention, hated the meds, fought hard to spit food out, fought sleep and fought to keep his parents awake.

Come Friday, things began to look good for all of us. The fever, that had possessed the toddler, was finally ready to bid goodbye. Sleep was beginning to look like a possibility after all. We slept and slept and slept throughout.

The anniversary weekend arrived. Even without saying, I knew that our plans for the weekend were washed away because we were still in recovery mode.

Besides, what was the big deal about marriage anniversaries anyway? Mark the occasion. Didn’t we do just that as we stayed awake late at nights, debating whose turn it was to look for the temperature from our scorching toddler’s forehead? Didn’t we indulge in long, nostalgic conversations as we fought sleep night after night, as if we were on a picnic night? Didn’t we make each other cups of coffee and tea as we told each other that this was just a phase and we would be out of it soon?

We had been there for each other. That’s what marriage is about after all. Yeah, I was like the fox from ‘The Fox and the sour grapes’ story. Wait, I raised my hopes high, there is another weekend coming after all. Surely, our anniversary plans could be shifted.

“Why don’t we do something the next weekend?” I told my husband.
“Well…,” he considered.

Before he could answer, I could see the sly expression on my toddler’s face as if saying, yes, next weekend. Let me see how I can ruin their plans. Fever-check. Constipation-check. No reason crying-check. Ah, the good old common cold. Surely, that’s enough to change their plans.

And he chuckled looking at us even as we went to greater lengths to plan for the upcoming weekend. 

About the Author : Chital Mehta loves to explore new books. After becoming a mother, she started this blog to share her experiences as a mother. Apart from being busy with her baby, she makes times for writing, reading and watching movies. She has authored 4 fiction novels. You can find details on her facebook page :Chital Mehta facebook

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