It began with a late start day. My son is finally on his way to brush his teeth after several reminders, but I do sense that he snatched up something from behind me while I was distracted making two lunch boxes, each with specific preferences and school food restrictions. Next thing I know, I hear something breaking in the boys’ room. My beautiful mouth blown glass is gone, but at least he is fine.
A soon as I return from the school drop off, I clean up the mess. Instead of taking advantage of the next couple hours, I go check responses to my new facebook profile picture, and in no time, of course, it’s already noon: time to get ready for the first school pick up. Anyway, the next day is my ‘real work’ day, when both kids are in school full time. Or so I tell myself… I feel less guilty now.
On the way back from school, I hold my son’s hand, and he pulls it back, which is odd. I then see that he has a deep cut on his index finger that apparently hasn’t been noticed in school. As soon as we enter the house, he rushes to the bathroom, and I rush in to disinfect the cut, while he’s already on the potty. And then… trouble! Agh… diarrhea! The only good thing is that he doesn’t have a fever, so I’m still hoping he’ll be okay for school the next day, and that I will have my day to do art work. I start making dinner while supervising homework and thinking about what I am going to say at my son’s school auction committee meeting at 7:30 pm.
At dinner time, my son doesn’t touch his plate. I insist he needs to have food because it will add bulk and soak up acid in his upset stomach. I let my husband deal with that, and quickly kiss him goodbye, while reminding him about our plan to read a story a day to the kids.
I come back from the meeting. Food and dishes are still on the dining table, the kids are still wearing their cloths, and the little one is crying because he lost at some video game. My husband furls his own eyebrows to signal my frown. I sit on the couch, I sigh, I close my eyes and realize that I’ve only been gone for an hour and a half. Ok? Ok.
Before going to bed, I tiptoe barefoot into the boys’ room to check on my son’s cut. While adjusting his blanket, ouch! I step on a tiny sliver of the broken glass from earlier. I sit on the floor to remove it with difficulty – it’s so transparent, so thin, and so sharp. I got it! Oops! It just slipped through my fingers! I start looking for it again, and… ouch! I can’t believe it! It got me on the other foot!
Finally I’m in bed, trying to read though I have a terrible headache. Then I hear a strange sound. I go check the boys’ room: Noooo! The little one is throwing up, and on every single blanket covering his bed. It’s 11 pm., and we start laundry!
Before you know it, there’s a domino effect of other similar activities, and it’s 3:00 am. I am in the bathroom washing the miserable little one after another round of diarrhea gets on his body. Then it’s 9:30 am, I’m still doing laundry, and I am definitely not doing any art work. I get a message on my iPhone from my husband: “Love you. Take it easy, patience is a virtue.”
After serving toast and a cup of water to my little one, he says, “There are two reasons why I don’t like to be sick: I can’t have butter with my toast and I can’t have Nutella with my toast!” I agree that plain toast or plain water is not the best breakfast, but he, picky eater, doesn’t like any of the food that will help his situation: not plain yogurt, apple sauce, tea, not even bananas. “Good thing you like rice, we’re having rice for lunch!” I say enthusiastically. Rice and water.
We sit on the couch, hug, and talk about health, taking care of the body, and hygiene. We talked about the importance of washing hands with soap, about not eating food dropped on the floor, about not putting toys in the mouth.
Now the day is almost over, the homeopathic Diarrex tablets have proven once again efficient in record time. There has been no fever since the beginning of all this – it’s definitely not the flu. “You must have caught a bug in your tummy,” I say. “There was a little boy who swallowed a bug, I don’t know why he swallowed a bug!” I sing. I see the first smile of the day. We try to remember There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly lyrics, with familiar images in mind from the fabulous interpretation by Simms Taback, which won him a Caldecott.
Rich in colors, absurdity, and humor, the picture book is even more enjoyable if you have seen the multimedia version with rhythmic music and fun animation. Without a second thought, we are already watching the video on my iPhone.
Finally it’s the end of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time. Happily I turn on the stove and start making Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons: His favorite!