When One Parent's Away, There's Trouble at Home

Sometimes as adults we don't realize how little ones are bothered by changes in their day to day lives. Shawn left for Boston on Sunday and won't be back until super late Friday night.  In the past, when he'd travel for work, it's come out as tears, bad attitudes, and Sydney having accidents on her way to the bathroom.  I recognized it pretty quickly with Sydney since it never happened while he was here and while he was gone, she'd pee her pants at least once every trip.  Since this last summer, where we traveled with him quite a bit, his trips have been small. Often only staying away one or two nights if at all, and this may be his longest trip he's taken.

I've done a few fun things to hopefully ease some of the kids stress from the trip, and Rylie got to bring home her class teddy bear this week. We watched Hotel Transylvania 2, had a pizza party, made bead necklaces, and set up playdates with friends.

Last week, Thursday and Friday, Rylie had an accident in the bathroom.  Just didn't quite make it to the toilet. Saturday, it was Sydney who did the same thing.  Shawn hadn't even left yet and in the 3 days before he left we had 3 accidental pee problems on the floor.

This week we've had some minor issues with behavior and attitudes.  Enough to drive me crazy but nothing really bad.

Tuesday when I took Rylie to school, she didn't want me to leave.  She kept begging me to stay.  I felt really bad, but staying wasn't really an option.  She's only there for 2 1/2 hours, so I went home, and then came back to pick her up and everything was fine.

Yesterday, when we took the big kids to school, Sydney had cashed in her gold slips for a coupon to bring a stuffed animal or doll with her.  She chose to bring one of her American Girl dolls, and while we were walking up to the school she realized she lost one of the shoes.  I'm carrying Scotland, it's 20 degrees out, and we're a ways from the car.  School is going to start any minute, so I kiss Ben on the top of his head and tell him to have a good day at school, and then tell Rylie to go with Sydney while I run back with Scottie to the car to look for this doll shoe.  The missing shoe was stuck in the seat where the seat belts are.  I grabbed the shoe and ran back to the school. About 4 steps inside the school, I'm met with a frantic Rylie, who should have been waiting for me inside of Sydney's classroom.  She was so upset that Ben left and followed him to his classroom and then worried because she didn't know where I was.  We took Sydney her doll's shoe and went home.

After school, Sydney went to a friend's house. Scotland was so upset and kept crying and asking "where Nee Nee?" Nee Nee is her name for Sydney. Ben had his art class in the evening.  It's an hour and a half long, so we don't just hang out while he's in there.  We go home. Usually it doesn't bother her, but yesterday Scottie was beside herself because we left Ben.

I thought things were rough so far, but I had no idea what would hit today.  This morning, everything seemed fine. Everyone was in a good mood, hurried since we were running late, but fine.  Sydney had forgotten to bring her water bottle home yesterday, so when we got to school, I needed to refill it. When we got into the classroom, I grabbed the water bottle and went straight to the water fountain across the hallway.  I guess Rylie thought I had left her.  The teacher told her I was in the hall and would be right back, but that didn't calm Rylie.  She came running out of the classroom, right past me, screaming and crying "Mommy!!!" the whole way.  She broke my heart.  We came home and once again everything was fine.  She was back to normal.  She was so excited for school today and to share her story about her couple of days with the class bear. We went to her school and they were heading straight outside.  I was talking to a parent and she came back to hug me several times instead of going outside.  She'd been in school for 45 minutes and I was comfy on the couch at home, snuggling Scottie, watching last night's episode of Property Brothers, and putting off the laundry and dishes for the 2nd day in a row, when I got a phone call from one of her teachers.  She was sick to her tummy, thought she was going to throw up, and was really cold.  They didn't know if she was sick though or if she was having problems adjusting to the warmth from being outside in the 23 degree, snowy weather.  The didn't necessarily want me to come pick her up, but wanted to let me know what was going on.  About 5 minutes went by and I got another phone call.  This time from the other teacher.  She was laying in the reading nook with a trash can.  She didn't want to participate in the special printing activities they were doing in class today, she was shaking, and just crying for me.  I put my shoes on, loaded Scotland up in the car and we went to pick Rylie up from school.  When we got there and she finally saw me, she burst into tears. By the time we had got in the car she was cold and shaking but her tummy didn't hurt anymore.  When we got home, I made her a bed in her favorite place (the floor in front of the fireplace), set her up with her iPad, a bottle of water, and a puke bucket just in case.  She fell asleep and woke up feeling much better.  Maya even snuggled with her a bit. She's still having a rough time keeping warm but I think we all are in this drafty house on a snowy and cold 25 degree day. When she was asked by moms at the elementary school, she said she was worried because school is so long and I left her.  Even though she's feeling better we decided to bail on dance class for tonight but as long as she's still feeling well, we'll go to our playdate.  I feel awful that she would ever worry about me leaving her.  Also, if you know Rylie, or know anything about her, she's not that kind of girl.  She's the one that will run off in a grocery store and not think twice. She doesn't usually have issues with me being away.  In fact, I'm usually the one crying because she took off without a hug and didn't look back.  Is Shawn being gone having this effect on her or are we turning a corner with her behavior and going in the opposite direction?

Here was Rylie this morning.  See, not appearing sick at all.

The worst part is that Shawn has a new territory at work, and his travel will be more flying than driving meaning more overnight trips.  Hopefully we can get things figured out quickly because this week has been rough.


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