We've all been a bit sick and a lot lazy the past few days. Our throats are scratchy, our noses runneth over, and we've all complained of a shortness of candy.
Normally when we're sick, I ignore the house completely until my feet are torn to shreds from stepping on matchbox cars and Polly Pockets and the wounds are glued shut from spilled syrup and juice. It takes about 3 hours or 2 meals of non-vigilance to transform my home from "neurotic Today Show clean" to "the Daring Young House of plastic carnage and unidentifiable goo."
It could have gone on like this for days if I hadn't had 3 blog posts due by tonight. Now normally when my house is a mess and I'm feeling under the weather, I manage to carry my laptop over to the couch, whisk off a few goldfish-cracker crumbs with my foot, and plop down next to Magoo to watch PBS Kids and catch up on some writing.
But since I had actual writing deadlines looming, of course I decided: I. Must. Clean. The. House. At. Once. And I'm not just talking about shuffle-yesterday's-breakfast-dishes clean. Oh, no. If I had writing deadlines, then I had to sweep, mop, and clean windows. My toilets were gonna sparkle like the top of the Chrysler building. I enlisted Laylee and we cleaned every inch.
Then, with no more excuse to procrastinate at home, I decided to take the kids to our Local Public House of Disease and Books, where Magoo chose a book that required me to learn Spanish immediately, and Laylee picked up a stronger form of the family plague.
By the time we got home, she was crying that her head hurt, and refused to climb over Magoo's seat to exit the van through the "magic" door. I carried her limp body into the house and laid her on the couch where she begged for a blanket because it was so COLD. I brought her a not-warm-enough blanket and a cloth for her head. She instantly fell asleep.
When Dan called to ask if we'd like to join him for 31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins, I jumped at the chance to meet him for dessert...preceded by dinner out. I scooped up the sleeping drama queen and the sticky squirmy boy, plopped them in the car, and headed back out.
Halfway to the restaurant, I had to brake fast, and the damp cloth fell from Laylee's fevered brow. Do you know what sound a damp cloth makes as it falls from Laylee's fevered brow? It's something akin to an air raid siren, mingled with a teen horror movie slaughter victim. No I could not reach back and put it on. No I could no longer hear out of my right ear.
Magoo appeared cautiously concerned but continued to play with his toes and softly chant "G'out, g'out, g'out, g'out, g'out..." even though he fully knows it's not safe to g'out the car at 45 miles per hour.
Throughout dinner, Laylee lay silently on her bench with the rag on her forehead while Magoo ate enough for both of them and a couple of me. At one point, he was shoveling pizza in so fast that he started to choke. Concerned, Dan offered water and tried to get him to raise his arms. Magoo could not do this. Doing this would stop him from shoving mozzarella cheese into his rapidly bluing face. I saw his death flash before my eyes, a middle-aged man choking to death in a restaurant, refusing to let the waiter Heimlich him because if he had to die, he wanted to do it with one more breadstick in his pie hole.
Somehow his air passages cleared and he resurfaced for some more food.
Laylee never surfaced at all, not even for a bit of her favorite pizza. This pretty much dampened my feelings of joy over having someone else make dinner while simultaneousy ignoring my writerly duties.
As we carried Laylee from the building, she weakly indicated that she'd like to try some ice cream and Magoo yelled, "KING KING," and tried to fling himself down a storm drain in a fit of dairy-induced ecstasy.
At Baskin Robbin's she clung to me and I could feel her temperature rising along with my guilt. After two bites, she started crying because the sherbet hurt her throat, so we disposed of it in the Baskin Robbins biohazardous material collection device, and with Magoo still begging, "MO MO KING," we headed home to face up to reality.
Our little invalid went down for the night with hardly a peep. She even asked me to sing a song with actual words. My kids were asleep, there were no dinner dishes, and I had nothing left to do but write. Maybe I should go check on her again before I start my next assignment. Yeah. A sound-asleep person totally needs me to stare at her to make sure she's breathing. The other article will have to wait.