Thursday, March 19, 2015

Life Slows Down When You're Sick, Right?

Until recently the Blackwell clan has enjoyed a nice run of sustained good health.

When we first put the boy in Day Care, heretofore known as the world's Petri dish, our entire family was battling some form of illness for about a year. But, since then, our immune systems have been well-tuned machines, fighting off serious illness— aside from the occasional case of the sniffles.

Then, I came home from Florida earlier this month and, in short order, contracted food poisoning or stomach flu and, a week, later got the other flu.
If mom and dad are sick or not, the little blur slows down
for no one.

It was a one-two punch the likes of which I've never before suffered but, thankfully, life slowed down. Work at the office lightened up and the boy spontaneously learned how to prepare meals and do his own laundry.

Or, not.

You know this didn't happen because you too live on planet Earth where, when you fall ill, so does your wife. And, when you're so sick you're unable to make it to work, every client you have decides it's time to ramp up the output.

And last, but certainly, inevitably and invariably, not least, when you're sick, your child decides that then is the time to seek out new boundaries, and test the intractable bonds of gravity while simultaneously imperiling anything that might remotely be considered fragile.

In our living room this refers specifically to one big, beautiful red lamp made out of glass that sits on an end table next to our couch. Lately, junior has taken to sitting or standing on the table, next to the lamp, before and either jumping or somersaulting onto the cushy, comfy couch.

There's no shortage of places for the boy to play, but what fun would it be to jump around without the threat of breaking something that's irreplaceable?

And what's even more fun than that? How about watching your maladroit father, struggle to stop you.

The way the table is situated it's just out of my periphery if I'm watching television, thus offering the boy the perfect space to operate.

What could go wrong?
He tries to move quietly but, as any parent knows, the absence of sound is more alarming than sound itself. So I often see him before he makes his jump, but it's usually to no avail as the boy frequently giggles and begins his decent to the couch.

He gets a stern "no" but, after enough time passes, he goes for it again. And while I'm sure it's funny to watch me struggle out of my chair and attempt to hurdle the coffee table in a vain attempt to stop the boy, it's not so much fun to be part of the process — especially when you're sick.

So for a couple of days the boy might have had a wider berth than normal, if only because mom and dad physically couldn't do it.

Toddlers are always pushing, pushing and pushing some more.

Ultimately, they're just waiting for the moment that parents let their guard down or are weakened. In this respect, having toddler is like having an exotic pet. Sure it's cool to have a puma and it might really like you but turn away for a moment and suddenly your back is missing its skin.

It's an exercise in constant containment and you better have the energy to be up to the task because they always do.

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