These two things are unrelated

I am nothing if not inconsistent; I started writing here again and then I saw something shiny and wandered off. Or, more accurately, life happened and I realized I’d abandoned you again. I’m a jerk. I have no other defense.

There’s two things I’ve been meaning to share, though of course the more time that passes, the more I realize that they may be interesting only to me. NO MATTER! You will care about my Bowl Situation, yes you will, and also I can never resist the opportunity to point out when I have completely screwed up as a parental unit, so here we go.

Matter the first: “You’re fine!”
Monkey has missed quite a bit of school this month. We all had a stomach bug shortly after the kids returned post-winter-break, and then the following week he had a brief relapse, and so when the third week rolled around and he AGAIN said he wasn’t feeling great, I was having none of it. NO SIR, YOU ARE HEALTHY AS A HORSE, GO TO SCHOOL. I did this because:
1) I’m an idiot jerkface
2) I figured he had somehow become acclimated to the newish routine of “but I don’t go to school on Thursday/Friday anymore”
3) Sometimes I forget that hey, my autistic child has a VERY high threshold for discomfort and does not complain (mostly) unless he is probably dying*.

* Other spectrum parents are about to start nodding, but here’s the further explanation of the Sensory Weirdness that is our normal: Brush up against my child and he will howl that he has been punched, but give him a fever of 105 and he will say he’s fine. I don’t know why; that’s just how it goes.

Anyway, I sent him to school that fateful Thursday, thinking this was a bit of drama. When he texted me at lunch that he had a TERRIBLE headache, I reminded him that he had a test that afternoon and sent his sister to deliver Advil and a Coke and a pep talk. Twenty minutes later my neglected and abused child texted to say the Advil was maybe a bad idea because he’d thrown it up…? And then I realized I was a monster.

Allow me to remind you, here, that Monkey is no longer a small child. My gangly 15-year-old is taller than me, though—like most large-breed puppies—he still believes himself a tiny lap-creature. When I arrived to fetch him from school I wanted nothing more than to pick him up and carry him to the car, I was so alarmed by his pallid appearance. I spent the ride home contemplating whether I should try to get him in to the doctor that afternoon or wait a bit. In the end, I decided to wait (because he said all he wanted to do was go home and go to sleep), and he slept the remainder of the day. It was not, of course, until well past office hours that it became clear that he was burning up and unable to keep anything down.

Spoiler alert: I sent my kid to school with the flu. Yep.

Friday was mostly spent getting him diagnosed, finding out that he had a bonus ear infection as well (did he say a single word about that infected ear? NOPE), his lungs sounded “a little worrying,” and our awesome pediatrician kept us long enough to give him some anti-emetics and rehydrate him before sending us to the pharmacy to pick up All The Drugs. It was hard to manage all of that while self-flagellating over not realizing how sick he was the day before, because on Friday his appearance and behavior was truly alarming and HOW DID I NOT REALIZE? I was reminded of a nasty bout of rotovirus he’d had as a toddler, when he stopped playing to puke every fifteen minutes (and appeared confused but unbothered) but later crawled into my lap, lay on my chest, and was just… still and silent and dehydrated and SCARY AS HELL. Friday was like that. Jokes aside, he was just so sick it was hard to watch.

He slept and slept and slept and got up and said, “I feel much better!” (temperature: 101) and twenty minutes later went back to bed. I woke him for meds last night and he said, “I feel way better!” (temperature: 103; oh THERE’S my darling sensorily confused kid) and took his meds and went back to sleep for 14 hours. This morning? “I feel a lot better than yesterday!” (Temperature upon waking: 101.) I think he managed to stay awake a full half hour, this time.

Hey, I could’ve summed up that whole thing with: Monkey has the flu and I continue to be well-meaning but somewhat inept. The end.

Matter the second: Bowlpocalypse
At some point maybe a decade ago I stumbled on a great deal on some sturdy white dishware… I don’t even know what it is, Corning-something, maybe, but not Corelle… and they are my favorite dishes ever. Heavy, but not too heavy. Plain, but not boring (the plates are square, which I like). The coffee mugs it came with are oversized (MOAR COFFEEEEEEE) and the bowls are deep. I scooped up a service for 16 and have been very happy with them.

Over the years I have compensated for the shortcomings of the set; the large plates are gigantic and the “lunch” plates still pretty sizable, so I bought some fun polka-dotted dessert-sized plates at some point. Also you don’t always want a bowl that can hold a whole quart of ice cream, so I bought a cute set of small bowls, too.

In the past decade EXCLUDING this year, we broke maybe… two bowls. Hey, it happens. But this past year has not been a good one for the bowls, for some reason, and we are now down to maybe half the original count. Earlier this week I swear to God a half-eaten bowl of gnocchi LEAPT out of the fridge when I opened it and smashed into a million pieces on the kitchen floor. (I then scolded the gnocchi-eater, who swore the bowl was FINE when originally placed.) (“Would you like some more ceramic shards with the gnocchi?”) We have reached the critical point where we sometimes run out of bowls before the dishwasher has been run. This is unacceptable.

I don’t really want a whole new set of dishes, nor do I want to pay a bajillion dollars at someplace like for just the bowls (which were never sold separately). I’m on the hunt for COMPATIBLE bowls to round things out, but every time I think I’ll buy something I am paralyzed by indecision and end up with nothing. What if I buy the wrong bowls??? The struggle is real.

And yes, the bowl thing was the biggest worry I had before Monkey got sick. Now I can either worry about the bowls or focus on the near-certain eventuality of Chickie getting the flu as well. So. BOWLS IT IS! Please remit bowl suggestions. Tall/deep vs. wide is preferred. Cheapness a plus. Flu-free, please.


