Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sick and Crazy

On Sunday night I once again met up with my old friend Stomach Flu, who held my full attention for 12 straight hours. It's the second time SF and I have had the pleasure of sharing the same human body this season, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy the surprises SF brings. Like, will it be throw-up? Will it be *other*? Will it be both at once?

Anyway, now I'm waiting. Waiting, of course, for my children to start vomiting in the middle of the night and continue to do so all over the house for 12 straight hours. It's not the mess factor I hate (though I don't really know anyone who loves to scrub throw-up out of carpeting). It's the anticipation. It's going to bed at night, exhausted, pushing the monitor button to eyeball the kids one last time before leaving their awakenings up to my ears only, and snapping to attention because I realize that at any moment they could wake up covered in throw-up, screaming. Their bedding needs washing immediately, their pjs are stuck to their bodies, there's throw-up in every crevice/nostril/fingernail on their bodies and they really, really need a bath but all they want to do is be held and go to sleep. And then it happens again and again, because they are babies and don't realize that they should just get up and throw-up in the bathroom like civilized people. 

Neither of my children has ever begun their stomach flu bouts during the daytime. Have yours? I don't know why it's always nighttime, when they're so unsuspecting, so untelling of mysterious symptoms. It wouldn't be so bad if they woke up in the morning, threw up and spent the next 12 hours sick. At least then we could watch them constantly. But what am I saying? I DO watch them constantly, even at night. I am glued to those monitors with every sniffle, every coo, every shuffle of the blankies. 

I'm living in such fear of the SF that I've got both of their bedrooms tricked out in case of illness. They've got pots for us to hold once we've got a system down, old towels covering the carpeting, blankets already laid out as beds for me or Trev to lay on, waters ready. And I will be so, so pleased to not have to use them. 

I figure I've got until Friday before we're home-free. Unless, of course, today one child becomes infected but fights it off silently and then infects the other on Saturday or something. Does this even happen? All I know is the last time we got the stomach flu, each of us got it exactly four days apart. It's only Wednesday and we're already going stir crazy, trapped in the house! (Though at -19 --YES, NEGATIVE NINETEEN -- we're not going far anyway.)

In other news, Berit and I were crafting today and it occurred to me that she is in no way interested in playing anything at all if it can't be made into "house." For example, we played Play-Doh yesterday, and we could only make balls of various sizes to represent mommies, daddies and kids, and then we had to play with them like they were those people. And then today I got out the glue, paper, macaroni and fuzzy balls and tried to help her make something, and she did stick a few pieces of macaroni onto the glue, but mostly gathered up the fuzzy balls, named them and played house with them. I ended up just drawing different scenes onto construction paper and letting her pretend it was a dollhouse for her... fuzzy craft balls. I tried getting her to match things, notice similarities and differences, pick out textures, even make a mess with the glue, but nothing doing. Just house. What does this mean? There are very few math skills being built up in playing house. Will she not be the famous heart surgeon who travels the world healing impoverished nations that I had planned? Will she be a mere (gasp) housewife who thrives on putting babies into cradles, taking them out, and putting them back in?

Have we been cooped up too long, living in fear of the vomit? Am I making up mirages to analyze out of boredom?? Am I suffering from lack of sleep, lack of inspiration, lack of protein due to my week-long enforcement of the BRAT diet?

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