Friday, March 25, 2011

What's That They Say About Payback?

When I was a little girl, I recall getting in trouble once. Once. That's right. I was, what you might call a really, really, really good kid. My mother claims I never had temper tantrums (until I hit puberty and then I was as sullen and cranky as they come), and I have only two recollections of ever being sent to my room or grounded, ever in my life. I was grounded in my sophomore year of high school for lying to my parents about who I was going out with one Friday night and where I was going (another story for another day--suffice it to say I was a terrible liar and was found out and brought home before I even got to enjoy the fruits of my lying labors even a little bit). And I was sent to my room at age 5, also for lying, after having been caught red-handed. Or, in this case, red-faced.

The details are a bit fuzzy, but I believe my mother had informed me that we were going to be leaving for my grandmother's house in a few minutes. She was just going to go put on some make up and we'd be going. While girls of my generation didn't have quite the princess-obsession that seems to be so pervasive today, we still caught on early to what made girls "girly" and the significance of things like bras and make up. At least I did. There is more than one picture of me strutting around the house at 4 years old, clad in footie jammies and one of my mom's bras, straps twisted around my tiny shoulders, cups covering my entire torso. A good look. So when my mother said she was going to put her make up on, it seemed natural to my 5 year old brain that I do the same thing.

Except I had no make up. I was 5. What I did have, though, was magic markers. Brightly colored Crayola magic markers. And so I went to my room and set about putting on my make up; a little blue above my eyes (it was the 70's after all), some pink circles on my cheeks and red on (and probably around) my lips. I'm sure it was lovely. Thank goodness for non-toxic markers.

I emerged from my room, proud of first attempt at make up, ready to go to my grandmother's house. My mother did not share my joy or pride. "What did you doooooo?!!!" is what I recall her saying when she first saw my face, which I now realize probably looked like I'd been attacked by a roving band of evil clowns.

And the best part of the story? The part that, as a 5 year old made perfect sense to me, is that in response to "What did you doooooo?!" I replied....


Clearly, if I simply refused to admit to having done anything, it didn't happen. If I didn't fess up to putting marker all over my face, I didn't HAVE marker all over my face. Or if I did, at least I hadn't done it. Boldest. Lie. Ever. I don't even have any siblings who could have held me down and drawn on my face. And with the cat lacking the upper body strength and opposable thumbs to be responsible, that really just left one possible culprit (taking into account that there really was no roving band of evil clowns). Me. But I denied it until I was blue in the face (no pun intended...well, maybe a little bit intended. Groan), even after my mother picked me up and held me up to the mirror, my brightly markered face staring right back at me. Deny. Deny. Deny. Nope, didn't do it. I look totally normal, mom. I don't see anything unusual about my face at all.

Finally she had no alternative but to send me to my room while she...well, I was going to say went to the internet to look up how to remove magic marker from skin, but we didn't have internet then. So who knows what she did while I was sulking in my room, my beautiful make up job gone to waste. Now that I'm a parent, I imagine she went into the living room and laughed her ass off, her face hurting from keeping a straight face through that entire scene.

But I remember being sent to my room for that lie. That hilariously egregious lie.

Which is why I'm sure the universe was laughing at me on Tuesday afternoon this week. Trying to take advantage of a break in the rain storms, Ethan and I headed to a Japanese garden nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains. After paying our admission and letting Ethan put some dollar bills into the donations for Japan earthquake/tsunami relief bowl, we headed into the garden. First stop, the rest rooms. Scene of Ethan's hilariously egregious lie.

As we each emerged from our own stalls, I reminded Ethan to flush his toilet. He informed me casually that he had, and went about washing his hands. I listened for the sound of his toilet, but could only hear the one in the stall I'd been in. "Are you sure, buddy? I don't think you did." To which he petulantly replied, "I ddiiiiiid!"

Hrm. So I stuck my head into the stall he'd been in. The water in the toilet was decidedly yellow and very still, clearly undisturbed by any flushing activity.

"Ethan, you didn't flush the toilet. I need you to flush when you're done."

"I flushed!!!!!!"

"Then what is this yellow in the water?"

Long silent pause....

"Someone else's pee?"