  1. Chuck

    I always liked this kind, although I don’t know if it would go with your current dishes. They might have in other colors though.

  2. Sharon

    Disease can be a wiley foe. Several summers ago my husband had the flu – went to the doctor and everything. He was told to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen, rest, drink fluids. His fever fluctuated and two days in I called the doctor again – questions and answers and told to continue the same. Three days later he is admitted to ICU with pneumonia – he made it through after they tried every antibiotic in the book and finally found the right one. Moral of the story: don’t beat yourself up; we act on the knowledge we have and change course when the symptoms indicate the need.

    As for the bowls, I say get something you like that doesn’t necessarily match but “goes.” We love that phrase around here – gives us permission to mix and match just about anything. Fiestaware has several sizes of bowls in fantastic colors and can take a lot of abuse. I mixed and matched FW plates and mugs with what I already have and love the look of the table when it’s set. Have fun with it!

  3. Lori

    Same thing happens here…have had luck finding bowls at Pier One!

  4. Katie K

    One of my 3 had the flu just after Christmas. She only shard with me. My husband and boys were fine. Even the giant boy who had his wisdom teeth removed when I was sick. I washed my hands a lot but I was fetching him pudding and meds when he was loopy on the pain killers. Wishing you the same luck.

  5. RuthWells

    Poor Monkey. Don’t beat yourself up too much, you’ll need to be in fighting trim when Chickie comes down with it….

  6. Leslie R.

    I second the vote for Ikea bowls. We have the Fargrik set and love it – plus it’s pretty cheap & easy to replace individual pieces when I’m a dope and drop them. :P Of course, this only works if you have an ikea close by, lol…

  7. another sue

    That Ruth gal is a real ray of sunshine, yes? You know my take on illness. It is what it is, but it does not always present as such. As for bowls, a lot of my stuff “came with the place”. So, some that my folks had used, some that my grandparents had used, some from the thrift store circuit, because I’m classy like that. I lived through a house fire nearly 40 years ago, and I can tell you it all burns/crumbles the same. Whether it was something passed down through the generations, something saved for and chosen quite precisely, or something from someone else’s yard sale. Kinda’ colored my view of “things”.

  8. AKD

    IKEA is a good suggestion, but something tells me you don’t live near one. Maybe Crate & Barrel? Or Crate & Barrel outlet. You also could try a restaurant supply store where they are likely to have relatively plain bowls that you could buy by the piece.

  9. suburbancorrespondent

    Big Lots has some decent dishes and bowls, if you want to save money…

  10. Misty around Christmas they had a special on corelle and I built up my collection.

  11. Cheryl

    I too stocked up on plain white dishes several years ago, but I cannot recall where from. Just before Christmas I noticed we were down to four bowls. Not nearly enough for setting a matching dinner table. I went to WalMart, just on speculation, and guess what?? I now have enough white bowls to set our table, and a few left over for late nite ice cream. It is so much fun decorating with different colored candles and flowers and napkins against the white dishes.

    And, I did not win Mother of the Year when my kids were still home. Sent them to school a few times with flu too. Felt pretty awful when the call would come to say they needed to be picked up. It happens…..and they seem to have survived. Daughter-in-law is an elementary school teacher and is making a lot of those calls right now – bad flu epidemic at her school.

  12. Meri

    I got Corelle soup bowls (wide and deep, IMO) at Walmart ages ago, it was the only place I could find the plain white ones.

    On the completely other end of the spectrum, there’s a pottery studio here and I’m sure you could custom order a set if you wanted. There’s got to be one down by you, shipping from Boston doesn’t make sense. Maybe an art student at the university would be interested in doing it for less money and something for their portfolio?

  13. Lizneust

    Ikea, PierOne and Target are good, but I might start by flipping thru Amazon or Overstock. Then you don’t have to go to the mall. I hate the mall. Hope Monkey feels better and you all remain standing.

  14. Chris

    Last year I send my high schoolers to school multiple times to have the school nurse send them back to me again and again. I swear I was worried that woman thought I was the worst parent ever but it was a bad combination of them wanting to go some times since missing a test creates a lot more problems now given their intense schedules, them being very non-specific about not feeling great and having kids who are not morning people so are never that lively at 6:30 when we are usually making the call on whether they are well enough to go to school or not.

    Only sent back once this year but we still have a while to go!

  15. Carla Hinkle

    I have the “Court” bowls from Crate & Barrel. Reasonably priced ($4.95/ea), giant, square and very sturdy.

  16. Jan in Norman OK

    Try a restaurant supply store.

  17. Meagan

    Try your local grocery store (really).

  18. Jamie

    Hope Monkey is getting better I have the 365+ bowls from Ikea and LOVE them. I bought the sets with plates as they were cheaper all around (on sale for $20 when I bought them years ago), but at $2 a pop per bowl, that’s not too bad. Happy bowl hunting!

  19. Shanna

    If you have any thrift stores near by stop in once a week and check out the bowls on their shelves. You may get luck and find the same kind you already have. I was able to find 8 bowls exactly like the ones I had at home when we were having the problem of the bowls disappearing into the teenagers room only to be returned once a week. Now the dirty dish fairy appears overnight leaving me a counter full of crusty treasure because rinsing and opening the dishwasher is HARD! Good luck that nobody else gets the flu. I had it between Christmas and New Years and nobody else got it at our house.

  20. Leanne

    We regularly go through the “is he actually sick or is his routine off from a vacation or Monday holiday”. I vote for a longer summer and fewer breaks during the year……..I think. I like the breaks themselves but re-establishing his school routine is a killer. By the time i factor in the days that he’s not actually sick but “not fit for public”, I think I will soon loose my mind.

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