Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sick Day

This weekend we took the kids for our annual outing to the Pumpkin Patch.

We did it up. We rode the tractor, we selected pumpkins, we got cornfused in the giant corn maze, and we ate our weight in garlic fries. 

It was fantastic. 

Except that -- because we live in Southern California -- it was also so, so, so HOT.

As we made our way home it occurred to me that I was feeling really, really tired, which wasn't all that surprising considering that I might as well been hauling massive gourds around on the surface of Mars for seven hours straight. But when I woke up the next morning I realized that I was more than just tired. I was, in fact, sick. Like chills, fevers, there-might-be-vomiting-in-my-very-near-future SICK.

This bad news turned into truly terrible news when I heard my five-year-old calling miserably from his bed in the next room. 

"MOMMY! I don't feel good!!! Please get me some milk!"

Because of my rising fever I was unable to process this request as what is was -- straight up insane -- and so I headed to the kitchen and poured the kid a tall glass. Not surprisingly, minutes later milk came flying back in my general direction from my son's mouth, nose, and possibly eye sockets.


My husband had an important meeting and had to head for the office, which left sick me and sick son to sick it up together for the better part of the day. As David shut the door to take the two younger ones to the sitter and head to work I had a "Sandra Bullock 20 minutes into the movie Gravity" moment and thought,

"I cannot imagine how I am going to get out of this alive...."

I did bucket duty for my poor puking kid for the next two hours in a sort of fugue state.

When the vomiting finally subsided I dragged my son into my bed and the two of us fell into a feverish sleep. I woke up two hours later and found myself staring into my boy's cute little face. He was awake but still looking pretty dazed. 

I put my arms around him and asked him how he was feeling.

"Terrible," he said. "I hate being sick."

"Me too," I replied.

Then something kind of great happened. 

My son and I laid together and started talking. We talked about school and what he likes about it and what he doesn't like. (LIKES: Doing Wii Fit and lunch. DOESN'T LIKE: When the Big Bad Wolf blows the house down at story time.) We talked about platypuses and how weird it is that they have venom. I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up. (He feels it would probably be best to stay a kid forever but if he absolutely had to get bigger he might consider being a fireman.) We talked about the Wall-E doll he wants to ask Santa for this year and how it drives him crazy when his sister knocks over his trains.

As I laid there listening to my son talk I realized how rarely we get time like this. With three kids aged 5 and under, my days are pretty darn busy. My big guy is in school five days now, and between keeping the smaller ones from destroying the house, getting meals on the table, and getting clothes on and off every day there's just not a lot of downtime for, you know, chatting. 

We have meals together, but with five of us at the table we don't really have conversations as much as we have an endless string of shouted statements that rapidly devolve into constant and tearful demands for cookies. 

But on our otherwise miserable sick day I ended up with a delightfully perfect half an hour of conversation with my oldest child, and it reminded me again of how often the worst days of mothering can contain these little perfect moments if you keep an eye out for them.

About half an hour into our conversation my son immediately announced he was hungry. He'd experienced one of those miraculous young-person recoveries where they go from feverish and limp to eating everything in sight in the course of an hour.

I got out of bed and served him:
  • two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • two bowls of cereal
  • an ice cream cone
  • two bananas
  • four glasses of water
  • some juice

A half an hour later the food had all stayed down and my son was busy playing HexBugs in the playroom. I was glad my guy was feeling better, but felt a little melancholy that it meant our cuddle and conversation time was over... least until the next sick day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A SFD Beauty Product Review

This weekend my husband and I went out for a long-scheduled date night. 

We've had a busy couple of weeks, and as a result I've been spending a lot of time in sweatpants, baseball caps, and a general makeup-free look that conveys the simple message, "I am a busy Mom and/or a recent escapee from a hospital for the criminally insane."

And so as I opened my long-neglected makeup bag I was quite thrilled to discover a small sample packet that had been handed to me on a recent trip to the mall.

