this morning, she tossed and turned and got up at 5:30. she said her ear hurt and she wanted some ear medicine.
so here's the thing, for you people without modern kids. they LIKE medicine these days. i don't know, maybe the medicine-makers have pumped up the percentage of aspartame and unnatural flavors or something. back when i was a kid, there was just that brief phase of thinking those disgusting, peach-colored, i-don't-know-what flavored chewable baby aspirins were up there with tart 'n' tinies on the delicious scale and then you came to your senses and realized they tasted like the sidewalk chalk of the future. your other choice was that treacherous spoonful of burgundy-colored twing-twang coming at your face while you sat on the kitchen counter and the non-spoon-holding parent pried your mouth open.
so when one of the children tells me they need medicine, especially when they've had medicine in the recent past, i raise an eyebrow or two and rub my chin hair. it's one of those double-edged swords. the kind that cuts both ways. yea! no struggle over medicine administration! boo! my children are ibuprofen addicts!
what i'm saying, and this isn't actually what i came here to say... it's not the core, which means you might want to get a little more comfortable if you're actually reading this, what was i saying? oh, what i'm saying is violet got her meds and was instantaneously hunky dory and here comes oliver stumbling out of the dark and into the glow of the television, saying he doesn't feel good. low grade fever, claims of an achy head and stomach. "DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO THROW UP?!" i ask. he says, no. my head puts the gigantic vomit bowl back into the cabinet.
we took violet to school and oliver and i went to whole foods. he picked up one of the little, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers that had blown off the gigantic climbing vine outside and gave it to me. i let it ride in the shopping cart. he ate an orange slice and did that waffling in and out of feeling good thing, which is another thing i don't remember doing. if i had a stomach virus, i was on a pallet on the floor in the dark until it passed. no hopping around in between bursts of vomit. but then, i must not have been sick, considering i almost always received a Perfect Attendance certificate on the last day of school each year. i wonder if that practice still exists, the shunning of those not hale enough to survive an entire year without homebound illness. perhaps my mother sent me to school as Patient Zero.
anyway. we arrived back home. oliver worked a little on his oatmeal from yesterday morning, before getting the chills and parking himself on the couch with Little Einsteins.
he's been perfectly pleasant, even at the store. oh, i know he's working with diminished capacity. but what i'm here to say is this: i think i figured out something about the children, especially oliver. if you're still foolish enough to be sitting there reading this, you'll likely find me an idiot for not seeing the light in front of my face.
i think oliver suffers from sibling jealousy.
it's started occurring to me that it is much easier dealing with them individually than together. oliver just goes motherfucking haywire bonkers, if you give him long enough. i reckon he's looking to grab violet's share of the attention.
when we brought her home, he had just turned three and was not particularly verbal. that was a hard day. we were late leaving the hospital and went straight to pick him up from his summer school and he climbs in the car and just BAM! who the hell is that little kid sitting in that car seat? i mean, there's really no gentle way to come along and shove a new family member into the picture. i can not tell you how incredibly bizarre it is to not have a child there one day and then there's a brand new child there the next. bringing-home-baby day is very twilight-zonish. so many hyphens, so little time.
we have this little video of him when we came in the door for the first time and we're asking oliver to introduce violet to the cats and he introduces ozzy and then he just razzamatazzes right off to the kitchen. i don't know. maybe he was hungry for crackers and i've just forgotten, but i know i programmed my emotions to feel sad every time i see that thing.
we decided last weekend to start doing that thing that people do with their kids where you have mommy-son/daddy-daughter and mommy-daughter/daddy-son dates to sort of focus some attention and have some less stressful outings. i obviously am a big fan of everyone being together for everything as much as possible, but i figure the separation might be supersonic worth it.
saturday, after claire's third birthday party, oliver and i are driving to mansfield. i asked if he would like to be my date to dylan's jazz band's spaghetti fundraiser, and he said yes. i'm hoping he'll break out some of his world-class 80s alternative dance moves. like he did on the patio of the rusty taco last saturday evening to piped in country music.