On Saturday afternoon, while he was sporting a fever of 103 and had already thrown up twenty-one times, the boy fell asleep on the sofa. It was 4:15 PM. It was still light outside, because we don’t live in Alaska, where the darkness envelopes you early on in the day.
When he woke up next, it was 7:30 PM, and it was plenty dark outside then, because we haven’t jumped our clocks forward yet, nor was it July here in Small Town, USA.
With a head of hair that could easily have won Grand Prize in the Best Bedhead of the Year Contest, the boy looked at me with his glassy fever-eyes and asked, “Mom, what day is it?”
I answered by saying, “It’s still Saturday, honey.”
“Oh. Mom, is it still the same Saturday, or is it already the next Saturday?”
“It’s still the same Saturday, sweetheart.”
“Oh. Because I fell asleep when it was light outside, I think, and now it’s dark, and I didn’t know if I’d been asleep for a few minutes or days. I was wondering if I’d slept through some school days or something, and I couldn’t remember.”
Later that night, after the boy had puked two more times and finally settled into an Advil-and-Tamiflu-laced slumber, I told Hubs about our conversation, and the two of us giggled like school kids hovering over a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, because OH MY WORD! THE FUNNY!
Today, I think I’m reliving that conversation, only it’s ME doing the asking of what day of the week it is. With the exception of a trip to the pediatrician’s office on Saturday, I haven’t left our house since Friday, and THAT is a record in itself for me. My days are blending together in a total blur of rainbow colors, and I’m high on the Clorox fumes.
(And, as a side note, when a bottle of shower cleaner recommends that you NOT USE their product in conjunction with Clorox or any other bleach-containing liquid, they do not jest. They speak the truth. Due to the fact that I’ve had — oh, I don’t know! — twenty minutes of sleep in the last four days, I failed to bring my gray matter and 3.98 college GPA (I’m still cursing World and Regional Geography, Spring Semester) into the boy’s bathroom with me when I scoured it, for the sixth time, yesterday. It was because, after slinging Clorox everywhere, I suddenly noticed that SWEET HOLY MERCY! There was a tinge of pink growing around the drain in the boy’s tub, and we couldn’t have THAT HAPPENING, what with all the scrubbing I’d accomplished already to kill the flu virus, as evidenced by the lack of epidermis on my hands, which had been burned off by all the bleaching. So…I grabbed the Mold and Mildew Remover. And I did squirt it. And then I almost died in the cloud of green gas that rose up into the air and wrapped its Death-Bringing Fangs around my face. And then my gray matter was fully engaged, and so was the bathroom fan, and so were half of the windows in the house. Take the warning printed on the bottles seriously, people; it’s there to save lives. And that’s all we’ll speak of it.)
(And also, since the label on the Clorox bottle so clearly states, “KILLS 99.9% OF GERMS ON HARD SURFACES, INCLUDING THE FLU VIRUS,” I’ve been thinking about taking that a step further. Will it kill Influenza A in a ten-year-old boy? I can hear him asking now, “What are all these tiny cups for, Mom?” And I would say in return, “It’s a new game, dear. They’re full of flu-killing Clorox. Whenever you say the words, ‘I think I’m gonna puke,’ you grab one of those tiny cups and drink it all in one gulp, and by the end of the day, I think the flu should be over with, and you’ll be all better.”)
(I also think I need help, y’all. In the form of therapy and maybe an intervention from a nice cardigan-sweater-wearing lady from the Child Protection Services.)
(And also? I really was kidding about the cups and the Clorox.)
So yes. I’m having some REAL and GENUINE problems deciphering the calendar, because the day-marking tool is making absolutely no sense to me any longer. Is it still the same Tuesday? Or are we hovering somewhere closer to next Tuesday? And whatever happened to Monday? Did I miss it completely? I’d be perfectly terrible on a deserted island, if I had to scratch the passage of days into the bark of a coconut tree; thank goodness people like John Locke exist, who keep their heads and gray matter fully in tact for such situations.
(For the record, had I been in Lost, I would have been the one on the beach, laying in the sand, crying out, “We’re gonna die! We’re gonna die!” over and over and over, until the rest of the survivors simply packed up camp and moved completely away from me, leaving me at the mercy of the polar bears and Benjamin Linus and all the black smoke.)
Yes, people, I self-medicated with TWO cups of Starbucks’ Via coffee WITH COFFEE MATE, which is often referred to as The Complete Detoxifying Colon Cleanse in some countries (like the one in which I live), while I’ve been typing this post; why do you ask?
Thank goodness for the Via!
Actually, thank goodness for the Vanilla with a Touch of Honey Coffee Mate, because, without it, the Via would still be sitting in the pantry, completely useless to me, because I still abhor it without the after-market addition. And another thing: If your cup of coffee is cold after you add the liquid Coffee Mate to it, you may have overdone it just a touch. The best suggestion that I have for you, if that happens, is to pour what you already have into a bigger mug, add more water, and shove the thing into the microwave for a bit. Worked like a charm for me.
(Oh, Starbucks. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!)
I received an email from my friend, Carrie, last night, who lives in Thriving Major Metropolis, USA, and she wrote, “I am three more chai lattes away from receiving Gold Card Membership at Starbucks! I wish I could bring you one tonight, because it sounds like you need it, after all the Influenza A!”
I think it goes without saying that Carrie’s my favorite now, because she was thinking of my hot beverage needs, even though I can’t believe that it’s taken her THIS LONG! to reach the Gold Card Membership.
Hubs and I passed that milestone in 1973, but I probably shouldn’t say that out loud, because Jesus frowns upon bragging.
Anyway, happy same Tuesday night, y’all. Unless it’s already next Tuesday night. I can’t be certain. The boy is still wrapped in a cocoon of blankets on the sofa, and Hubs and I expect him to emerge with colorful wings when this passes.
(And, for the record, I just keep chanting to myself, like my friend Peggy taught me to do, “Influenza A shall pass; yes, this, too, shall also pass. Like a kidney stone.”)
But really? For the record? Y’all, I have had the very best time snuggling my ten-year-old boy these last few days. It has been a sweet, sweet and utterly precious time, even though all the snuggling is frequently interrupted by all the puking, followed by all the crazy-mad Cloroxing. It has been great just to sit down on the sofa with him, with absolutely nowhere to go, and watch weird reality shows together like the one where a psycho, Botox-injected step-grandmother and her non-Botox-injected, bottle-of-Peroxide-blonde-headed step-daughter got into a major fight over the details of the step-daughter’s seven-year-old’s birthday party. The birthday party which was laced with major fights and major arguments and major verbal outbursts at enormous decibels and major, major pirate ships and pirate costumes and a treasure chest cake that was the size of a Honda Accord, and which cost a grand total of $31,800. The boy and I laughed over that one, right before he said, “That actually WAS a cool birthday party, Mom. Could we do something like that when I turn eleven?”
“Absolutely, sweetheart. Except for the part where they spent $31,800 — $2,800 of which went to the birthday cake alone. I can’t give you that, but I’ll see if we can’t rent a very wicked step-grandmother from a party supply store for you, for the week before your birthday, who’ll insist that the party-planning will go HER WAY, which will ultimately make me rip my freshly-peroxided mane out by the roots and say words that have to be covered with a big beep on national television, and who will make you REALLY SUPER THANKFUL for the two NICE grandmas that you have, who bring you chocolate donuts and English muffin pizzas and brand new DVDs when you’re sick. Will that work for you?”
I’m just going to quit typing now.