Monday was my dad's last day of work.  To say that I am jealous is an understatement.  I would be thrilled if I could go home this evening and not return until I was good and ready.  I don't think I'm cut out for full-time employment....

On Saturday evening my sister's family hosted a retirement party at a restaurant for a small group of close friends and family.  It was a great event - food, drinks, and good people.  The only bad thing is that EH did not have a great night at all.  For some reason, shortly before our food was served, he started heaving and  turned bright red/purple and then all of a sudden he starting vomiting everywhere.  It was a mess.  He threw up so much that I don't understand where it all came from.  It even came out of his nose.  It terrified him, and it probably hurt too, and he starting screaming and crying.  It was very hard to console him and clean up all of the vomit as well.  Multiple cloth napkins were covered in a formula/sweet potato slime and EH's clothes were a mess.

DH and I went into "pit crew" mode and quickly changed EH's diaper and put his pajamas on him.  He screamed the whole time.  Then our food came and he was still screaming.  We tried to give him his bedtime bottle, because it was time anyway, but he didn't want it, and honestly, I can't blame him.  (I never want to eat right after I throw up either.)  DH held him and kept trying to give him his bottle, while I cut DH's food and fed it to him.  Every now and then I tried to grab a quick bit myself, but my food quickly got cold, and when you're eating a "medium" cooked steak that has gotten cold, it starts to taste rather raw and I couldn't finish it.

So I took over EH care and finally got him to fall asleep in my arms.  The poor thing was exhausted and sniffling and still crying in his sleep, but at least he was asleep.  We tried to enjoy ourselves for the rest of the night, but EH kept waking up and it was very stressful so we left soon after that.

Since then, EH has not been sleeping well.  On Saturday night he woke up no less than 12 times, and it was probably a lot more than that but I stopped keeping track because it didn't matter.  Sunday night was just as bad.  Monday night he woke up about 6 times and the one time that I ran into his room to see if he needed his pacifier, it was already in his mouth and he appeared to still be asleep but he kept going "Waaah" in this really sad voice, all while making an adorable pouty face.  It was heartbreaking - he was crying in his sleep.  I eventually decided to wake him by picking him up and then I rocked him back to sleep.  After that he slept for 5 straight hours, which was much needed for all of us.

What is causing this???  Is he still traumatized from the vomiting?? Is he having nightmares??? He was definitely still asleep that last time that I checked on him so I don't understand why he was crying in his sleep.  It's destroying our sleep - for all three of us - and after finally getting him to the point of being able to sleep through the night, this is an enormous step backwards.

What does this have to do with retirement?  Well, it struck me as odd that our society is set up in such a way that there are long periods of time in one's life where you have to balance it all - work, kids, no sleep, keeping up a house, and trying to have fun somewhere in between all of that (so, not very often.)  Then, at some point in your 60s, all of that goes away.  You no longer have kids in the house (hopefully) and you no longer have to work (unless you want to.)  All of your time can be dedicated to doing things you enjoy.  It's sad to me that I work during the vast majority of EH's awake time and I hate the constant feeling of having all of things that I have to do when all I really want to do is spend a little time with my kid.  It's too bad that it isn't easier for more parents to stay at home during their kid's early years - there needs to be some sort of "maternity retirement," but given the sorry state of the United State's stance on maternity leave compared to other countries, there's no chance that's ever going to happen. 

So, instead, I'll just be happy for, and jealous of, those who have the option of no longer working.  Maybe some day my circumstances will change....

So, congratulations Dad, I hope you enjoyed your first day off of work, and all of the many that are going to follow.  If you don't have anything better to do, we have a baby down here in Pittsburgh that you're welcome to babysit any time you want!


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