I won't name the sampled product by name, but suffice it to say that the packaging implied that applying it to my face would result in a surgically altered appearance in less than a minute! A quick Google search of the product revealed that it retailed for several hundred dollars per ounce. 

I stood before the mirror, examined my 40+ visage, and realized how much help it really needed. Deep lines have started to crease across my forehead. My laugh lines are ever-more prominent. There are two small sections near the outer-edges of my eyelids that could best be described as "crepe-y". How had I not realized how desperately in need I was of the very product I was now holding in my hand????

I tore the package open, scrubbed my face clean, and spread a thin layer of the contents over my skin. 

Less that 60-seconds later I felt the difference. This stuff was like a fine layer of crazy glue sent from heaven to pull my wrinkles away! Not only did I feel an epic tightening sensation, I SAW a visible difference as lines all over my face faded from sight!

I was elated. 

Until about five minutes later.

That was when it occurred to me exactly how uncomfortable it really was to have a fine layer of crazy glue covering my entire face.

I mean it was pretty crazy itchy and super tight feeling, and I was getting kind of concerned about the desire it was creating in me to rip all the flesh off my skull with my fingernails.

I headed back to the bathroom and took one last long look at my wrinkle-free-ish face. I washed off every remnant of product from my face and made do with a little moisturizer and some concealer. 

The fact is I'd rather have wrinkles than be thinly coated in epoxy. But that's just my review... they say on the internet, Your Mileage May Vary.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Betrayal

There sometimes comes a time in a mother's life when her child comes to her and says something to her so hurtful -- so outrageous -- that it makes her wonder how this could possibly be the baby she lovingly carried in her very womb for nine long months.

That moment came for me this week when my five-year-old approached me early on a Sunday afternoon and said,

"Mommy. I think my favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys."

You see, my husband and I are in a mixed marriage. I was raised outside of New York City as a die-hard Giants fan, and then I married a Texan whose love for the Dallas Cowboys is equally fervent. 

When I was thirty-six I brought my then-fiance David home for some quality time with my parents. We had a lovely dinner in which David spoke about his degrees from MIT and Harvard, his stable and potentially lucrative career choice, and his love of God and family. After dinner my father pulled me aside in the hallway. I was fully expecting kudos for my excellent late-thirties husband find, but instead Dad lowered his voice in concern,

A Cowboys fan? Really?” he said. “You sure you can’t find someone from outside the division?

David and I managed to deny this mountainous obstacle to love, got married, and produced three children within the following five years.

I’ve been sensitive to his needs as a Dallas Cowboys fan. I was understanding as his team suffered heartbreaking losses while my team, you know, WON THE SUPERBOWL! (And then won it AGAIN!!) I had actually reached the conclusion that our whole intra-division union wasn't going to be all that bad.

Until this season. When my team started to lose. Spectacularly.

As we stand in early October at OH and FIVE it has made me realize that in reality I was only being magnanimous because my team was SO MUCH BETTER than my husband's team. 

Now that my team has lost the ability to throw, catch, run, or play offense or defense in any meaningful way, I'm starting to realize that magnanimity is not really my strong suit.

So I'm struggling.

The other day I overheard my older son invite his younger brother to "go play football". I headed back to the playroom to stop them from throwing a ball around inside the house only to find them jumping up and down on the furniture before falling to the ground, clutching the sides of their heads and shrieking loudly, 

"He caught the ball! Oh no! He lost the ball!"

I found myself rather confused as to how this was "playing football" until my younger son pointed at me and announced with glee, 

"We're watching football just like Mommy!"

Now you may say that the problem is that I'm taking all this sports stuff a little too seriously, but allow me to offer an important counterpoint: 

Some psychiatrists claim that 80% of a child's personality is formed before the age of five. What does this mean, you ask? It means I'm running out of time to GET THESE KIDS ON MY SIDE!

So I'm begging you, my beloved Giants - my children's football fandom formative years are no time to be screwing around!!!

Get it together, Big Blue. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.