Tuesday, February 9, 2010


After ruminating on the sweetness of snuggling my sick Abby in the last post, I find the gods have conspired to remind me of the flip side of sick kids: exhaustion (theirs and mine), whining (theirs and mine), and that strange paradox of knowing they're cranky because they're sick and just not really caring after the fourth time Sibling A has intentionally goaded Sibling B into tears of tragedy and injustice.

Suffice it to say, it is days like these that remind me of why the television can be so tempting.  While the kids generally don't watch t.v., sick days are the exception, and today I've had to be especially mindful not to overuse this "wonder" of entertainment in my own desperation for a bit of peace and quiet.

The irony is that the t.v. isn't really as entertaining to the kids as I might "hope."  Attention wanders and I find  the couch emptied in favor of making "pies" in their little kitchen.  But as soon as I go to turn the t.v. off, they race back to their positions in front of the screen as though I were threatening their lifeline.

That's the thing: the box offers the illusion of fun, but so many other pastimes are far more enjoyable.  So I actually find myself making statements like, "You're welcome to watch the t.v. as long as you're sitting here paying attention.  Otherwise, I'm going to turn it off."  I can't stand the background noise of it if no one is actually watching.  And yet, secretly, I'm thrilled they'd rather occupy themselves with productions of their imagination.

If only they could enjoy said play without driving each other crazy.  Alas, impulse control is inversely related to degree of sickness.

Well, through some miracle of childhood, neither child has taken a nap though both so desperately need the sleep in their run-down, feverish, antibody-building state.  They will be appearing in a short minute, so I will need to find some activity to quiet their bodies while stimulating their minds and maintaining my sanity. 

Yes, this is motherhood, too.  And, for better and for worse, I really am a mommy.

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