Yes, my child tried to tell me that, as he and I were the only two in the bathroom, somehow someone else had managed to sneak in and pee in that exact stall since he peed and flushed mere seconds ago, and we had somehow missed this phantom pee'er. Or, that the urine left behind by a previous pee'er was somehow extremely tenacious and had clung to the sides of the bowl while Ethan dutifully flushed his own pee away. Okay.

I have to admit that at the time, I failed to find the hilarity in the situation because all I could think was "he's lying to me! he's lying to me! he's LYING TO MEEEEE!" and visions of kindergarten suspensions and a future in and out of juvy swirled through my head. Have I ever mentioned that I tend to over-react (and that I love hyperbole)? What should have been a teachable moment (and a funny one at that) turned into a battle of wills that ended with me flushing the toilet and revoking play date rights for the foreseeable future (which translates into: the rest of the day!!! And I mean it!). Not my finest parenting moment.

But later we talked about how telling the truth is so important and how I was upset not because he hadn't flushed the toilet but because he'd lied to me about it, even after I'd given him several opportunities to tell the truth.

It wasn't until later, as I was falling asleep that night, reminding myself that the lying phase is normal, all preschoolers go through it, it's about imagination and pushing boundaries and is totally developmentally appropriate, that I remembered my own lie to my mom all those years ago, and my refusal to admit my 'guilt' even when literally faced with the irrefutable evidence, just as Ethan had. Ahh, payback, thy name is parenthood.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Things That Go "Bark" in the Night....

you know, like my kid. At 11pm. Out of a sound sleep. Well, hello Croup.

Turns out, its just a tiny case of croup. Of course, we didn't find that out until much later when the ER doctor told us that on a croup scale of 1-5, (who knew there was such a thing?!) Ethan was about a .5; yes, there's a "." before the 5, indicating that his case of croup didn't even really merit a 1 on the scale. Apparently on a Crazy Mother scale of 1-5, I rank somewhere around 15. Or 20.

But let's back up to the waking up out of a sound sleep, coughing, barking, gasping, and what have you. We put Ethan to bed after a nice warm dinner of miso soup and sticky rice, his first dose of antibiotics and some Motrin for his fever. He slept for a few hours, during which time Husband tried gallantly to stay awake and catch up with me after a week away on business, even though his body felt like it was somewhere around 4-5am, London time. So I sent him to bed and went to check on Ethan.

I was resting in Ethan's room at around 11pm when Ethan sat up, coughed that awful barking cough, complained that his throat hurt and tried to lay back down. Five minutes later, the coughing started again, enough to wake Husband across the hall. We dug out the Delsym and gave some to the little man. Five minutes after that, all hell broke loose and Ethan's cough rose to the pitch that it was making his vomit--2, 3 times in quick succession. Then there was the terrified crying/screaming which inevitably follows the vomiting, battling for lung space with the barking cough and gasping that would not stop.

I ran to the bathroom to turn on the hot water so we could sit in the steam, like we did 3.5 years ago when Ethan had his first case of croup

lots of steam for the croupy little baby....and really? I took pictures of my kid in mid-croup flare up? Although, neither of them seem too stressed here, so it must have been a calm moment.

But we never got as far as the steamy bathroom this time because through the coughing and puking, Ethan's teeth started chattering and his body started shaking and I was, in my frenetically freaked out state, only able to process worst-case-scenario outcomes, so I over-rode my reliable voice of reason (read: Husband) and told him, I'm guessing now in a voice that really left no room for discussion, that I wanted to go to the ER, and I wanted to go now.

There was much shuffling around for blankets and lovies and underwear. Just a helpful little note: while a bra does not seem necessary in the middle of the chaos before a late night trip to the ER, once things calm down a bit, you're going to wish you weren't flopping all over the place underneath that t-shirt. Believe me.

In a boneheaded, what-type-of-parents-ARE-we move, we headed out of our neighborhood bound for what we thought was the closest emergency room, Ethan shaking in his car seat with a blanket over him, me sitting on a pile of Purim costumes, library books and possibly a dozen matchbox cars strewn across the passenger seat next to Ethan's car seat. We pulled up to the imagined ER, only to find the lights out, the rain-soaked parking lot empty, and the words "Urgent Care" written atop the medical building.

We are ER-virgins as parents. Husband has taken me to the ER on more than one occasion. As a matter of fact, when we lived in DC, he took me 2-3 times in one year (stomach ulcer, flu and something else I can't recall) and it became his little running joke to ask me "do I need to take you to the ER?" for every ache or pain that befell me. Har-dee-har-har, Mr. Comedian. Needless to say, we knew where to find every ER in the metro-DC area, but that wasn't going to help us last night.

