When my dental hygienist asked me on Thursday, as I basked in the childless “me time” in her chair, I told her my plans for this week-end were to assist my handy husband in hanging drywall in the basement. Creating his recording studio as promised, nearly 3 years ago, when we decided to buy this house.
But as of 12:15am this morning, MY plans no longer included drywall. They looked a bit more like nursing. One very warm little Girlchild climbed into our bed with a fever. After complaining of a sore throat that afternoon, I suspected strep throat, and knew the next day would include a trip to the pediatrician for a test. Untreated strep bacteria can travel to the valves of the heart, and cause pulmonary stenosis. I will wait and see on an ear ache, or a junky cough, but a sore throat with fever gets my instant attention.
Being sick is one of Girlchild’s favorite activities. She happily requires the attention of all able bodied persons in a 90 mile radius, and demands her mother stay in the room with her at all times so she will not have to yell for her desires. She’s a peach.
At 7:12am we hear Girlchild attempting to get her little brother’s attention. “Manchild, I am sick today. I’m going to need help getting things that I want. Do you want to be my nurse today, Manchild? Do you? Manchild, do you want to be my helper nurse and get me things I need? Manchild? Manchild? MANCHILD! Okay… you think about it.” Manchild has family members, Girlchild has wait staff.
Unfortunately, the doctors office opened at the same time as my Saturday morning water fitness class. Thus, the job of medical scheduler fell to Captain Schenanigans. I coached him ahead of time:
“Okay, the office opens at 8am, sick visits only, and closes at noon. You have to beat all the other moms to the appointments by calling the minute they open! Who is your kid’s doctor? What are Girlchild’s symptoms? When did they start? Do you have the number to the office?” He answered with flying colors, retrieved the number from my phone, and scored an 11am appointment. Cuttin it close, but still very nicely done!
Her strep test was positive.
Isn’t it always the day when the weather is the nicest that you are doomed to stay inside? I got the mail barefoot and balmy today, Manchild’s shorts were actually weather appropriate, and the backyard animals were reveling in a glimpse of summer. Enough that Lolan, our bad news bunny with Cat Attack PTSD, managed to free himself from the exercise pen, leave the fenced in backyard, and was found cornered by the cat by the trash cans. Praise God that Captain Schenanigans was there, yet again. FYI, bunnies have excellent memories when it comes to past attackers.
Not 3hrs later our favorite buck Cotton had run out of an open gate during his recess time (Captain S was carrying drywall through the backyard) and as I am doing all my Saturday chores AND Girlchild’s chores (seriously, if you feel good enough to ask to ride your bike, you can clean the bathroom, Girl!) I get a text than immediate call from our new neighbors. “I think one of your rabbits is running down the street, I’m following him in my car!”
AAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhh! NOT THE SHOW BUNNY!!!!!! She loves him more than all of us!
I throw on the only pair of shoes I could grab, tall wedge sandals, and jog down the street behind our house. At the next drive down (it’s a 1.5 acre piece of property, to give you an idea) I see my neighbor’s car and jog up to her. She points out a small gray lump halfway up the driveway, in the yard. I scramble over and find Cotton, kicked back in tired bunny fashion, taking a rest. I have not felt that degree of grateful in quite some time! It was God’s doing that anyone even noticed a 6lb gray bunny, hiking unattended.
While catching my breath and re-telling the tale to our friends next door (who suggested I blog it), my husband steps out on the porch with a red eyed little girl and calls over “Girlchild was looking for you! Oh, were you aware that the cat peed in our room?” Oh for pete’s sake, I’m about ready to sell the next furry-bodied trouble maker that crosses my path. Curvy women don’t run in wedges unless they love you, but even love has it’s limits when it comes to thankless critters (children excluded). The only reason the cat was trapped in our room watching Veggietales in the first place was because he loves to zip out the door like a hairy ninja on nice days (or any day), and take colossal naps in the street! With basement framing being carried in, and Manchild running out, it was just safer to lock up the cat. Jax-the-cat-of-Bad-Choices chose that moment to scoot down the sidewalk and across the street. I give. You do what you gotta do buddy, I’m out of it.
Heading back inside, it turns out the ammonia smell my hubby noticed was a result of a bit of a bleaching situation I got into while cleaning the bathroom for Girlchild, and not cat pee.
I was only halfway through vacuuming the living room when Manchild spilled a huge container of perler beads in my bed, Girlchild demanded my company, and Captain needed help carrying drywall. For those of you who don’t know, drywall is freakishly heavy! I was starting to resent my decision to use the dumbbells in the pool that morning.
Dinner was every man for himself. Manchild had Spaghetti-O’s and sea weed, Girlchild had a horse trough full of popcorn (in my bed no less), and Captain had nachos. Ten minutes later Manchild asks for lunch. I explained that he and Daddy went to Denny’s for lunch together. No, he explained right back, that was breakfast. Upon questioning my husband, it came out that Manchild had, indeed, not had lunch after such a heavy brunch and afternoon filled with power tools. Having now completed eating his dinner, Manchild would not be satisfied until he had his lunch on=board as well. Captain complied, handed him a PB&J, and watched this little blonde stripling bounce down to the den, happy as a slightly disorganized clam.
Did I mention we were supposed to pick up half a pig this morning that was back from the butcher? While we had had this day on the calendar for weeks, right until our plans ended up being swirled around and splattered on the wall like modern art. The pig slipped through the giant cracks in our mind, and thanks again to the unusually high temps, was about to defrost. Geez Louisa, and this day just keeps going!
As I type this, I can hear the construction sounds echoing up from the basement as the love of my life continues to hoist FREAKISHLY HEAVY drywall sheets into all the right places. I stay upstairs, knowing the children fall asleep faster if one parent is on the main level of the house. I have already had 2 post bedtime visits from the Strep Fairy, and I ushered her back to bed with promises of checking on her in 15 minutes. She drug a small mattress into our room and plans to sleep at the foot of our bed in case she needs to beckon me in the middle of the night. Basically, parenting is one life long assignment of being On Call.
So while I may look like an abuse victim with 2 black eyes, the circles are so dark and sunken on my weary face, I already know I am not going to church tomorrow. My husband earned it today. I am the nurse who stays on call forever in this house, and the requested person whenever anyone under this roof becomes ill. So I’ll look forward to tomorrow’s slow morning as a time to shut life out and snuggle my Strep infected girl. These days are busy, but numbered, and mornings always seem so much easier than evenings.
We have the perfect reason to reject all plans, one of my favorite things to do, and sit side by side as we read our own chapter books in bed. With the popcorn crumbs. And the occasional perler bead.