Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Perfect Storm

This week the perfect storm descended down upon my family: the kids and I all got strep throat, my husband had an extremely busy week that included a business trip to NYC, and our nanny came down with food poisoning. The storm effect resulted in me being solely responsible for two cranky children for a full 48-hours while fighting off my own mild fever and sore throat.  As a threesome, the kids and I were completely isolated, fussy, and applying the term "cabin-fever" to its extreme. 

Unfortunately none of us were tremendously sick, more mild cases that kept the four-year-old from attending preschool and all playdates at bay.  There was a lot of "Mommy, let's play Rapuzel.  I'll be the princess, Maisy can be the horse, and you can be the ugly Mother Gothel."  By hour 28 I had run out of excuses as to why I couldn't play these silly games, and succumbed to my role as the evil witch (which actually suited my inner sentiments quite well).

When the rapid step tests came back positive, I hoped for the critical patients that I wrote about in my previous posts.  I imagined the children lying listlessly on the couch watching back to back episodes of Max and Ruby and nursing juice boxes while I plied them with Children's Tylenol and lollipops.  Sure, they were happy to watch an hour of TV, but then they wanted to play and I was running out of agreeable (to me) activities that could be done in our home.  I contemplated locking them in Elana's room with a few tubs of play-doh, some magic markers, and glitter glue, but I then came to my senses and read them stories until my voice grew tired and my patience was exhausted.

Maisy, my 22-month-old, used these two days stuck at home with Mommy to practice her exorcism skills.  Whenever anything didn't go according to her toddler plans, she attempted to drive the demons from her soul with body spasms and fierce shrieking.  These spells could be triggered by the slightest change in the wind: the wrong color socks, blueberries touching her cheese cubes at lunch, or a baby-doll unwilling to stay balanced on its tiny plastic feet.  On a normal day I would have chuckled at her insane little body flailing like an epileptic seizure, but I didn't have the energy for that, so I just left the room (or bribed her with popsicle). 

On the bright side, we did venture out to the public library to borrow a copy of the Disney classic, Robin Hood.  I cannot emphasize strongly enough what a great pleasure it was to finally watch a movie that did not revolve around a princess being rescued by the love of her prince; my children already speak enough Disney Princess (on any given day you may hear my eldest muttering, "Oh, this is just what my heart desires!").  Even though Elana was mostly enthralled with Maid Marian, she also found some room in her little pink sparkly heart for the lovable Robin Hood and Little John.  I used the opportunity to lecture the girls about regressive taxes and helping those less fortunate.  Elana nodded sagely at my speech, and Maisy just said "Prince John, fuhhh-ney!"

Today the kids (and I) are much better.  Elana is back in school (yipee!), my fever is gone and my cough is dissipating, and Maisy is still a toddler desperately trying to have her every need understood and immediately met.  We all survived the last few days and even though I would like to declare that I am stronger for it, all I can really say is that I am so, so grateful for preschool, babysitters, and a husband's presence at bedtime!

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