So Husband got on the phone with 911, to explain that our son was coughing and having a hard time breathing and that we were sitting in our car outside what we thought was an ER, but it isn't an ER and WHERE THE FUCK IS THE CLOSEST ER???!!! And of course, the 911 dispatcher, trained and effective professional that he was, began rattling off a series of questions concerning Ethan's condition and Husband, apparently by that time feeding off of my mental frenzy in the back seat (which must have been transported to him telepathically because I was all zen calm, soothing reassurance to Ethan. No, really, I was), kept answering him completely and finishing each complete response with, "Please, where is the closest ER?"

Finally we were directed to the closest ER, barely a mile away from where our car was idling in the Urgent Care parking lot. I hustled in with Ethan wrapped in a blanket while Husband went to park. At this point, his coughing had all but stopped, he hadn't thrown up since we left the house and his color was looking relatively normal again. The woman at the desk nodded to a clip board with a questionnaire--"fill that out, please," she said to me from behind glass.

Seriously? Not "I see you have a bundled up child in your arms; what is the matter???!!!" or an offer to write down the information for me while my arms and hands were obviously full of 30lbs of croupy, glassy-eyed preschooler. It was everything in me not to go all Terms of Endearment on her ass, but I really didn't want to freak Ethan out any more than he already was by the situation, so somehow I managed to fill out all our essential information without putting Ethan down or going on an overly dramatic tirade, muttering under my breath the whole time that it was ridiculous that no one would help me until I wrote my kid's full name and reason for our fucking midnight trip to the emergency room down on a piece of paper.

After a few moments, Husband joined us and the "I can't help you until you write stuff down on this piece of paper" lady called us back in to the triage area. She said a few "kind" (read: condescending and obnoxious) words to me about sometimes its best to just be calm and look at the situation rationally. I wanted to say a whole bunch of unprintable things to her and kick her in the shins. But I didn't. I did however apologize for being snappish when I first came in and explained that Ethan's symptoms came on very quickly and out of nowhere and that for a parent, that is terrifying and tends to make you lose sight of the rational. Bitch. (no, I didn't really call her a bitch. But I wanted to. But I didn't. I was very polite.)

Ethan continued to not cough, bark, gasp or throw up for the next 20 minutes while we waited for the doctor to arrive. Obviously, very glad that the episode did not repeat itself, but was becoming more aware by the minute that I was indeed THAT mom, crazy, over-reactive, in the ER at 12:30am on a Saturday night with a kid who had...a cold? Yeah. Poor Husband, his body wracked by jetlag, his eyes barely focusing, Ethan nodding in and out of sleep on the hard ER bed, and me....slowly starting to breathe again and realizing....I am so that mom.

BUT in my defense, this was the first time EVER that we've taken Ethan to the ER. There have been times that I've thought we needed to, but Husband has talked me down and we've dealt with whatever it is in the wee hours of the night and then just gone to the doctor in the morning. I am guessing that his still-on-London-time-spent-12-hours-in-a-plane-today-not-really-even-sure-where-I-am_right-now state of mind made it impossible for him to reason with me in the moment of the barking and the gasping and the puking and the shaking.

The doctor listened to Ethan's lungs, checked out his throat and ears (confirming that indeed his right ear is percolating quite an infection), made Ethan smile a little bit, went over the steam and cold air routine with us, told us as comically and forgivingly as he could to come back if Ethan ever was actually really sick, dismissed us, and then, no doubt, went back to sleep in some empty room on the other side of the ER.

It's 4:30 on Sunday now, and Ethan has yet to even really cough again at all. Ear infection well under control and his temperature seems to be back to normal. But I'm prepared. Tonight I will have extra water in our humidifier, the hot water dial turned way up on the shower for steam if we need it, and a couple of Xanax on the kitchen counter for me to keep the Crazy Mom in me in check.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Let's Make a Deal....

or, "I'll take the raging ear infection that's hiding behind door #3, Monty!"

I may have mentioned yesterday that Ethan has started dabbling in the art of wheeling and dealing when it comes to trying to get out of every day chores like cleaning up toys that have seemingly projectile vomited themselves from the play room shelves to the living room floor over the course of the day. (And let's take a moment to acknowledge that I'm writing blog posts TWO days in a row! Aaaand, let's also take bets on the likelihood of me losing my mojo again and disappearing for another 3 weeks....).

