Saturday, December 17, 2011

Anatomy of a sick day

Some days you wake up, kiss your husband, tickle your child, maybe start off the day reading Frosty the Snowman in bed, then make breakfast, put your hair in the blandest ponytail that pink hair has ever seen and trundle off to the cafe to write. Tra la la.

Other days begin at midnight with a sick child who will not sleep. You spend hours tracing ABCs and secret messages on her back with your fingertip, reading books, peeling clementines, droppering children's Tylenol, playing the Chipmunks Christmas or Mr. Ben or the Beatles on the iphone ("Oh bla dee, please,"), then finally doze a little around 4 am before the day gets rolling at 7 with some truly spectacular whining. Also, the woeful phrase "I don't feeeeel good," repeated about 638 times, each time more heartbreaking than the last. 

There would be no cafe today, no writing--except for a verrry quick interview response for Dagbladet, the Norwegian newspaper, executed with a lapful of miserable toddler. Then, a day of whine-management and cuddling, a much-too-short nap, and having to cancel my hair appointment, thus ensuring black roots in all holiday photos--unless I wear a Santa hat all the time, and hey, maybe I will! 

Germs, feel my wrath!

So. We stayed home today. Here is some of what we did:

  • We started to paint some twigs with craft paint. Attention cooled quickly.
  • Bathy for C; sadly, no shower for mama. Showers are the first thing to go. Well, work is the first thing to go. Then showers.
  • We played Dr. Snowman, a game in which, as you may have guessed, the doctor is a snowman. 
  • We played "patients" in which Dr. Clementine (who is very medically inclined, a fact that has been duly noted by Santa) visits all her patients on the library floor, looks in their ears, and prescribes 39 doses of medicine per day. To which the patients are expected to shout mutinously, "39 times a day!?!!" (which was originated by papa and is always funny). 
  • We danced to a loop of Oh bla dee until one of us finally fell asleep.
  • We read bookies with papa, the three of us squeezed in C's little beddy.
  • We wrapped presents. If you don't know, two-year-olds are awesome gift-wrappers.
  • A text came in from the stealth fairy godmother alerting us that there was a feller at the front door, in case we hadn't heard his wee fists knocking, and he turned out to be an M&M, or as C says: a hm hm. And he was promptly opened and plundered and eaten, proving chocolate can find its way around a lack of appetite.
  • Pizza for dinner; C barely touched hers, a sign that she really isn't herself!
And now she is asleep, and twice since I began this post she's stirred and cried and I've gone in and lay down with her. She sleeps much better when I'm cuddling her. Usually when she gets sick I just go with it and go to be early, spoon her tiny self and read for a few hours. The reading part is a rare luxury, of course, but the cuddling is something pretty awesome too. Her fierce little perfect self, she is a marvel, I don't even know how to describe the wonder of holding one's sleeping child, the way they quiet and curl into you, like you are a place of perfect safety. It's ... not too bad.

A snapshot from yesterday: when my parents brought her home from making gingerbread men with nonna, and she dashed toward me, her face alight with eagerness, baggie of decorated cookies held up to show me, most of them broken by the time she reached me. 

There's a quote I used once on a Laini's Lady, before I was a parent, and I love it even more now than I did then: 

To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.

On days like this. 

Yeah, I didn't get any work done. Yeah, all the whining my have affected my blood pressure a little, but cuddling up to that little sleeping creature at the end of the day, listening to her breathing while sneaking in some quality reading time ... Why am I still blogging? I'm sneaking back to bed ... :-)


chichi23 said...

i hope your daughter reads that someday...
it truly is beautiful

~Michelle~ said...

Poor sweet little C. Hope she feels better soon. Thank you for sharing your day, you are a good mama. Hooray for Santa hats to cover the roots! < grin >

Kate said...

I hope C feel's better soon and you are able to sleep. But this is such a sweet post, I love it! :)

Amber said...

" I don't even know how to describe the wonder of holding one's sleeping child, the way they quiet and curl into you, like you are a place of perfect safety."---



storyqueen said...

Man, Laini, I read post like this and I realize that YOU can make just about anything seem touched with magic, even a sick and whiny child.

I would read anything that you wrote. ANYTHING.



vscrol said...

So sorry to hear Clementine is sick. 'Tis the season for joy . . . and germs, unfortunately. I do hope you all feel better soon.

"To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world." Ooh, what a wonderful quote. I haven't come across that particular Laini's Lady even though I've been putting multiple orders in at Bottman Designs the last two weeks. I just love your Ladies! I have them hanging everywhere in my office--and some on my Christmas tree, too. :-)

Happiest, happiest holiday to you and yours.

Tristy said...

So excited to see Daughter of Smoke and Bones has been optioned. Also loved the quote today: "To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world."
I loved it so much I mentioned it on my blog.

Laurence King said...

Thank you for this wonderful post, Laini! It reminded me of my little ones (now to big to fit whole inside my arms), and how truly magical these wee beings are full of life and magic and perfection...Hope your little C. feels well soon and you get to catch up on sleep...

Alyssa Phelps said...

Hope poor little Pie is feeling better soon! The winter bugs just won't give her much peace, will they? Have a very happy birthday! So much to celebrate this year...

June G said...

There is certainly something going around. I was the sickest I've been in ages this past week. Glad you're able to see the beauty and wonder of it all... :-)

Jenn said...

Hope Clementine is felling better and that you and Jim don't get sick. I can relate in that I had a lot of running around and everything falling to the wayside when my husband had an emergency appendectomy last Wednesday. Family first and thus lots of trying to ease the patients mind and psyche as they are ill and be the supportive one. She's thanking you and Jim for your dedication and help easing away the pain. Happy holidays y'all!

sonia said...

Aw, hope she feels better soon! My little girl is also sick with a cold and terrible cough. Sadly, we've had to cancel 2 museum trips as she's on winter vacation. Hopefully, she'll recover soon enough to have some real holiday fun!

(btw, I love your hair!)


Tinker said...

There truly isn't anything like holding your sleeping child (except maybe holding your sleeping grandchild. I'm sorry Clementine's not feeling well, though. Hope she's better soon - and that her parents stay well for Christmas too (better eat some m&m's to be sure - preventative medicine ;).

anne said...

hope by now everyone is all well! Blessings,as always!

KarenC said...

"Her fierce little perfect self, she is a marvel, I don't even know how to describe the wonder of holding one's sleeping child, the way they quiet and curl into you, like you are a place of perfect safety."

Sometimes this is still true even when one's child is 38 years old--not as often, but sometimes, and it's still a marvel.

Mary said...

I've been saying for years that M&M's are an integral part of every well-balanced diet. I'm so glad this is known by fairy godmothers! :-)

Hope Clementine is feeling better - and that her mom and dad didn't catch whatever she had.

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