While I like to deal in literary allusions, my husband's primary method of making the world accessible is through sports analogies. Several times in the last few months people have joked with him that we'll soon be making the transition from "man defense" to "zone defense." For those of you who know next to nothing about basketball (like me before we got married), in "man" defense, each player is in charge of guarding a specific player, while in "zone" defense, players defend a certain part of the court, and may have to contend with more than one offensive player at a time.
For the last two and a half years, we have theoretically been specialists in man defense. When we're shopping together, he'll often take Bryce with him and I'll keep Annie. In the middle of the night, I get up if Annie cries and he gets up if Bryce wets the bed or wants a drink. Sure, I have both of them most of the day when he's at work, but when we're both home we try to divide and conquer.
I haven't been too worried about the transition from man to zone. I mean, he's a medical resident and works a ton, so I'm often with the kids by myself. I'm a master at navigating the grocery store with one in the cart and one running down the aisles. But in the last week we've gone through an experience that makes me worry that the transition to three kids might be a bigger adjustment for me than I've been anticipating.
We've been in Utah for the last two weeks for Eddie's younger brother's wedding. The wedding was on Saturday, and Eddie flew home on Sunday. Since we see his family so infrequently and it's so expensive to fly our whole family out there, I decided to stay with the kids for another week. On Sunday night, Bryce started getting a runny nose. He has had asthma for most of his life, and it's usually exacerbated by a bad cold. The cold he got this week was one nasty bug. By Tuesday night Annie was miserable too, and Bryce could hardly breathe. We took him to a local pediatrician, and for the first time in his life, he was admitted to the hospital to get his breathing under control.
Thankfully, Eddie's parents dropped everything and helped me take care of the kids. My mother-in-law kept Annie (who was throwing up and miserably moaning for her mommy) so I could sleep with Bryce at the hospital. The next morning my father-in-law called in sick to work so he could sit with Bryce and me. But I felt so torn-- it was hard to be with one of the kids while I knew that the other one was crying for me. I briefly left the hospital to spend some time with Annie, and I could hear Bryce crying in the background when my father-in-law called home. I was so thankful that the baby was still safely inside of me, and that I didn't have to be dealing with a needy, nursing infant while I was trying to help the older kids.
So I guess that sometimes even man defense isn't enough. I remember feeling busy when Bryce was a newborn and he was double-teamed (had two adults focusing all of their attention on him). For the next few years though, I guess zone defense will be the best my kids will get. Most of the time we'll be able to handle our little offensive players, but I'm sure that I'll be wishing for an extra parent at times too.