While the battle for collective bargaining rights wages on in Wisconsin, I'm dealing with my very own one-4.5-year-old-person union right here in my own home and he drives a crazy hard, relentless bargain. I keep turning him away from the table, telling him that no, he may not clean up tomorrow; no, it is not reasonable for me to believe that he is playing with every. single. toy. in the living room all at once; and that, no, "Cleaning up is too boring," and "But I'm too tired," are indeed not legitimate reasons to keep the Buzz Lightyears, the Lego storm troopers, and eleventy billion matchbox cars strewn across the floor.

And yet, he keeps coming back to the table with more explanations of how cleaning up tomorrow will actually be beneficial for both of us, and how, if I can't see that, and insist on the room being cleaned at this very moment, I will have to do it myself. It's really fun trying to explain to a 4.5 year old that he really has no leg to stand on.

A few days ago, while I was attempting an unprecedented "just stopping in for ONE thing" Target trip (I'll spare you the suspense: I left with at least 5 things...), Ethan asked for a toy. I explained to him that at that very moment, there were no fewer than 50 toys on the floor of the living room and/or play room and/or his bedroom, and that until he got those cleaned up and kept them cleaned up, he could forget any more glorious romps through the toy aisle at Target. As I contemplated the difference between "Nice 'n Easy"'s "Espresso on the Double" and "Suddenly Sable" boxes, I could tell his gears were working...

"How about...." he paused, making sure he had my attention (I am riveted by drug store hair dyes), and then continued, "you buy me a toy now, and I promise when I get home, I'll clean up all the toys in the living room." Big smile. Winning! This deal could not be turned down!!

Except, it was. Poor kid. "No, Ethan; you need to clean up today's mess and show me that you can take good care of your toys before we get any more. That's the way it is. End of discussion."

And then there was much whining in the hair dye aisle.

Thus far my favorite leap-of-logic-turned-bargaining-attempt came last week when I told Ethan that he needed to clean up his toys before dinner. He stopped what he was doing (something that involved not cleaning up his toys) and said to me in a matter of fact voice, "Here's the thing, though, Mom; they're my toys and I make the rules of them. My rules for my toys are that I don't have to clean them up unless I want to. Okay?" As though, you know, perhaps I'd missed the memo concerning "Ethan's rules for his toys" and he was just trying to make it clear once and for all so I could stop needlessly harping on this whole ridiculous tidying up business.
He really wasn't trying to sass me; in his sweet little heart of hearts, he truly thought he was clearing up this little misunderstanding between us. Couldn't you eat him up? Uh-huh. I had a hard time not laughing, clearly.

The irony of the scene was when, after his declaration of toy independence, he turned to walk out of the room, and stepped foot-arch first onto one of his match box cars. Tears flowed, "owwwwiieeeeeeee!!!"s were bellowed several times and the little rule-maker hobbled to me for snuggles and kisses. He obviously wasn't seriously hurt and I obviously didn't laugh out loud at the whole thing, nor did I say anything even remotely sounding like "I told you so," but it did kind of make me chuckle on the inside that his little plan to cover the entire living room floor in pointing hard pieces of metal backfired on him.

I took the opportunity (after many hugs and kisses of motherly reassurance and unconditional love) to explain to him that part of the reason mommy and daddy want him to clean up his toys is so that things like that don't happen--to him, or to us. I explained that we're a family and families help each other out by taking responsibility for our own things, making sure they all go where they're supposed to be so no one gets hurt and nothing gets lost.

After a small, inconvenient misunderstanding of the definition of "cleaning up the living room", which Ethan translated into "take every toy that is on the living room floor and throw it onto the play room floor wherever it may land," we've managed to live in relative harmony for several days--toys pretty much in their space, coming out only a few at a time and going back when we're done with them. I've helped a little, but mostly I've encouraged from the sidelines, explaining that moms help their kids do things that they need help with--like laundry, and meals, flossing their teeth and writing lower case letters--but little kids are totally capable of picking up their own toys, so moms really don't need to help them with that a whole lot.

But this morning, the living room floor was once again starting to look like the site of a vicious match box car, Imaginext man and Transformer cage match, so I asked Ethan to clean it up before we went to the airport to pick up Husband from his week-long business trip to London.

