Friday, February 15, 2008

Our Big Day

Valentine's Day 2008 started full of excitement and apprehension, all directed towards the Sweetheart Ball Connor's class was having in honor of the holiday. Connor was excited that he got to wear a tie to school (as dictated by the invitation- the girls would be in "frilly dresses"), give a girl a rose, dance, and eat the chips we dutifully sent to the party. I was apprehensive about this insane display of rigid gender roles and courtship in a class of four-year-olds. I had also been worried that Connor would experience some type of female rejection way too early in life, until I realized that there were twice as many girls in his class as boys. That made me feel a little better about this whole bizarre situation, but not much. Feminist friends of all generations (from mine to Mom's) urged everything from my attendance at the dance to boycotting in protest. In the end I did neither, because Connor was too excited to stay home and I had something at work I couldn't get out of anyway.

We sent the kids off to school (Connor in a tie and Chloe in a corduroy dress, in solidarity with all the non-frilly girls in the four-year-old room) and continued on to very busy days at work. Mine involved interviewing candidates for one empty job and and training a new employee in another. Chip spent the whole day in a mediation. I was lucky enough to enjoy a lunch of waffles and sausage with my friend Katherine's brother, sister, and brother-in-law before my day was interrupted by this call from daycare:

Tanzy: Stephanie? This is Tanzy (Chloe's teacher). I'm calling for Kathy (Connor's teacher)- it seems our boy is throwing up from one side of the classroom to the other!
Me: (audible gasp)

This conversation was problematic for several reasons. One, my baby boy was sick and I wasn't with him! Two, I could not afford to leave work AGAIN (last week I missed an afternoon on tornado alert and another whole day when I had the stomach bug). And three, I was planning to spend all day Friday getting ready for wedding shower I'm hosting tonight. Now I'm going to be spending Friday getting ready for a shower AND cleaning up vomit.

I went to get the kids, finding a pathetic Connor sitting in his classroom in a long-sleeved t-shirt, shorts, dress socks and shoes. I forgot that two days ago Connor had spilled juice on his jeans and been sent home in his spare pants. I had arrogantly not sent another spare pair immediately. At least I had forgotten to take home the shorts that had been left at school since summer.

I got a sickly Connor and a wild Chloe into the car for the long trip home. We had barely made it past the Fairgrounds when Connor started barfing into the plastic bag provided by his teacher. (Hey- those things aren't so bad after all!) As all moms in need tend to do, I immediately called Kristy. "Are you at home?" I asked, while turning into her neighborhood hopefully. She dashed those hopes with a quick, "No- why?" Why? Because I was hoping she would wave her Kristy wand and remove the offending plastic bag and its smell from my car while hypnotizing Connor into holding off on the barfing for the rest of the ride home. If anyone could do it, she could. But I was on my own. I (sheepishly) found another plastic bag in my trunk for Connor to keep with him "just in case," wiped his mouth and nose, and continued on our way.

The rest of the trip was uneventful- almost. About a mile from my house, as I crossed Ridgeway on Quince, Chloe began spewing pink Valentine cookie chunks all over my back seat. She barfed and barfed while Connor assured me that he was still holding on and I frantically dialed my mom's number. "Please drop what you're doing and meet me in my driveway! I am in over my head! I can't figure out how I'm even going to get both kids out of the car by myself! I WANT MY MOMMY!" We all met in my carport two minutes later. I struggled to get the disgusting mess that Chloe had turned into out of my car, out of her clothes, and into the house while Mom helped Connor avoid his clothes while he threw up all over the carport. Awesome.

Ten minutes later Mom was back at work, Chloe and I were in new clothes, and Connor was writhing around on the couch in misery. He had a fever of 102 and could not accept that fact that his mother, who supposedly loved him, would deny him the gallon of apple juice he so greatly desired. A few ice chips later and Chloe was barfing again. Fortunately, she didn't have any kind of fever and really remained her normal self throughout the ordeal. Chip finally got home from his long painful day and helped as much as he could. By the time Uncle Shannon and Aunt Carrie got to town, the kids were safely tucked away in bed, full of Gatorade and well on their way to recovery, leaving us to watch Lost in peace.

Now all that's left to be seen is if I can get the house clean and the food fixed by the time 20 people show up at my house at 7:00, despite having two almost-well kids running around the house. Let's hope I manage to make Martha proud. And that Chip gets home soon.


Sassy Molassy said...

I feel terrible that i wasn't at home. What a nightmare! Not that I could have done much besides supply you with plastic bags, but still.

Unknown said...

Isn't Lost in Peace the one with Will Robinson?

An said...

I wish I was there to give a hand, I could've at least kept Shannon occupied. Phew, when you guys aren't online, I get worried, now I know where you are....

Stacey Greenberg said...

how truly horrible. glad it seemed to pass quickly.

Mrs. Katherine said...

Did Connor even get to dance???

Stan said...

How horrific! Poor babies.

Anonymous said...

Poor little guy...Ah the pressure of having to socialize with icky girls at the 2008 Sweatheart Ball finally got to him. In his shoes I probably would have pooped my pants.

On the bright side, he will be in good puking form for his high school proms.

In Chloe's defense, have you ever been strapped down in the back seat with a puker? With the windows up? Barforama.