It's been that kind of weekend. Actually, it's been that kind of month. I knew when Riley started school in September that we would likely go through that revolving door of virus after virus. And I wasn't far off except that the whole month of November has been either one virus morphing or 30 different ones performing the onslaught. The weird side of me was keeping count briefly but I gave up somewhere around the middle of November. Since then Riley has had an ear infection (his first ever) - successively in both ears, a severely clogged sinus, an earthquake cough, a drippy, runny nose and now the barfing has begun. The first time was at the end of day at school when the office called and I dropped everything at work and basically flew and swooped in to pick him up. Then yesterday morning I was trying to get that extra half hour in between the sheets and Riley was propped up on the other side of me watching TV. Suddenly he popped up, clamped his hand over his mouth and tore out of the room. He made it to the toilet just in the nick of time. We kind of laughed about that later, him with a self-satisfying arm pump and me a little nervously.
A week ago I had a message on my answering machine from the electric company saying they would be doing work in the area on Saturday (yesterday) and that the power would cut between 8:00 am. and 4:00 pm. What they p.c. call "a scheduled interruption". Me, in a brief moment of optimism, took that to mean that somewhere between those hours we wouldn't have any electricity. No problem, I can work around that, thought the confident and quite naive me. Yesterday at 8:01 am the power went off. Before coffee, before shower, before basically anything constructive. We managed to spend most of the day out, coming back around 4:30 when it was getting dark. We giggled as we passed street after street with their Christmas or porch lights on, happy to think that the house would be warm when we got there. Instead it was cold and dark. I called the 1-800 number for hydro and their machine told me that power would be restored at 4:30. In fact is was already past 4:30. I waited a few minutes and called again and was told it would be on at 5:15. At 5:30, holding a candle up to the one non-electrically powered phone in our house I called again to find it would be only 6:30 when I could expect it back. Do you want to guess the estimated time I was told at 6:45? Well, it was 9:15 in case you're wondering. It is the end of November. I also live in Canada. These days are cold and dark. WTF? Why, I wondered, don't "scheduled interruptions" happen in July when you can cook on the Bar-b-q and it is daylight until 10:00 pm? And the house is guaranteed to be warm.
As it turns out the lights came on around 7:30 after we ate a cold supper in candlelight and relied on conversation (gee, let's talk about the 13 hour day where we just spent our every waking moment together) instead of mind-numbing TV. I was able to give Riley a hot bath and get him into bed at a decent hour clean and warm and happy. The real fun of the day began when I was settled in my own hot bath a couple of hours later, my Saturday night face mask on, book in hand. When suddenly I heard the dreaded heave and splat. Heave and splat. Heave and splat. Riley's second round of vomiting had begun. I easily gave up my hot bath, stripped him and tossed him in. The bedding required two wash cycles just to get rid of the chunks. My oh my. And my dilemma of the day was where does he sleep? I like him to sleep with me when he's sick, like to keep a close eye on him. And now his bedding was soiled right down to the core, that left my own bed with quilts and pillows that don't wash so easily. Out came the blow up bed and we camped, plastic side up (!) sleeping on towels, just in case. And I wonder why the bags under my eyes are so heavy.
the work of matriarchs
13 hours ago