Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sickness and Shopping, or Does shopping make you sick?

There is something about holding a sick child that takes your mind off of whatever used to seem important.

It was cold this afternoon, and it began to rain.  The kids were bundled up and incessantly asking me questions about why it is so cold when yesterday they were in shorts.  After picking the boys up and lugging them to guitar practice, I decided to drag them into the dollar store.  Why?  Because the dollar store is across the street from guitar practice and both are about 15 miles away from home and I didn't want to make an extra trip.  Besides, the kids love picking out little dodads for their cousins.  If we all had to buy real gifts from our kids to the cousins, we'd go broke as my sister and I each have four children.  So, the dollar store it is.  This way, they feel like they got them gifts all by themselves.

I'm always a little shocked and amused by the things they pick.  My 5yr old picked out a whole fairy ensemble for my 9yr old neice, but alas, it only came in toddler sizes.  He was very disappointed because he knew that she was a fairy princess and she NEEDED to have it.  My four year old was too busy to give much of an opinion on anything.  He was smacking patrons with wrapping paper like a sword and jabbing it in his eye because he had to walk while using it as a telescope despite my continual warnings. 

People would see us coming and walk around the store rather than pass us in the tiny constricted aisles.  My incessant ramblings made me feel like a crazy cart lady.  "Get that out of your eye. Please put that down.  No you can't have that and stop touching everything.  Inside voices.  Inside voices.  INSIDE VOICES, please.  Why must you try to squeeze past the cart when I'm trying to turn? I told you I'd run you over if you kept jumping in front of the cart.  We are not buying a costume for the neighbors dog.  Because that dog tries to eat you whenever you walk by.  No he is not a nice doggie.  No he will not like you better if you buy him a toy.  Stop blocking the aisle and let your brother pass.  He is too allowed.  Because I said he was.  You don't have to like me, but you do have to keep it down.  Use your inside voice.  Who do you think you're talking to like that.  Oh, I thought so.  Alright! ONE, TWO...good.  Now that I have your attention.  I expect you all to behave.  Stop touching everything, and I am not here to buy things for you. We are here to get Christmas gifts for your cousins.  No, I am not giving your cousins wrapping paper, but it would be nice if they could unwrap their presents.  Don't you like it when you have something to unwrap.  Okay.  be nice or we'll go home and you can tell your cousins why they have no gifts from you.  As for you (speaking to the oldest), getting them all riled up is not helping me.  If they get in trouble for acting like you, then you're the one who'll be in real trouble when we get home"......and so on.

Yup, that was us.  I was that Mom.  What can I say, it happens.  They were just excited and they weren't really screaming, just loud.  Most of my mantra was more like grumbling to myself while shopping for little junks.  Anyway, back to the car in the cold, cold sprinkles that twinkled in like stars in the streetlamps, according to the 4yr old.  By the time we got home they were asleep and the rest of the evening went on without any further grumbling on my part.  By the time dinner was ready, my 4yr old was burning up.  He was so hot, that it almost hurt me to touch him.  His skin was turning red.  As I made him eat a couple of bites of chicken so that I could give him his medicine, I held the thermometer in place.  The poor kid was not at all happy.  After his medicine, he was crying and begging for loves (hugs and kisses).  I sat in the rocking chair holding him like a baby.  He was hot and it was making me sweat.  His fever wasn't getting better and I was minutes from taking him to the hospital.  Then, he looked at me for a long while and smiled a little smile with that twinkle in his eye.  I felt his forehead, his ears, his arms and his hands.  They were barely warm.  It went down as fast as it rose.  I felt better and Hubby carried him to bed and tucked him in.  I left the dishes undone, the presents unwrapped, and the decorations still only half finished and went to feed the baby and pass out. 

His fever has not yet returned, and I hope it doesn't.  So much for cold rain, and they didn't even really get wet.  Tomorrow, or whenever I'm up to it, we will all wrap the gifts they bought.  They love to wrap, so they can wrap until their hearts' content.  They wrap the gifts from them, and then I am free to wrap the gifts from Hubby and I in peace.  I can better handle their over exuberant loud nature at home than in public.  Though, I must say, there is nothing more heartwarming than that twinkle in the eyes of a child.  The awe that is evident in every fiber of their being when they see the hints of Christmas.  Even the crappiest of lights haphazardly strewn about someones yard, yields squeals of delight that make your heart dance a little.

Unfortunately, the way colds are passed around this family, I'm due to be sick for Christmas, as usual.  I am armed with Vitamin C, GermX, and Lysol.  I am ready for battle.  Oh, and I still haven't finished making my garland.  At this rate, I'll be done by New Year's. 

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