Thursday, November 17, 2011

now: just hoping to make it to ACTFL to present tomorrow afternoon

Is anyone out there planning to attend the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference in Denver this week?  I'll be there working at the World of Reading booth (#8000) in the exhibits hall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

Er, no.

You see, I went back to work at the library on Nov. 1--part time, several afternoons a week--and Gwyneth is having a heck of a time transitioning to day care: she keeps resisting the bottle, some days not drinking anything the entire time, screaming herself to sleep.

There's no way that I can leave her for 8-10 hours.

So I arranged for a friend to work for me at the World of Reading booth and resigned myself to not attending the conference at all. 

(Backstory: I had submitted a session proposal to ACTFL in January, but as it wasn't accepted, I didn't think I should spend the money and take the time to attend a teachers' conference after being out of the profession for four years. But then I heard that the proprietor of World of Reading was looking for someone local to help out at her booth.   She hired me, which meant I could go after all!)

Until I realized that Gwyneth would go without eating all day if I did go to the conference.  I hate to be so close to this prestigious national conference and not actually see it, but she's my top priority right now.

Then, as I was scrolling through the conference program online to marvel at all the cool sessions that I'd be missing, a familiar name caught my eye: mine.  Me!  My proposal had been accepted after all. And no one told me!

"Carpe diem," I told myself, and scheduled Gwyneth for daycare on Friday afternoon, which would give me enough time to drive to Denver, poke around the exhibit hall, give my presentation, perhaps mingle a bit, and pick her up at 5:00, just like on a regular daycare afternoon.

In the meantime, I had met with a lactation consultant, who assured me that babies Gwyneth's age can go four to five hours without eating to no ill effect.  (Unless you consider her making up for that by nursing off and on all evening and all night afterwards less than desirable.)  (Which I kinda do.)

So these discoveries meant that I had three days to pull together my presentation.  Which is manageable even with a preschooler and a baby and a part-time job to take care of.

Except when your husband is out of town for four days.

And then the baby gets gastroenteritis and spends two days projectile vomiting.

So now, late Thursday night, punchy and sleep deprived and worried about my sweet girl, I have finally finished my nine-page handout and planned my talk--but I probably won't be able to present after all: daycare won't take sick kiddos (understandably--although I blame them for her stomach flu in the first place).

It's been a pressure-cooker of a week, I'm cranky, a sour milk cloud surrounds me, and I'm done with surprises for a while. No more.  But my husband is home from his work trip (he even skipped the morning sessions to take an earlier flight!), Gwyneth is feeling better, Griffin is asleep, and I've got a presentation ready to go for the next language teachers' conference!  

I think I'll wait until Gwyneth is weaned.


  1. being a mom is no easy task, but you're doing what's best for you kiddos (from a fellow breast feeding mom)

  2. I made it to the conference and led my session after all! My lovely husband took the afternoon off work, drove us to Denver, and took care of the kids while I presented. Hooray!

    And it went well--30+ people in attendance and lots of good discussion and sharing of ideas about raising children with more than one language. I also got to visit with old friends and former students!