Keep in mind it hovers somewhere between 90 degrees and “Holy shit it’s hot!” here in sunny South Florida during the summer months. I was curled up on the couch, wearing two sweatshirts, three pairs of socks, and some track pants I can assure you have never been near a track. I don’t know why I have these pants, you may have noticed…I’m no Flo Jo. I like to look as unattractive as humanly possible when I’m not feeling well…the pièce de résistance is the ill-fitting, sagging in the ass, navy “exercise” pants, with the racing stripes down the sides. They scream “speed” as I assume the fetal position and pray for death.
“Mommy, are you sick?” I managed to respond with something other than a guttural noise, “yep”. “Can we go to the park?”. “No park”. “Scooter walk?”… “No scooter walk”. “Pool?”. “Arrgh! No, I’m not leaving the couch. Please, find something to do and find it in your room!”. At this point I was experiencing all of the pleasantries of the flu: high fever, chills, sweating, aches, vomiting, runny nose, sore throat, and coughing up a yellowish/greyish/greenish substance reminiscent of alien afterbirth. Plus, I was wearing the pants. The boy knew there was no chance of fun, but he wasn’t going down without a fight. “CanIhavesome chocolatemilk?”.
“Everything in my room is boring. I want to watch Monster Trucks or torque trucks…in the mud on the internet. T-O-R-Q-U-E…see? If I can spell it I can watch it”. I hate when he uses my words against me, especially when my words involve education. I really just didn’t want to move. He was doing his little spelling dance, which is a variation of my little spelling dance. I started doing it to keep him focused on me when I was trying to teach him how to spell his name. Now, it would seem that I am unable to spell anything without it’s assistance. It’s much cuter when he does it, trust me. There is nothing charming about a 30-something year old women marching in place and gesticulating like a Mouseketeer while trying to spell “acetaminophen”. I didn’t have the energy to argue, I turned on video of a truck pull and tried to pretend that I didn’t just willingly expose my child to the youTube ramblings of some inbred cousin-fucker at the county fair who thinks pulling stuff with a vehicle specifically designed to pull stuff is a spectator sport. It makes no sense to me, none at all.
I debated leaving the couch for the comfort of my bed…but I knew that this would only result in the boy running into my room every six seconds to give me a report on the truck videos. It’s nice to be needed, but…you know…not all the time. If I weren’t sick he wouldn’t want anything to do with me, somehow, the first signs of a cold triggers his need to be an inch from my face.
“I’ll just get myself some chocolatemilk,” he chirped as he bounced into the kitchen. I have been encouraging independence, but cleaning up a gallon of milk and store-brand chocolate syrup off of the kitchen floor was not on my list of things to do. “I’ll get it,” I wheezed as I tried to beat him to the fridge. In addition to the possibiliy of a milk tsunami, I didn’t want him to see that his favorite beverage was now being made with something other than Hershey’s. He’s been consuming a lot of store-brand food as of late, so far he has not caught on to my clever ruse. Much like every child in America with access to a television…he prefers to dine on cuisine that has a commercial featuring a cartoon character, a catchy jingle, and a ridiculously high retail price. He’s been eating knock-off Lucky Charms…I think they’re called Happy Stars or something like that…for about a week. What they really should be called is marshmallows, monosodium glutamate, and crack.
I got to the fridge before my son, threw open the door, and cracked a little smile. The contents of our refrigerator is starting to resemble one of an actual family and not the cooling receptacle of a bachelor. We finally have more than coffee creamer, beer, and a jar of pickles being kept at a consistent temperature. We moved about a month ago, we’re no longer living with my folks. I envisioned the sweet sound of independence to sound more like birds singing…and not a persistent cough, sporadic puking, and whining of a bored child…but whatever, I’ll take what I can get.