As if on cue, Ethan grabbed his ear and wailed. "My ear huuuuuuurrrrttttssss!" My first assumption was that Mr. I Haven't Had an Ear Infection Since I Was One Year Old was working on his acting skills (his class is all into acting out the Billy Goats Gruff stories right now and I hear Ethan makes a spectacularly mean and comical troll--its possible I'm raising the next Adam Sandler and I'm not sure how I feel about that). Really. He has no conscious memory of ever having had an ear infection and even when I've been absolutely sure in the past that he has an ear infection---he hasn't. So, cynical mom-of-the-year me, I assumed it was yet another get-out-of-cleaning bargaining ploy. And I made him clean up his toys. I mean, really--it came out of nowhere.

Until he kept complaining and whining while he picked up his toys. And I realized that earlier in the morning, he'd told me his ear "was itchy on the inside". And that he'd been coughing a little bit in the night. And that I was a horrible, awful mom for making my kid clean up his toys while he was telling me his ear hurt. There was much snuggling, and repentant-mother/wronged-child bonding at that point, until we went to pick up Husband

The doctor couldn't see him until 6pm tonight; fortunately Motrin kept the pain at bay until right around that time. When Husband and I got him into the office, the doctor poked around for a few minutes and said, "Yup. That ear is infected."

I suck. And I am totally cleaning up his toys for him for the next week.

Just to clarify, I am in no way trying to make fun or light of what's currently going on in Wisconsin, nor am I trying to make an actual comparison between a 4.5 year old and the teachers' unions in that state. Anyone who knows anything about my political beliefs knows what I think of that situation.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Like Riding a Bicycle, Right?

I really hope so, because I feel like I've forgotten HOW to blog. Almost every day since my last blog post, I have gone about my daily life thinking, "this would make a great blog post!" or "I have got to sit down and write about that time that..." I've even started writing blog posts in my head, people. And yet.

This month has been busy with so many things--some wonderful, some angst-y and the like--but definitely rife with blog fodder. And so my plan for this evening, while Ethan is off watching Toy Story 3 with friends at the community center, I am trying to use my precious 1.5 hours of free time to organize my thoughts and the events of the past few weeks.

I have to be honest that some of my blogging attention has been co-opted by my recent obsession with Instagram. Do you instagram? Because, as I think I just said, I'm obsessed. "iPhonography" photography has become my new hobby, mainly because it involves, at least the way I do it, very little actual talent and really spectacular photographic results, if you use the right applications and can press buttons on your iPhone.

So instead of blogging lately, if I'm not at the gym, training for the Susan G Komen 3-day Walk for the Cure (nudge nudge, wink wink--the donation link is to the right--sorry for the obnoxious begging for cash, but its not for me!!), I am wandering through one of the purty small towns in my area in search of funky little things to take pictures of and then run through a series of filters and effects to come up with the most bang-for-your-iPhone-app buck pictures I can. And then I post them on Instagram (sarahndipity71) whilst oooooh'ing and aaaaaah'ing at other, far more gorgeous pictures taken by other instagram'ers, many of whom have bona fide photography skills and talent. So there's that.

But that doesn't mean I don't have a lot to tell you about--like the drama around kindergarten "assessments" and the horror of the latest dentist appointment (mine, not Ethan's, whose teeth we actually take care of), and Ethan's discovery of the concept of fibbing and of attempting to bargain his way out of everything from eating his vegetables, to going to bed at night, to picking up his toys at the end of the day.

And then there's the haircut. That he got today. That is uber-short, at least by the "I want my hair as long as yours, Mommy" standard we live by in this house. We were going for this look:

as modeled by a 3.5 year old Ethan on the fall festival carousel. Clearly shorter than he's worn it in over a year, but still getting a little bit of a flip in the back and some kicky little bangs.

In the past few weeks, leading up to the haircut, you could say that his hair has been a bit out of control. You could say its been in his eyes a little bit. You could say, and if you were his teacher, you did say, that perhaps the down-to-his-nose bangs were interfering with his ability to start reading effectively because, um, he can't see the words in front of him. Sigh.

But look at how sweet:

Today, mere hours before the assault on his locks, dressed up as a cowboy at the Purim celebration at preschool. Because of course there were Jewish cowboys in ancient Persia. Right?

