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2007 February

Sick and secretly hoping for death

February 19, 2007

If I were writing yesterday that is all I would have been able to say. If you are queasy or don’t like to read about vomit, you might want to skip this oe.

We got hit with a nasty virus. My oldest got it five days ago and was feeling better in a day or so. Then the two year old got it and was awake throwing up every ten minutes all night long. But seemed bright eyed and perky once dawn came. I hoped against all odds that no one else would get it.

But yesterday morning I got sick. It hit fast and furious. I was in the car driving home from the hardware store where I had to pick up another gallon of paint and some new paint rollers, and it was only by pure will that I didn’t throw up all over myself in the car.

So I spent the day running back and forth to the bathroom, never sure which orifice I should have hanging over the bowl. It was awful. At one point I had my head laying on the toilet seat. In the downstairs bathroom that the boys mostly use. A toilet I don’t even like to sit on without first cleaning it. And yet, there I lay with my head on it. On the one hand wishing I were a more attentive house cleaner, but on the other loving the cool feeling on my cheek.

After about 12 hours the vomitting stopped. For me. And then began the carnival of vomit, beginning with my 3 year old. Followed hourly by the 9 yr old, 6 yr old, and almost 11 yr old. All of whom threw up in their beds, on their floors, on their walls. Or so I have been told. I was laying in my bed, helpfully moaning and shouting where we keep things like sheets and towels. Because I hide them in the hall linen closet.

My daughter joined me in my bed at about 1:00am and every 15 minutes I held a little pot under her chin while her entire body shuddered. And she woke up this morning chipper and talking about what she was going to eat for breakfast. Next time I am sick I am totally going to make someone lay awake in my bed holding a pot under my chin, and sometimes holding my head. Clearly that is the secret to getting well quickly.

The only two who haven’t gotten sick yet are Rob, the husband I share the children with, and my 7 yr old. And the two of them are being exceedingly cocky about it. High fiving each other. Declaring themselves too strong to sucuumb to the weakness that is getting sick. The male chest thumping bravado.

Uh huh. What is that saying? Pride comes before the fall.

I promise that I won’t gloat once they get sick. At least not outwardly.

Posted by Chris @ 1:00 pm | 48 Comments  

Sometimes they are too good to keep to myself

February 18, 2007

This email came to my inbox this afternoon, from someone who obviously doesn’t read my blog and yet felt compelled to email me their self righteous advice.

I am a family therapist. Do you have a husband to share the children with? If so, what is his role?

I would give you that F.

1. Cut out all the sugar you are allowing them to ingest–candy, cupcakes, etc. It is causing restless, hyperactive, kids.

2. Don’t be preoccupied with toilet training in a proper place at a proper time.It may lead to paruresis (shy bladder) and the inability to use school toilets and public facilities, usually beginning in adolescence.

3. Don’t call them naughty. They are children but you are abusing their brains and nervous systems.See 1 above.You are degrading their natural self-esteem.

You owe it to yourself to get proper psychiatric help, probably for OCD.

These are personal, not professional or clinical opinions

Donald, Donald, Donald… may I call you that, since it is your name. I won’t give out your last name, address, or phone number, because I am nice like that. And not only are you a family therapist, you are a pastoral counselor? What would Jesus say about this judgemental email, Donald?

Perhaps you have forgotten that the internet is not quite as impersonal as it may seem. Ooooops.

I can only guess, by the F reference, that you are referring to this post that I wrote over a year ago. A post in which I admit to having a really stressful day. Something all parents can relate to once in awhile, that feeling of being inadequate.

Though I don’t remember calling my children naughty. I may have referred to them as pains in the ass.

My children don’t just eat sugar. They eat a well balanced diet of procesed foods, aspartame, and peanut butter. Did you know that you can get jars of Peter Pan peanut butter really cheap right now?

I am not sure why you take issue with my potty training methods. I have successfully trained 6 children. Duct taping them naked to the toilet for as many weeks as it takes to get them with the program has worked just fine for me. And really I have seen no ill effects for it, other than the layer of skin they lose when the tape is removed. But hey, it’s just skin. I like to think of it as an exfoliating treatment.

So Donald, take your ever so helpful personal, not professional or clinical, advice and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. And considering that you live in the “Sunshine state” you should have no problem finding that location.

Posted by Chris @ 12:10 am | 97 Comments  

Peter Pan is for the birds

February 16, 2007

Continuing the February Family we will have fun or die trying dammit month, I have a project up on my other blog for those of you with Peter Pan peanut butter.


Was your peanut butter one of the ones that was recalled? Ours was, though we had already eaten 3/4 of the jar and I felt fairly certain that it wasn’t contaminated, but why risk it.

So I thought the perfect project for us to do was one that involved using up the rest of the peanut butter in the jar.

Posted by Chris @ 5:13 pm | 6 Comments  

In a sea of white

In a sea of white

Not sure what it is I like about this photo. Perhaps the sense of isolation.

Posted by Chris @ 11:16 am | 17 Comments  

Love Thursday

February 15, 2007

Today we went snow tubing. In the -20 degree weather. Because nothing says I love you like frostbite.

The inside of my nostrils were freezing, and yet my nose would not stop running.

Here I am going down the hill. I screamed the whole way down. My boys thought it was the funniest thing ever.

that's me down there at the bottom of the hill

And then I had to pull my daughter back up the hill and almost die in the process.

walking back up to the top of the hill

In the background, you can see my 12 yr old son who is too cool to wear a hat. Even though his ears might be turning black from frostbite and fall off, he will look cool dammit. On one hand it is so maddening and ridiculous, but on the other hand I remember how I refused to zip up my winter coat when I was that age. Apparantly being cold is a sign of coolness that persists to this day.

