Sunday, September 6, 2009

Life in a petri dish, a sociological experiment

When one of us gets sick, we all get sick. It's the nature of family, I suppose, combined with this terribly small house where everyone is in everyone else's space, face, and bed. We are a breeding ground for disease. In this case, the dread herpangina, also known as the reason that Brigit threw up at Trader Joe's, the reason that Rory subsequently threw up on me, in my bed, at 4:30 in the morning.

And while this is primarily a disease of the young, I believe the fact that Tyler has also thrown up and I've been gobbling Phenergan like it was candy goes a long way to show the psychosomatic elements of housebound illness. That or it's just the smell of vomit that I cannot clear from my nose.

The problem of the family illness is, of course, that we are all driving each other ape shit. Brigit feels well enough to torment Rory, who is bound by the laws of brotherhood to retaliate but is in no shape to do so. So, many, many times in the last few days, one or both of the parents have been called in. And while it starts somewhere around, "Brigit kicked me in the head and I'm madder than 10 alligators" (which is, admittedly, pretty mad), it almost always degenerates into, "If one more person hits, slaps, bites, spits, kicks, or throws a crab at the other, you are both going to your rooms. For the love of all thing holy, including my sanity, leave each other alone."

Lather, rinse, repeat. Ad nauseum.

In a way, it was easier when they were smaller, immobile, unable to communicate. As much as I value the interactions we have, the discussions of how Poggemeyer ears give you superhearing (Rory) or how stomping is a perfectly good addition to a polite request (Brigit), I miss the baby stage for all the wrong reasons. When Rory endured the neverending ear infection and was able to sleep for mere minutes at a time, and only while laying mostly upright on a parent, he was, at least, willing to do what it takes to recover from being sick. Take his medicine, take naps. When Brigit had ear infections, she was willing to sleep, nurse, medicate.

Now, a 6 year old Rory thinks nothing of wrestling with his sister when he should be lying down and thinks naps are for wimps. Now, a very nearly 3 year old Brigit thinks nothing of projectile spitting any and all medicine on me.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I need to go rescue Tyler from being used as a trampoline.

Send St. Bernard's - I think we'll need the brandy soon.

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