"Please don't let my mom ever chop my hair off. Please don't let my mom ever chop my hair off..."

Okay. It's long. I know.

So what's a mom to do? Just cut his bangs a little and either A.) further confuse random strangers about the exact gender of my child? or B.) run the risk of mullet-izing him with too much business in front and too much party in the back?

The only alternative seemed to be to go see our regular stylist at the "obscenely over-priced-but-they-play-Nick-Jr-shows-so-its-almost-like-being-at-home-but-with-scissors" salon and have her trim his hair way up, all around, so it will grow back out in the same style. Hopefully by the time we wake up tomorrow morning.

And this is what we got:

WHO is that kid?!!! Is it me or does he look like a totally different child?! Still beautiful and wonderful and all that, but just totally different. I believe it's shorter than we asked for, but honestly, I think the stylist is sick to death of me because I've taken Ethan to her 2-3 times this year and each time I say, "just a tiny bit, okay. Not much. Only a little. Well, maybe we should just come back in a few weeks when it gets a little longer...." And given that this time I said, "We're cutting it short!" I'm guessing she saw an opening, and went to town, cutting it her version of short, which is the actual, most sane peoples' definition of short, as opposed to my jacked-up version of short, which is actually, erm, long.

Despite the sad and forlorn look in that last picture, Ethan swears he is happy with his haircut. Although he did ask me on the way home, "My hair is growing back already, mom, right?"

Friday, March 04, 2011

All Kinds of Pathetic....

That's what we've been this week. All three of us sick, all at the same time. And all of us big giant babies about it.

I so wish I was one of those brave, soldier-on types in the face of the common cold, powering through the aches and congestion, and I guess for the first day it hit me (Wednesday), I was. I took Ethan to the doctor so I could pay a medical professional a $10 co-pay to give me the ever-predictable "just a virus" diagnosis and send us on our way, hacking up a lung and groaning all the way. I went to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond and back to Target to find the best humidifier for Ethan's room, and to two different grocery stores to get the ingredients for my father's homemade chicken soup (seriously, Safeway, if you remove all your chicken from the refrigerator case so you can clean it, and put the chicken on a rolling rack, and can't tell me how long its been sitting out of the refrigerator, I'm not buying your chicken. I'm not making Salmonella soup here....). Then I came home, whipped up the chicken soup, and went back out to get Husband, who was huddled up on the couch under blankets, some Sudafed. All the while, muttering to myself, "I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick." All the while feeling the back of my throat scratch and the inside of my head start to feel like it was alternately floating up to the ceiling and filling up with concrete. Super.

Yesterday, Ethan and I spent the day curled up in bed or on the couch, our eyes glazed over at the television, our throats sore, hacking up lungs and blowing our noses. And trying not to annoy the everloving crap out of each other because seriously, neither of us are a treat when we're sick. Ethan goes back and forth between bursts of energy where he's running around, shouting gibberish and finding the loudest toys he owns, and moments of needy clinginess, where he must be ON me or he wails "you're not nice!!!!" (which feels awesome). And when I'm sick? I need it quiet and to not. be. touched. So, you know, very compatible. Needless to say, it was a great day.

Today I woke, determined that we were all healthy enough to resume our normal schedule. After three full days of 24/7 sick-family-bonding-time, I hadn't heard Ethan cough once overnight, I could move without feeling the room spin and talk without my throat feeling like it was being prodded by 1000s of little tiny needles. Hooray!!! School for Ethan!! QUIET TIME FOR ME!!! Oh sweet fancy Moses, QUIET TIME!

I whipped up breakfast, packed up lunch, gathered up clothes for the child, complete with Dr. Seuss shirt since we'd missed his actual birthday earlier in the week. I went through the house packing up my computer and charging my phone. Four hours of quiet time!!!!

And then Ethan sneezed. And the entire contents of his sinuses came flying out of his nose. And then he coughed a rattle-y, achy cough. And after I had swooped in with a boxful of tissues to alleviate the emergency snot situation, Ethan croaked, "I don't feel so good. I think I should stay home today."


And so here we sit (or I should say "here I sit," as Ethan is currently in one of his running around the house, yelling and playing as though he's never encountered a germ in his life), for the 4th day in a row, cooped up in the house, getting twitchier by the moment.

At least a friend brought cupcakes....