Archive for December 2007


7 AM: I hear a boy go thundering down the stairs. Usually Eli’s up first, and he needs breakfast help and supervision, so I poke Tony (it’s his turn to get up, plus he still owes me for going out of town while I had the stomach flu), roll over and go back to sleep.

7:43 AM: Eli appears at my bedside. I’m momentarily confused, then realize Ben must have gotten up first. I pull Eli up next to me and we snuggle under the covers.

7:46 AM: Tony appears at my bedside; having heard Eli get up, he’s come to whisk him away. Eli slides out of bed and bids me his customary farewell: “Bye! Good luck! Have good sleep! Wuh-vee!” (“love you”). “Bye, Eli!” I answer, “Wuh-vee!” And pull the comforter over my head.

later: Tony comes back to our room. I smell cinnamon. “We made scones,” he says, and I hear him put a plate down on my bedside table. I mumble a thanks without opening my eyes or moving.

later still: I hear Tony come in and get dressed, but don’t hear the boys. I’m expecting them to come leaping on to the bed any minute, and drift back to sleep until they do.

later again: Hungry. I sit up and eat my scone with the glass of milk Tony has left for me. I pull the laptop into bed and send some emails, start taking notes for a column. The house is still quiet, but I figure the guys are all in Ben and Eli’s room, playing trains and lego. I picture them, all in pjs’, Tony’s cappuccino balanced on a lego structure, each of them taking turns from the small bowl of cashews on one of the train platforms.

finally: I get up and pad down the hall. No one in Ben and Eli’s room. Hmm. Downstairs, the boys’ pajamas are on the living room floor. The closet door’s open, and their jackets and shoes are gone. Oh! I finally get it.

9:30 AM: I consider a minute, and then start my day. I vacuum the house (guests coming tomorrow), watch a movie, go for a run, read the paper, start writing my next column. A perfect Saturday morning.

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The House of Pain

It’s been six days now.

Six days of tiny, simple meals of plain rice and dry cereal, eaten under watchful supervision. Six days of urging sips of water or diluted apple juice every few minutes.

Six days of wondering who it’d hit next (first Tony, then Eli, then Ben, then Eli again, then Ben and me both) and if this seeming recovery was really an end to it or just a lull.

Six days of middle-of-the-night laundry and careful negotiations with Eli so that we could wash his soiled patch blanket (Ben — hurrah! — is old enough now to get himself to the bathroom on time).

Six days of missed parties and playdates. Six days of extra Oswald and Sesame Street.

I’m trying not to feel too pathetic about us all, despite this list. We have plenty of videos and Lego and it’s been nearly 24 hours since anyone’s been actively sick, so maybe we’re on the way out of the tunnel.

But, Tony’s going out of town this afternoon–his first trip away since before Eli was born. My nearest friend is also sick, as is her baby, and her husband’s out of town this week, too. So I’ve got the fragile crew all on my own and my defenses are weak. Wish me luck!