Thursday, February 16, 2006

The House that Never Sleeps

When I lived in Phoenix, my cousin came to visit my roommate and I. At 7 a.m., I stumbled into the kitchen and she was eating a piece of coconut cream pie. Though she just woke up, she was game for discussing anything with great energy. It was like she had never been asleep.

"Day and night and morning are like the same to you, aren't they?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said, cheerfully.

Now that I have kids, I understand what it's like to live with no beginning or end to the day. Here, there is no wrong time to eat Magic Marshamellows cereal, no odd place to fall asleep, no bad time to play lullabies or sing rock n' roll, no hour when the whole household is asleep.

But the house is quietest at about 5 a.m., when our dog and cat go outside to see if the world has changed since yesterday and our baby J.J. murmers to himself in his bed and the boys are sprawled out over each other in their bed. The T.V. or radio hums because someone forgot to shut it off last night and the coffee drips slowly. That's when I write these blogs.

This morning, however, I put off writing the blog until later. Then Johnny woke up with a headache and fever, and, like any sane, calm mother, I panicked and whisked him off to the doctor, who diagnosed him with the flu. He was feeling better, so we ran a few errands on our way home, which gave us new reasons to see the doctor.

First, at the post office, Richie pulled a brass pole onto his head. (The lady at the store gave him a postal coloring book, which made him all better.)

Second, in the grocery store, Richie tackled Johnny in the aisle, injuring his arm.

Finally, in the pharmacy aisle, the boys tested their blood pressure on the do-it-yourself machine. I'm sure they were doing it absolutely correctly--you put the cuff around your forearm, right? They were diagnosed with stage one hypertension. Minus the tension, that sounds like an accurate diagnosis to me.

So I couldn't write the morning blog, but am writing now to keep up my goal to write 365 straight days. Unfortunately, by noon, I can no longer think straight. For instance, my kids are watching the start of Oh God, You Devil. Hey, if HBO says it's a nice family movie it has to be.

Okay, the channel is changed to Fat Albert. The day is icy and gray. The kids are lounging under blankets. Johnny says it feels like paper airplanes are flying around in his brain. I hope that means the headache is blowing away. Homeschool has turned into no school today. There are phone calls to make, babies to feed, dishes to ignore, but for a minute, I'll join the kids on the couch for a bowl of cereal.

Sometimes the house is wide awake at night; other times, it dozes off in the afternoon.


Anonymous pat brewster said...

You get well Johnny and get those paper airplanes out of your brain! Love, Ma

8:16 PM  

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