I swore I’d never use hashtags in my blog. OK, I never really swore it but I’ve thought it before…
Last evening, my son succumbed to the stomach bug that went around his school last week. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. My wife began a series of nightly conference calls for work that require her – due to the participants being in Shanghai – to take these calls at night. I kept the kids, bathed and dressed, in our family room where we very happily watched some kiddy TV and generally stayed out of Mommy’s hair. But something was strange. I thought of packing it in with the kittens and taking them through the living room to their bedroom at 8PM sharp (their normal bedtime) in order to keep their routine. But no, a few extra minutes wouldn’t hurt. Then I looked at the couch across from me and noticed that my boy was already out like a light. “Hmm,” I thought, “maybe he’s coming down with something.” A few moments later I took Baby Girl off to bed, read her current favorite story (Snow White), said our prayers, kissed her good night, and tucked her in. She’s so adorable. Then I went back to the family room. But my son was gone. He had woken up and my wife carried him into our room so he could lie down and watch another show. She had felt his head and it was warm, so she gave him some Motrin and we figured we’d just let him stay up for a while. I also texted our school’s receptionist to inform her that I was taking my first personal day of the year in order to stay home and take care of the boy.
All seemed fine. Stayed up a while, got some work done. Why I even showed forth my tech savvy and went into BlackBoard (a course management system) and posted an electronic quiz, written assignments, and a PowerPoint of my notes complete with my narration! This way, the sub would just have to sit back and make sure kids were working. And there was more than enough work to keep them busy for 90 minutes. The quiz, by the way, was over a selection of CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. I give a quiz EVERY day to insure students are doing their work. When all was said and done, I closed my laptop and went happily off to bed. Yes, my son was sprawled between my wife and me; but I’ll forgive him because he’s not feeling well.
And then came 3:17 AM. I know that time well because it was screaming to me from the clock on the stove. I had to squint as hard as I could to see it, practically on top of the display, since I had knocked my glasses off the nightstand when I fell off the bed a minute earlier. My wife woke me up. “He needs more Motrin. He’s burning up.” I knew what that meant. After fumbling for my specs so I could so and then hearing them hit some part of the floor that I couldn’t see in the dark, I gave up and found my way to the kitchen for the Motrin banging into every door and piece of large, wooden furniture along the way. Back in the room, my wife and I fought our son to take the medicine. His throat was sore. I promised him some 7-Up if he’d take it. Boy, after that wake-up call, getting up at 7:30 to drive my daughter to school was a pain in the butt. Did I mention that a friend of ours was set to drop off her three year-old daughter for the morning? We warned her that our son was sick but we all figured that he’d be asleep most of the day so they wouldn’t have much contact. This other little girl is as adorable as my own two kids and she kept me company while I chugged a gallon of coffee. The two of us played Disney Princess flash cards and had a tea party.
A few hours later and my daughter was home. My son had decided to grace us with his presence and, seeing his sister and their friend, told me he wanted to go into the yard and play on the swingset. “Not a great idea right now for you, son,” I said. Just then my wife called to check in. “Why not?” she asked. “It might tire him out and he’ll get some more rest.” Something didn’t sound right but, whatever… We played outside for about twenty minutes and then headed back inside. Again, everything seemed fine. Through the back door went the two girls skipping ahead, me, and, wait, where’s my son? I turned around just in time to catch him. He had walked through the door behind me, laid himself prone on the couch, and let his stomach get the best of him. “Yikes!” I shouted. Yes, I actually shouted “yikes!” There you have it. I’d say my initial feeling that the swings weren’t a great idea was probably correct. I ran over to him and rubbed his back as he puked everything in his system. Did I mention the couch he was throwing up on is bright red? Yeah. Gross. I politely yelled to the girls “Go into the bedroom and play! PLAY! And don’t come out until I tell you to!!! RUN!!!!!”
At precisely that moment, my iPad started going crazy. Messages from students. “We’ve taken the quiz but it keeps marking questions wrong that we know are right. Please advise.” Lord… Seems I worded one of the questions wrong. Then I got a text from the IT guy at work who informed me that my PowerPoint was so large it was slowing down the school’s network. Really? That seems excessive.
I got my son into the tub. He started to feel better. Gave him more Motrin. He felt much better. The girls only came out of the room once and, based on my glare, quickly returned. A few hours later, my wife came home, our friend went home, and I caught a five minute breather before running out the door (with my daughter) for mass, coming home for a wonderful dinner prepared by my wife, spending a few more minutes on the playground, running back out for Baby Girl’s piano lesson, and coming home to put the kids to bed.
Now I’m watching Congress on TV claiming they can’t get their work done. I just threw a quarter at the screen, symbolically asking them to call someone who cares. I’m going to bed.