Wednesday, November 9, 2011


You know your day isn't going to go as planned when your 8-year-old wakes you in the middle of the night with a stomach ailment, especially if that stomach ailment keeps both of you awake for the next two hours.  After several doses of Immodium AD, Foghorn and I tried to settle down on the couch together to sleep, but she seemed determined to kick and turn and shift position approximately 742 times every minute.  Declaring that she couldn't get comfortable, she announced she was going back to her own room, to which I sleepily replied, "Good!"  Then her bottom lip jutted out and her eyes teared up and she loudly said, "But I wanna stay with youuuuuuuuu."  I told her to grab a blanket and we moved to the new basement futon.  Frank, the dog, wasn't too happy to be moved from his sleeping spot, but once we were both able to stretch out on the mattress we quickly went to sleep.

When I was a kid, my mother worked and my maternal grandmother cared for me on sick days.  They were wonderful.  She made me all sorts of food (I was her "notorious eating companion," remember) and made me a lovely bed on the couch and let me watch t.v.  My mother would arrive on her lunch hour with a new toy.  It probably doesn't come as a shock to find out I missed a lot of school in my early years.

With my own kids I tend to push them out the door unless they are obviously and genuinely sick.  If one complains of some minor generic problem such as a headache or stomachache, I tend to provide a small dose of medication and shove him or her onto the bus with the advice to go to the nurse if it gets worse and have her call me.  At least 99% of the time I don't get such a call and all is well.  With Foghorn's particular problem, though, the school likes kids to stay home, so I let her sleep late and braced myself for the day ahead.

So, what does an energetic child do with an unexpected day off?  Well, first she puts on a droopy, mournful face whenever she's asked how she's feeling, just on the off-chance that mother might deem her well enough to get in a half day of school.  I hardly find it coincidental that Foghorn's energy level increased as the day progressed and it came closer to school dismissal time.  For the first 3/4 of the day she was very quiet, watching Arthur and reading Christmas books.  Once her brother was home the sounds of screams and thumping feet were back.  Before dinner, though, she settled into her "new job," as she called it.  She decided to create a line of greeting cards.

She has grand plans for expanding her line. 

For the moment we have Congratulations on Your New Dog and Merry Christmas cards.
There's this Get Better Soon card:
Dear Mom,
Today is the day I will die if you don't get better.
So please get better.
From:  ____________________

And a birthday card:
Dear Best Friend,
Sorry to say
That today is your birthday.
So have a great day.
Hip hip hooray!
From:  _______________

And The Professor's suggestion:  a card for someone you don't like.
Here we see the front.
Here we see the back.
And a lovely little verse on the inside:
Dear You,
I don't see the real thing.
Here comes me, The King.
"Poo" is what I say to you.
I don't like you.
From:  _____________

Hey, maybe she has a future.  After all my sister, her beloved Uncle Chester, used to be a writer for Gibson Greeting Cards.

As for Foghorn's illness, I think she's all better.  As I was typing she was in the bathtub.  Suddenly she appeared in the family room, naked except for a pink towel, and still dripping.  She flung herself on me while yelling, "Shark attack!"  After being forced into pajamas, she disappeared.  I could hear laughter in the other room, where her brother was supposed to be doing his homework.  Next thing I know, she raced into the family room, straddling her toy mop like a witch flying a broom.  She froze, with her face contorted and her mouth twisted into a grimace.  "What are you supposed to be?" I asked in a tired voice.  "I'm a statue of a guy that just got hit in the groin with a mop."  Yep, things are back to normal...

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Nancy Susanna Breen said...

Huh. I think that line of cards could be a success! (I laughed out loud at the guy/mop remark.)

Anonymous said...

I remember when Foghorn's mother had a line of greeting cards and publishing firm with the name of Moody Manor.

The first time I've seen those bangs - yes, that's pretty short.