The week that happened
(Didn’t mean to leave you hanging about Rosie’s day o’ wailing and the resulting meeting with her teacher, but it’s not much to report. I think her teacher just wanted to debrief. The meeting went sort of like this: Teacher: “Soooo, wtf.” L: “Yeah. We know.” I genuinely like her teacher though—she’s been around the block a few times—and she was good natured about the whole thing. We’re just watching Rosie now, trying to figure out what might be setting her off. I foresee methods in our future. Parenting books and methods.)
I started feeling sick at work today, which is not ever a good thing. Working at a desk job (even when you enjoy what you do very much) can drag you down, just from the sitting-ness and staring-ness of it all. My eyeballs look at a giant computer screen for a huge percentage of my day, and in addition, this week has been nothing but gray skies and rain and general outside yick, so I was already feeling bedraggled. This was a stealthy, sneaky sickness, too—the kind where you’re totally normal and all “Oh, what things I will accomplish today with my very regular-feeling self!” one minute and then the next minute you cough, daintily. Then you sniff. Then you feel like maybe you need to stretch a bit, because your back is feeling a little sore. Then you cough, then you sniff, then you stretch, cough, sniff, stretch, COUGHSNIFFCOUGHSNIFF. Uggggghhhhh.
But the thing is, I have opted out of getting sick any more this season. I checked the box clear as day, ask anyone. Because a few weeks ago, right before Christmas, we had the Week of All the Bad Things, and it started off with Rosie and a tummy ache.
All day that Saturday, she would pause and clutch her stomach and complain that it hurt, but for some reason, (and you’ll want to be sure to add this to my Mother of the Year nomination) I respond to all aches and pains from my children in a very blasé, get over it fashion. But then she pulled out her ace in the hole—the vomits. And when you are in a family with more than one kid, all it takes is the first one to puke once and all hope is lost. Abandon ship! SOS! Still, I held out hope like I could will the rest of us to avoid getting sick with my mind. And it worked—for about 12 hours. Noah bit the dust after church on Sunday, and then Luke and I were dragged under, kicking and screaming all the way to the bathroom. It was not pretty. Meanwhile, Rosie won the contest for both duration and volume, continuing to hold her own hair back over a bucket for two full days, beginning and ending the virus that took us all out.
Max did not get it. Hooray! Instead, he got pink eye.
I took Max to the doctor on Monday, quite unshowered and wan, while the rest of the family languished on various surfaces at home. Tuesday, some of us were able to venture out, and by Wednesday we were semi-back to normal, thanks in large part to L’s mom, who flew up (on a plane) and dug us out of the massive piles of laundry and detritus that had accumulated in all the corners and also not-corners of our house.
[UPDATE: Hahahahaaaaaaa I TOTALLY FORGOT to add one of the things that happened on Sunday (Monday? It’s all a blur.) night. L, still feeling unwell from The Sick that had overtaken our family, started to feel MOST unwell, to the point that he was moaning from the bedroom, covered in blankets and sweating. He continued like this for most of the afternoon and into the evening, when finally he couldn’t get in any position where he felt relief. He was pale and ashen looking and couldn’t be still because he was desperate for the pain to subside. So I called a nurse line number on the back of our insurance cards and after waiting on hold for several minutes, was told by the RN that answered to go to the ER, go directly to the ER, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. This was … disconcerting, to say the least. She said that his body was clearly in distress and he needed to be seen immediately. So off to the ER we went, after calling my sister to come stay with our sleeping kids. Within the first hour they ruled out the scariest things (heart-related anythings, blood clots) and finally deemed it just part of the virus. All told, we were at the ER for 5 hours, finally coming home at 2:30 a.m., where my sister had been juggling both Rosie and Max in awake form for at least 3 of those hours. (L has been fine since then, btw, and will be following up with a general practitioner to keep a watch on things.) So, whoops. Forgot the health scare ER run! Just add that on in there.]
Then Wednesday night, things took a different turn.
At 3 a.m., both Luke and I were jolted awake by a weird noise just outside our room, kind of like a pop and then scrambly rustling and … hissing. (Wait for it.) So we listen for a minute and then L goes out to investigate. When he comes back in, he whispers, “You’re not going to believe this.” Which is EXACTLY the words you want to hear in this situation. Directly in front of our bedroom door is an open staircase that leads down to the basement door. At the bottom of this stairwell, due to an issue we had previously encountered, there was a rat trap. A rat trap that works. At catching rats. Which is what it had done. Only, instead of instantly killing the rat, it had snapped its hind legs. So the rat, frantic, was attempting to go back into the hole it had come out of, but couldn’t because it was still attached to the trap. So what we were hearing, outside our room, was the sound of a rat with a trap snapped onto its hind legs manically bashing itself into a wall trying to escape its inevitable demise.
I’m going to let that sink in for a minute.
L didn’t know what the hell to do, and so he got back in bed and we lay there next to each other, attempting to turn our brains off to the situation and go back to sleep. (I know, not the best plan of action, but WHAT ELSE WAS TO BE DONE I ASK YOU.) After about 3 minutes of: silence … RATTLE SCRITCH WHAM WHAM SCRITCH SCRITCH SQUEEHISSSSS silence … (repeat), L and I were both wide-eyed in bed, and my heart was pounding out of my chest. Finally something inside of L snapped and he shot up out of bed and started yanking on his pants with purpose, seething angry determination so hard that I could see his set jaw from across the pitch dark room. Max was conked out in the bed next to me, so I could neither move nor speak, but I was crazy with curiosity (slash fear) over just what he thought he was going to do.
And then I heard the scrape of one of his 15-lb. hand weights across the hardwood floor.
OH. MAH. GAH. I thought. He’s straight up gonna bash that rat with A HAND WEIGHT.
He crept to the bedroom door and as he opened it a crack I decided I couldn’t take it, I had to chance waking Max to hiss BE CAREFUL! And then he closed the door behind himself and I was left in the dark with only sounds to guess just what was going down on the other side. I heard lots of things being moved across the floor. I heard the crackle of a trash bag, I heard the weight being picked up and put down, and then I heard … nothing. And then I heard a WHUMP.
Then there was a flurry of activity with some more whumping and I could tell it wasn’t over yet but was close and then it was, oh thank god, and then after many many minutes (during which I learned later L washed his hands copious times—even though he never actually touched the rat—and then took care of emailing all the possible people who could make this situation never happen again) he crept back in and got into bed and the rat stayed there at the bottom of the steps (in a bag) until the next day when L retrieved and disposed of it when the kids were otherwise occupied.
Then on Friday I ran out of gas on the way home from work and had to walk to a filling station to buy a fuel can, fill it up, and walk it back to my car and spend 20 minutes trying to figure out how to actually get the gas into the tank.
It wasn’t a very good week. The end.