And then I tied the snow tube to my back bumper and drove home. I just didn’t want to hear anymore of their whining. They were well bundled.

How I bring the screaming mimis home from tubing

I am kidding, in case it wasn’t obvious. But my daughter was very disappointed when she realized it was a joke.

Posted by Chris @ 9:30 pm | 29 Comments  

Rules of dating

My second born son will be turning 11 at the end of the month.

Yesterday he called his girlfriend to wish her a Happy Valentine’s Day. Yes, that is right I said girlfriend. Hold me.

I have discovered long forgotten truths about dating in the preteen world, which differs vastly from the grown-up world.

Rules for being a girlfriend or boyfriend at 11 years old:

1) You do not actually go anywhere together.

2) You do not make eye contact with each other.

2a) If you happen to make eye contact with each other accidentally you will avert your eyes and quickly run away to the other side of the room.

3) You will not speak directly to each other in public.

3a) You may talk occassionally on the phone, but you will not mention these phone calls in person.

3b) If you are in a group you may talk to everyone else in the group, except for your boyfriend/girlfriend.

4) If you have something to tell the other person, you will tell their friend who will relay the message to them. No matter what the message, “I like your shirt.” “You have a big booger hanging off your nose.” “Want to sit next to me?” you will shrug noncommitally and act like it is no big deal.

5) The amount you ignore the person is directly proportional to how much you like them.

If you saw my son and his “girlfriend” in public together, you wouldn’t realize that they even knew each other.

I know one day I will look back at this and wish I could turn the clock back to this simpler time in his life. A time before he has been hurt by a girl. A time before he guarded his heart a little more closely. A time before he became cynical and jaded about love.

But for now I can’t help but feel protective. I want to grab the little 70 pound girl in the girl’s bathroom, push her up against the sinks, and tell her, “Hurt my son and I’ll hurt you.” I want to, but I won’t.

Instead I watch from a distance, holding my breath a little. This is what they don’t tell you when you bring that baby home from the hospital. That for the rest of their life, every pain they feel you will feel also, sometimes more acutely than they feel it.

And I have seven children. No wonder I need drugs.

Posted by Chris @ 10:39 am | 40 Comments  

snow watch 2007: the end

February 14, 2007

Time: 11:56pm

The snow is still falling.

And really, I have nothing else to say about snow watch 2007, other than yes indeed, it did snow. Imagine snow in Connecticut in February.

I am wearing a necklace that I bought, wrapped, and left out for myself for Valentine’s Day. I don’t let on that I bought it for myself. I think of it as modeling good behavior for my sons, who will one day grow up and be men, with wives, if they are lucky. Wives who might want a damn present once in awhile, or a naked guy holding a red velvet cake. Oh wait, these are my sons we are talking about, scratch the naked part.

Rob says that we agreed long ago not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and we did. But there are a lot of things that have changed over the past 14 plus years. I used to be able to wear a bikini and he used to have lots of hair. And those are only two examples. Things you can see. Most of the ways that we have changed are not readily visible.

And sometimes a little appreciation, even if it is on an over commercialized holiday, is nice.

Anyway, this is the best post about Valentine’s Day that I have read, ever.

Seriously, go read it.

Yeah, I’m lucky to have my wife. I think all of us men are.

See, here’s the deal, my friends. When you get to be my age, you realize that ultimately, love is a journey. Half the time, you’re expressing your love in ways that you never imagined. The other half, you’re apologizing for something stupid you did. But within that journey, you’ll find that marriage is an act of faith that contains within it the power of transformation. Finding that person to share your life with makes this world a much better place. And despite the craziness of this world and all the extraneous noise that fills our lives, eventually you come to realize that John Lennon was right…

Love IS all you need.

And so when my sons all complimented the necklace that “Rob” bought for me, I just smiled and agreed that it was lovely. Their wives are going to owe me big time.

Posted by Chris @ 11:58 pm | 18 Comments  

snow watch 2007: running on empty

Time: 8:01 pm

I should be making my children brush their teeth and go to bed. Instead I am sitting on the couch typing.

I am exhausted from all this typing. And the ideas have run dry.

I know I have hit rock bottom when I think, “Hey, I’ll blog what I had for dinner!” Which, since No one cares what you had for lunch, I am sure no one cares about dinner either. Truth be told, I don’t really even care. (Hamburgers, french fries, and onion rings. Followed by cupcakes for dessert.)

Now I am going to go put my children to bed. Rob and I play a game of chicken over bedtime every night he is home, each of us waiting for the other to make the first move and put the kids to bed. I always lose. Because at 8:01 I have exhausted my entire reserve of patience. And I DO NOT WANT TO PRETEND TO BE A UNICORN WHO FLIES AROUND THE HOUSE SINGING, thankyouverymuch. Even if the song is, “It’s just like, it’s just like, it’s just like….”

Posted by Chris @ 9:23 pm | 4 Comments  

snow watch 2007: what i am doing instead of making dinner

Rob spent 6 hours driving to and from work today.

Blowing Snow

To come home and have to snow blow 5 miles of driveway, give or take.

Posted by Chris @ 6:47 pm | 8 Comments  

snow watch 2007: I talk tough

but underneath I am a sugar craving fool.

Time: 4:44

Sure Love

I wanted frosting and sprinkles too.

Oh yeah, cupcakes

And to see that face.

the color of the sweetheart on the top makes a HUGE difference in the taste

Even though a few minutes later there would be fighting over cupcakes because the color of the sweetheart on top makes a huge difference in how the cupcakes taste.

Posted by Chris @ 5:44 pm | 7 Comments