Category Archives: Husbands

Labor Day


Today is my own personal Labor Day. I went into labor with Robbie at 8:15 on 26 July 2009. For those of you who realize that Robbie’s birthday is the 28th, this is not a misprint. I was in labor with Robbie for forty-seven hours. This morning when Justin and I were reminiscing about this time last year, he moaned about how long my labor was.

I can only imagine how horrible it must have been for him. I went into immediate panic-mode and forced Justin to clean the entire house with me; we certainly couldn’t bring Robbie into a dirty home, never mind that the house was scheduled to be cleaned in three days (before I would be released from the hospital). The poor man had to take me to the hospital, only to be released an hour later and told to try to rest. Then he had to endure dinner with a woman enduring contractions. And let’s not forget that he got caught up on Mad Men while I (stupidly!) watched an I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant marathon upstairs, not able to get the recommended rest.

I went into full-blown labor around 1:00 Monday morning, much to the detriment of any sleep Justin hoped to get. Concerned that I wasn’t hydrated (the reason I was sent home the first time), Justin gave me five glasses of diluted cranberry juice. When he handed me a sixth, I complained that I’d already had five. Justin thrust the glass in my hand and told me to “make it six”! I think forcing fluids down my throat was really the only way Justin felt like he could help. And, knowing now how I must have sounded, and knowing how Justin is in medical situations, I’m really glad he was able to function well enough to get me the water. We did finally head to the hospital around 5:30 the morning of the 27th, but that’s a reflection for another day — well, tomorrow.

So today I fully celebrated my own Labor Day. I sent Justin to work and dropped Robbie off at daycare. And the rest of the day was mine. I ran three miles in the morning and went to go see Grown Ups, relishing sitting in the cool, dark theater by myself and not sharing my popcorn and candy. I caught up on Big Brother and went to Marshall’s to buy a backpack to replace my soon-to-be-a-big-boy’s diaper bag. And then I celebrated in the best possible way.

I planned to take Robbie swimming at the reservoir for an hour before FINALLY closing on our refinance (and, yes, we did close!). However, Zhining, his daycare provider, had other plans. It was her birthday, and I had brought her a cake. Little did I know that she had saved it and decorated one of the rooms for a joint birthday party. There was a “Happy Birthday” banner hanging from the wall and Chinatown balloons dotting the walls. She put party hats on everyone and had her daughter take hundreds of pictures. She and Robbie blew out their candles and cut the cake together. Robbie had chocolate on his face and in his hair, on my feet, all over Zhining’s clothes. And it was the perfect Labor Day celebration.


Justice Is Served


Justice was on the menu at the Manna house today. That’s right, Justin and Grandpa Pat had Robbie the “big boy” on their own for a few hours. I think they were lulled into a false sense of security the first time I left them, which was right before nap time to go to church and grab a birthday present for Pat to give Robbie. They had basic instructions (two jars of food, a bottle, change the diaper, and nap time) and managed to get those mostly right. And Robbie did exactly what he was supposed to do, going to sleep with very little fuss. I must admit that I really appreciate Robbie playing into my plan, perhaps even creating it for me.

After sitting around for most of the afternoon, I started whining about being bored. Not very mature, but… Well, I’d watched Deadliest Catch for almost three hours. What do you expect? Don’t get me wrong, I love the show. I just wasn’t in the mood for a marathon today. Justin was into it and Pat was worn out from trucking all over Boston yesterday (there was a lost cell phone fiasco, which ended well). Being the fabulous husband that he is, Justin suggested I go out and have some fun.

I knew they men were in for trouble when I left; Robbie started crying as soon as he saw me head for the stairs. Ladies, admit it. There’s something a little powerful in this. You love it when the kids give your husband a hard time, proving to them that it is difficult to be home with a child all day. I happen to know first hand that Robbie didn’t stop fussing because I called after twenty minutes to get Justin to check and see if another nail salon was open and heard him crying in the background.

I enjoyed my ninety minutes outside of the house; I even thought about sitting under the dryer for just one more session but decided to be fair to Justin. I did make the four block walk home slowly, though. And I heard the fussing as soon as I opened the door. Being a sneaky woman, I quietly came up the stairs to see what was happening. The only one who saw me was Robbie, who got smiled as best he could with the plugged in computer charger in his mouth…

Poor Justin looked wiped out. Pat’s hair was disheveled. I don’t think either of them will be the same. Robbie pulled out all the stops – throwing the picture frames to the floor, changing the channel, grabbing glasses, throwing toys to the dog from the Pack ‘n Play, trying to climb the stairs, and generally being inconsolable. Until he saw me walk up the stairs. He crawled over to me, held out his arms, and looked at the men as if to say, “You idiots! This was all I wanted the whole time.” And when I asked him who the worst babysitter was, he very clearly pointed at Justin.