Friday, October 5, 2007

Mother of the Year -- not

Yesterday morning, the inevitable happened. It is just six weeks into the school year, and I was blundering my way down the stairs, when I heard the TV on the cartoon channel and the Girl-child was stretched out on the sofa, wrapped up like a burrito in her quilt. This is unusual because my kids are now school aged and have to use alarms and bells and whistles to be woken up in the morning. Hubby was in his usual position at the kitchen table, eating his Raisin Bran, nose in paper. "What's with . . .?" nodding my head in the direction of the living room. He didn't even look up. "She doesn't feel well," he said. "#@&," I thought, "There goes my day." My first reaction, as a Mother of the Year contender, is that she would have to go through my three-step plan to prove it. I felt her head. No fever. Second: Did you or do you have to throw up? "I might," she replied, rather hopefully, I thought. Step three: Get up and get dressed and we'll see how you do. Her reply, "But I don't feeeel good, and my stomach HURTS!" Later as she headed for the bathroom after two bites of toast and some orange juice, I called after her -- "And if you throw up, I want to SEE it!" I had to implement this part B to Step 2, because since the age of four she is crafty enough to go into the bathroom, make gagging noises, flush the toilet and come out to announce, "I threw up." Five minutes later I was on the floor, cleaning up the spot just inches from her target with Brand X paper towels that don't absorb a thing. And now, the tables had turned. "Now that I threw up, I feel better. So can I go to school?" "No." "But I'll miss the last day of unicycles in PE!" (Yes, this at a school that doesn't celebrate Halloween, but has a Fall Party -- how exciting can leaves and faceless pumpkins be? And they ride unicycles in PE) Then she tells me she also has a headache. "From when the chair fell on my head yesterday." So, now, I'm thumbing through the AMA reference section in my head, desperately trying to remember: Head injury accompanied by vomiting? That's not good. What if it's two days after the chair fell and it only weighs a few pounds? I'm searching her eyes to see if the pupils look weird -- her eyes that are such a deep brown that they're almost black and the pupils are lost. I'm looking back and forth, right eye, left eye, and she's all wide-eyed doing the same with me. Pupils are fine. We settle into our day, me determined to use every minute to my best advantage. This means laundry and putting photos in scrapbooks . At 1:00 Hubby comes home early and we turn on the baseball game, until the cable guy shows up and he and Son #1 are in and out of the house, up and down the stairs, trying to figure out why the picture skips and we only get half the channels I've been paying for the past six months. Hubs is on the 16-foot-extension ladder doing some touch up painting and Girl-child is halfway up the ladder behind him. I order her down and to the front room to do some reading. Minutes later she's lying with her behind on the sofa, head on the floor, book held over her head. And I'm thinking to myself, is this typical behavior (or a good idea) for a head injury victim? Chicken soup is consumed and ejected. "I feel better. Can I go to school now?" "No." By late afternoon she's fighting with her brother, playing the guitar and begging to go outside to play with the neighbor child. And I'm looking forward to the next day when she and EVERYONE will be gone and I'll have the house to myself. 2 a.m. -- In my dream I'm at the airport with Son #1 and he's being chased by Chinese Terrorists (Chinese??). Someone is tapping on my arm. "I threw up." I'm thinking I'd rather go back to sleep and face the terrorists, but I stumble to the bathroom where she has ONCE AGAIN missed the target. What is with this child? This morning she pleaded with me to let her go to school. Her stomach is fine, she insists. And don't tell the Mother of the Year committee. But I let her go. I can tell you this, only because I'm sure none of your kids go to her school and you won't turn me in. With instructions to go to the clinic if she feels at all queasy, I watched her skipping across the playground, smiling and waving at me over her shoulder. Kids are nothing, if not resiliant. And I may not get the Mother of the Year Award. But, for today at least, I get 99 channels. All to myself.

17 comments:

Tristi Pinkston said...

That was priceless. I'm sorry you had such a crummy day, but if it makes you feel any better, you've entertained me highly. :)

Lynne said...

I love your 3-step determination of real illness, especially Part B of step 2. Very clever!

Why is it, if you keep the child home, they feel better almost immediately. But if you feel they're not really sick, you'll get a call from the school to come get them because they really are sick. You can't win!

Karen said...

You CRACK ME UP!!! I get all flustered, and bothered when Alaina announces she's sick on her stomach. I detest that more than anything in the entire world, and I've been through it with two others before her! I love your attitude. Me....I'd be spraying down everything that didn't move with Lysol. ;0)

Robin said...

Hysterical! But really, you want to SEE it LOL! That would make me get sick too!
I hope that everything is back to normal and enjoy those 99 channels!

justabeachkat said...

Okay, I vote you "Funny Mother Of the Year". Great post!

Hugs!
Kat

Anonymous said...

I would have tied a bucket to her and said you miss this you clean it up...nice story...

Karen said...

And you, bro, get "Father of the Year" -- not!

Anonymous said...

True...Tommy doesnt stand a chance, he already got the "bucket brigade" once...

Becky said...

Oh, this was so funny. And so real.. And so ME!!! You captured my sentiments EXACTLY.

We currently have a college aged son who lives at home for 5 nights and is gone for ONLY 2.

And after he has already been out of the house for years, I cannot wait for him to go on Monday morning. Not because he is hard to live with ... just because HE'S HERE!

Ugh. I love my house. Alone.

Xandra said...

LOL! I have a similar 3 step program...darn sneaky kids!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Very funny and highly entertaining . . . I loved it.

Bill said...

You are a horrible mother. Don't you know that even a stubbed toe requires you to throw her in the car, screech up to the door of the ER like Starsky & Hutch, rush in wild-eyed, and demand IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION? BTW, I finished No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I know you'd like it...all about FDR, Eleanor, and the American experience during WWII.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

I dropped back by to remind:

There are 23 days left and counting, ladies . . . if you have the most wonderful husband in the world, you need to nominated him!

I know there are other wonderful husbands out there. Until midnight November 30, 2007 I will be taking nominations via this email address ces@candacesalima.com. The six finalists will be posted, please send a picture with the nomination, on December 1, 2007 when voting will commence and the winner will be chosen by you. Sadly, because it would just be skewed, my husband cannot win although I think he'd be a shoe in. On December 15, 2007 the winner will be announced.

We have some great husbands already nominated, but I know there are more out there. So start nominating! Tell me about your husband and why you think he is the Best Husband in the World! That would be world . . . ladies, no geographic boundaries.

Becky said...

If you win ... you are safe. I will not let anyone steal it from you.

kim said...

This cracked me up! Just hearing the words, "my stomach feels weird" makes my heart pound. I HATE having puking kids. Hope no one else in your family got it!

Thanks for the fun comments on my blog. I would love to have red cabinets--I have a red bar/counter and a read fireplace mantel instead.

Sam made it through the first night of camp without needing to call home--we are now holding our breath through night #2! I love being home in my own bed too. :)

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

*smiles*
Kim

kris said...

That was too funny! Thanks for my laugh tonight. I had a son who could not hit the target - whenever he was sick I could count on cleaning up the mess. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Oh my goodness, this is an outrageously funny, well-written, reminds me why I might be lucky to not have kids, kind of post :) I loved it Karen, just loved it!

Enjoy those 99 channels and some peace and quiet. You deserve it!

P.S. I think you still qualify for Mother of the Year :)