Leeches and drop-boxes
My toddler got sick this week and it was a feverish sort of malaise-inducing illness that completely erased his normal spirited personality. He was depressed, sunken-eyed, prone to picking random spots on the floor on which to stretch out and whimper, clutching his ever-present -- and increasingly filthy -- blanket to his runny nose. It was so utterly unlike him I felt he'd been replaced by Pod Toddler. A Poddler. A creature (surely an emo fan) whose presence was like a black cloud of mucusy despair.
While I tried to tend to my unhappy two-year-old with goopy doses of Tylenol and helpless words of comfort ("Dude, I know: colds suck"), the baby decided that it would be a fine day to refuse all naps and act as though his legs were being gnawed by piranhas every time I put him down. I eventually found myself staggering from one end of the house to the other, first trying to get the baby in a state where he'd be calm for five consecutive seconds, then heading back to the sobbing toddler while the baby's inevitable howls of dismay echoed down the hall.
I have never literally been covered by leeches whose purpose it is to suck every last drop of blood from my body, but I can only imagine that the sensation has to be very similar to what I experienced on Wednesday. At some point after Failed Nap #8571 on the baby's part and my toddler's insistence that the only thing that would make him remotely happy was playing a battery-powered toy from hell precisely one quarter-inch from my ear while I bolted my one meal of the day, I entertained a brief but vivid fantasy of just . . . returning both children. To something like a library drop-box. I could imagine the scenario so clearly: opening the metal doors, allowing the boys to slither down the chute and drop with a merry thud somewhere out of sight, driving off with my stereo blaring Tom Petty's "Free Falling."
"I'm sorry," I'd have to tell my husband when he got home. "I just couldn't hack it." On the plus side, I'd remind him, now we could eat dinner in peace.
Of course, none of that happened, and we all made it through in one piece, and for the moment the plague seems to have left my house, thank GOD. But hoo boy, it was, like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day -- all that was missing was the gum in our hair.
Tell me about your most recent Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with the kids. Do you have any tricks for surviving days like that?
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