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The Bunker

Laylee’s always making plans. She wants to build things or have Santa or Dad build them. When she describes these plans to me, they usually involve building a house similar to our own only smaller and just for her. Depending on her mood she’ll either want the house outside in the backyard to serve as a clubhouse, over her bed to ensure she never need sleep again at bedtime, out front so she can sell her baked goods out the front window, or in the family room in front of the TV.

When I recently told her to put the “house” on her wishlist, she said, “OH Mom! This isn’t a wish. It’s a Dream Come True.” Do you wanna know what would be my Dream Come True? My Dream Come True would be for everyone in my house to stop being sick all of the all the time. My Dream Come True would be for us all to never be exposed to germs again or mutate in some way that we are impervious to them.

Dan and I were recently watching a TV commercial about some facial lotion that claimed to renew your DNA or possibly restructure it. We were flabbergasted. What a load of… Well, if a lotion could do that, it could also likely turn you into a mutant. Maybe it could alter our DNA in a way that germs would bounce off our immune systems like little hail pellets and we’d live out our lives happy and plague-free. I’d buy that lotion. Maybe I should stop by the makeup counter on my next visit to the mall and ask them what these DNA wizards have whipped up lately.

Since Wanda was born a month ago, Magoo’s brought home a virus that he lovingly passed on to her -- snuffly nose, cough, and all -- and now everyone in the house but me has come down with a sore throat. This means lots of crying and whining if you’re 4 or older and screaming if you’re under the age of one. It means sleepless nights and exhaustion and one more thing to attribute the baby’s crying to. Is she crying because she’s tired, hungry, needs a diaper change, thinks I stink, is mad that I ate something with flavor that then leeched into my breast milk, has gas, doesn’t know how to poop yet, and now -- has a sore throat?

I’ve tried to tell her that the sore throat won’t hurt nearly so bad if she stops screaming like that. She seems completely indifferent to that kind of sage advice. I’ve tried to tell her to keep eating, even if it hurts and for heaven’s sake not to pop off the breast with it clamped tightly between her teeth every 5-7 seconds. She carries on as before.

In the past few days, the kids have stayed home sick from school. I still have Dan at home and my energetic and uber-helpful sister. The three of us can barely keep on top of it all, and it freaks me the heck out. In less than two weeks they’ll be gone and my lovely little plan of sending the big kids off to school while I spend the mornings either napping or getting things done around the house while the baby sleeps on demand is not looking remotely possible.

It might be more possible if everyone would just pitch in and quit getting so darn sick all the time. Earlier this week as we were all trying to rally from our various plagues, I got an email from Laylee’s piano teacher saying that someone in the class had lice so we should all check our kids out. This same girl is in Laylee’s first grade class and goes to church with us. I feel horrible for her poor mother and terrified that the creepy crawlies will somehow make it to our house with so many points of access. I’m itching my scalp as I write this.

The lice email was sort of a last straw for me, what with the swine flu and the regular flu and the unknown viruses and the colds and the chicken pox scare in Magoo’s classroom last month right after the baby came home from the hospital. I told Dan it was about time we built a flippin’ bunker and never let anyone in or out for any reason until all the germs on the earth have been vaporized by technology or aliens or such. Dan told me to start building.

So perhaps my Dream Come True is not so different from Laylee’s after all. They both involve construction, isolation and greater happiness than either of us are currently experiencing.