It was the week of Christmas, and I was standing in the laundry room area trying to remember what on earth I had come after that was in the laundry/pantry. I glanced around absolutely clueless. It was not the first time this sort of incident had happened.
I had started my vacation the previous week and was on a 16-day marathon stretch of domestic duties and so-called relaxation. It was driving me crazy. Most everyone who knows me realizes the only time I can truly relax is when I am in the bathtub with a good book. While there have been instances of some marathon sessions in the tub, that pretty much ended with children entered the scene. On the rare occasions when I am granted the solitude and opportunity to indulge in this luxury, in no time at all, the door is opened by the body slam of a three-year-old.
He is usually sans clothes and diaper as he enters, but, he does come bringing gifts; usually an armload of dinosaurs, which are unceremoniously dumped into the bathtub, despite how far down I sink trying to hide in the bubbles. He gleefully asks “Mommy taking a bath? Want dinosaurs?” in the same breath: he then proceeds to hurl himself over the side of the tub. If I am slow sitting up, I get to foot on my nose or neck and he plops down like a bowling ball onto my chest. It’s not my idea of a relaxing time.
I was a bit foggier this week than usual; it was time for my annual vacation of not-quite-the-flu but still-make-you-miserable cold. You know the one; you want to go to the doctor’s office for a cure, but, they will just roll their eyes at you for being a baby and tell you to rest, drink fluids, yada, yada, yada, here’s our bill. That was the cold. I was on day three of over the counter meds, none of which seemed to work like they used to before some idiots discovered they could make illicit drugs with them. Jerks. I was sniffling, sneezing, cold one minute, hot the next and dragging. I had slept in the recliner just so I could breathe.
The Hubs was doing his best to keep our son, Sparky busy and away from my cooties. But, they had to come home at some point. Sparky asked me to play dinosaurs and I tried to rally, but the best I could do was work his dinosaur puzzles and looked at his Encyclopedia of Prehistoric Life with him. Mommy was not going to be rocking the fun vote. I finally confessed to Sparky I wasn’t feeling very well and just wanted to rest.
His sweet little brow wrinkled up, as he asked if I was going to go to the doctor. He nodded wisely when I told him it wasn’t that sort of sick. The next thing I know, he dashed over to the basket where we store our lap blankets. He spread two of them over my lap and feet, aww, what a sweetie. He then hauled over the huge pillow we have for the floor and hurled it onto my chest. Uhm.. okay. He then brought me one of his pigs to keep me warm. Again, aww. After a moment or two, he then very gently tried to pull up an eyelid to make certain I was still in there. I assured him I was okay and put my glasses back on to prevent future investigations.
It was about then, I dozed off again. About 45 minutes later, I woke up to something poking me in the face. No matter how I moved, there was a sharp jab of something hard and uncomfortable. I tried to orient myself to what the heck was going on. Sparky had apparently felt the need to haul in 37 dinosaurs to keep watch over me. He had carefully arranged them around my face, and then had carefully covered my whole head with a hand towel. Like a shroud. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom before I realized he had put cotton balls covered with vapor rub under that towel, they were adhered to my hair in greasy globs. It was a relief to discover the source of why my vision had deteriorated so much in less than an hour. After the lenses were cleaned, I went back to see if I had missed any cotton balls, when I discovered the lollipop stick stuck to the side of my head. He claimed no responsibility. He was pleased to share that he had added milk to my orange juice, so I would feel better. Ugh.
I staggered off to take a steamy bath, to get the petroleum jelly out of my hair and to open up my sinus cavities. I must have looked pretty pitiful, because a short time later, as I was laying with just my nose sticking above the water, I felt the cascade of dinosaurs being dumped in the tub, I popped up as Sparky, announced “here you go mommy, you feel better!” he turned on his heel and marched to the door and flipped off the light as he shut the door behind him. You know, despite being the most bizarre nurturing ever, it did make me feel a wee bit better. Thank you, Nurse Sparky.
Written and submitted by Sarah Roush for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.