My children are old enough now that we’re almost beyond the age of hilarious malapropisms. Alas! For some reason, though, Chickadee has a mental block with the word teriyaki. And this is particularly unfortunately because she just LOVES teriyaki chicken. So she’ll ask me if we can have karaoke chicken for dinner, and I’ll tell her I’m just not sure the chickens will be able to hold the microphone, and she becomes very annoyed with me. This doesn’t stop me from cracking the very same joke the next time it happens, by the way.
Anyway, I wasn’t thinking about amusing word play when little miss so-not-a-morning-person walked into my room this morning at o’dark thirty, half-dressed. Usually I have to DRAG her out of bed, and I’m sure that if I’d been, you know, AWAKE, I would’ve thought to myself, “Self, this is quite unusual.” But instead, I uttered the first profundity that occurred to me: “S’early.”
She slipped into bed beside me and we went back to sleep.
When my alarm went off, I realized I wasn’t alone and tried to remember how she got there.
“Hey, Chickie,” I rubbed her back. “What’re you doing here? You got up and started getting dressed and came into my bed…?”
She pulled the sheet over her head. “Tired.”
“Oooooookay… why’d you get up and get dressed, then?” I was still half-asleep, myself.
“My jammies… hot,” she answered, flinging the blanket off of herself.
“Hot…?” Wait. Up early. Back to sleep. Jammies too hot. With a heavy sigh, I reached my hand around to her forehead. Toasty!
“Hey, um, sweetie? You not feeling so good?”
“Throat hurts. Head hurts. Too hot.” Okay, then.
After a short while we were joined by Monkey, who was quite indignant that he still had to go to school when his sister was getting to stay home. After much whining (some of it even from him) we got him dropped off and returned home. And then I faced the dilemma that has plagued mothers throughout the ages.
If I let her go without motrin, she would lay on the couch and be a miserable–but quiet–lump. I could turn on the television for her and pretty much work the entire day. But there would be guilt, because she’d feel rotten.
If I give her the motrin, in half an hour she’ll be nearly as good as new, begging me to please stop working and come play Mousetrap, and generally making me wonder why on earth I let her stay home. But isn’t making her feel better the goal?
I’m such a sucker. I gave her the motrin, and spent most of the day trying to convince her that yes, I really would MUCH RATHER play Mousetrap, it’s true, but I had to [talk to this person on the phone; answer this email; finish revisions on this assignment; etc.]. I did allow her plenty of television and took a longish lunch break to fix us the secret family comfort food: eggs scrambled with cream cheese. (She loves it when I fix this for her, just like I always loved it when my mom made it for me.) She scarfed down her food and sucked down juice all day long and I was beginning to wonder if she was all better by the time we went out to fetch Monkey from school.
On the drive down to their dad’s house, she started lolling against the headrest and looking sort of pale, again. I left the kids with him complete with admonitions about what she could and couldn’t have, and headed back home. When they returned to the house a few hours later, I anxiously inquired as to how she’d been doing, and my ex said she seemed to be pretty much fine.
But, see, Monkey was VERY cranky. He’d bumped his head on the way in and wouldn’t. stop. crying. Finally I felt his head. Toasty!
Hey, I know! Let’s take everyone’s temperatures! Wanna? It’ll be fun!
Monkey was running about 101, and Chickadee was somewhat miffed to only be at 100.3. I announced that everyone would be having a swig of motrin and heading to bed. Go brush your teeth, all you little germheads!
“Come on Monkey,” the ever-doting big sister guided her brother up the stairs. “I bet neither us will go to school tomorrow. We can stay home together. I bet we have stripped throat.”
First of all, they had best NOT have any sort of throat–stripped, strep or otherwise–that will leave me with TWO whining, sick children and probably end with ME sick as well.
Secondly, I wish I could share and explain the mental image I got from that. It’s so funny and not good all at once.