Hot Fevered Breath
By Mom on the Dark Side on October 18, 2011
I will keep it short. All of them sleep upstairs, in various stages of illness. Fashionista stayed home yesterday, feverish (again!!) and clogged with snot, with pain radiating from the sinuses. We visited the doctor for prescriptions and then bopped down the thift store aisles, adding three new shirts (Goodwill is the best place to shop for Justice!) to her vast clothing collection, a Littlest Pet Shop stuffed animal, a mini Barbie, three Amber Brown books, a pair of flip flops, a Halloween shirt for Babygirl, a pad of kindergarten practice writing sheets, and a Dot Art set. We went to the library, picking up a half-dozen chapter books. For all of her blondeness and Stardoll fixation, Fashionista reads like a demon, burning through books at an alarming rate.
Babygirl climbed off the bus; her gaze vacant and glassy, quietly handing me her backpack. "I'm cold," she said when we got into the house, though the day was torpid with the everlasting Texas heat. Out came the thermometer, riddled with Fashionista's germs. Without sterilizing it, I popped it into Babygirl's mouth. 100.2. By dinner she sat at the table crying, eyes glazed, her sore throat preventing her from swallowing her dish of frozen broccoli florets. She was asleep by 6:30, shivering under her comforter, leaving me with extra time to help Fashionista remove some of the Justin Bieber posters that plaster her walls. He is out of favor now, apparently. Thank God! Last spring she could hardly utter a sentence that didn't contain his name; each of her first grade journal entries contained a gushing account of her latest JB fantasy.
I really should wake Fashionista up for school, but she lies there, a fever-free snot factory, with painfully throbbing sinuses. For now, I'll let her sleep.
Almost-Teen--I can only call her that for three more days--is buried in homework projects. Friday brought a surprise visit from her best friend from kindergarten and first grade in California. It was an elaborate, carefully orchestrated surprise that culminated with her friend leaping from her closet. Imagine the screams! But she could sorely spare an entire Friday and Saturday and part of Sunday without doing homework--all of her projects are due at once. So I am taking advantage of her sore throat and hoping that she has a fever and letting her stay home to catch up. In desperation, I even offered to write her essay on "The Glass Castle," but she had the good sense to turn me down.
All of them, sleeping upstairs, flesh burning, throats throbbing, noses overflowing. The husband sleeps in Babygirl's room undistrubed, dreaming dreams of moving out. I sit here typing alone as the sky lightens. I've been up for two unproductive hours.
As long as there is no vomit involved, I rather like it when my kids are sick:
They sleep more.
Their breath smells like medicine.
They cuddle languidly, meltingly grateful and tender in their illness.
They do not require a school lunch.
Their flesh is pleasantly warm to the touch, their foreheads hot and burning against my lips. I don't even give them fever reducer unless they are practically delerious.
I do like sick kids, but good God--all of them at once??
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