The slow, agonizing kind. The Kid has been overcome by snottiness--both in nose and in attitude. Three solid days now. It's not an infection, or a virus, or anything like that. It's just Arkansas. For those of you who do not live in the #1 allergy-ridden spot in the country, this may be hard to believe, but we are at the tail-end of a huge allergy season. The sinus drainage is something to be feared, like those horrible, horrible commercials with that mucus-beast moving into your lungs.
Bella is not an "easy" sick kid anymore. She is a grouch-fest on wheels. The whining is constant, the crying is frequent, and the screeching is severe. Now--there is medicine that helps her. Prescription Zymine. Unfortunately, it also turns her into something like a loud, manic lemur. One who knows parts of very many songs, and combines them at top volume to make one big, loud, very long song. I especially like the part that goes, "Jingle bells, jingle bells, You love me, all the little children, we're a happy family, with a Jesus love me kiss from me to you, won't you love me this I know!"
So anyway, she doesn't mean to, but she's killing me. I'm only half kidding. I've stayed home with her by myself for three days, and by the time Alex gets home, I'm ready to bail. But Daddy's arrival kicks everything into high gear--the highs are higher, the lows are lower, the shrieks are shriekier, and my stress level is explosively multiplied by Alex's need for peace and quiet. Because peace and quiet? Well, IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. And there's nothing I can do about it but have my teeth set on edge by the fussing and whining and griping and crying and yelling (Which one of them, you ask? You ask the wrong question)...and simultaneously stressing out about how much this is upsetting Alex, because the child, well, her behavior is a direct reflection on my performance as a wife and mother, isn't it? That's certainly how it feels. I'm sure he would deny it, but the vibe I get is that Alex is upset with me when Bella (or a dog, puppy, or horse, for that matter) misbehaves.
I do NOT write this to complain about my husband, because he's not the bad guy here. Fact is, he's a pretty good guy. And I'm not quite ready to trade Bella in for, say, an easier-to-manage pet wolverine with a meth habit...It's just a laugh-to-keep-from-crying thing, you know?
AnyWHOOOO...here are the top three things I would give Alex's left--um, a great deal of money--not to hear anymore for a while:
1. (sobbing inconsolably) "MommmMMEEEEEEE! I jus' can't DOOOOO it!" This applies to even the simplest of tasks, which suddenly and inexplicably, she can no longer master--see #2.
2. One word--spoken in question-fashion, and with the intonation of teenager-style attitude, accompanied by a scornful facial expression which suggests that you may very well be the densest matter on the planet--at the end of SO many sentences: "Ohh-KAAAAY?" As in this exchange today, on the occasion of Bella's 82nd wardrobe change:
Bella: "Mommmmeeeeee! Put my pants on meeee!"
Me: "Bella, you are perfectly capable of putting your own pants on. Put them on--you're a big girl."
Bella: (With the Glare of Contempt) "YOU are a BIGGER girl, ohh-KAAAAAY?"
Yeah. That one hurt.
3. Finally, this: She enters whatever space you're currently occupying, assesses whatever it is that you're doing for 3-5 seconds, then loudly and dramatically proclaims, BOOOOORRRRRRRING!" Then you must do something else. Immediately. Or else.
OH! And lest I forget this gem, last night, during approximately 2-7 unsupervised minutes (we're still not sure how that happened--she's tricksy, she is), our dear Isabella managed to completely empty a giant box of coarse Kosher salt ONTO OUR BED. It was quite an even distribution of salt--you might even say she "blanketed" our bed in salt! (Ha-ha! Wouldn't it be funny, if you said that? Wouldn't it? Huh? Huh? Ha-ha!! Boy, do I need some quiet time! Ha-ha!)
The worst of it was, she was an unrepentant bed-salter. No remorse. None. Even when we went fishing for it, asking, "Where will we all sleep now?" the most we got from her was a fairy-godmotherly gesture pointing upwards, and the response, "On the moon, up in the sky, ohh-kaaaay?" complete with sugary smile.
If you need me, I will be sleeping on the moon, thinking of how foolish I was to have thought that these days were behind us. Perhaps it's time to get the bottling supplies back out...
(And to my mother, I totally apologize for those 2-3 years before my long-term memory kicked in, just in case the experience was anything remotely like this.)