the not so sick sick day

Today we have finally pulled back the heavy curtains of the loathesome fever.

Caroline developed another fever at school on Monday afternoon, a fever I was not alerted to until they checked it a second time at 4:15pm. This removed my ability to have picked her up at lunchtime when she first showed signs of sickness and "monitor her" or play a game we like to call "daycare roulette." It's a fun game where you determine your child is well ENOUGH to go to school, though probably not completely recovered. Oh be quiet, you do it too.

I had to keep her home for observation and seeing as how I was still feeling terrible myself, I planned a nice little Mommy Daughter Movie Day. We dropped Connor at school and then went to the grocery store to pick up some needed items and ingedients for a crock pot meal to share with Lyle's new parents. There was no fever in sight, this was a day for napping, snuggling and reconnecting one on one with my sweet girl.

We had a morning snack, sticking to a preschool schedule rocks by the way - there are lots of snacktimes! She helped me salt and pepper chicken for two batches of sticky wings before we retired to the family room. Curious George helped me complete the least amount of work possible while still maintaining employment. When you carry a caseload and are the only social worker on staff you can't really ever take a full sick day. After I put out some fires, it was time for lunch. See! More food! Thank you preschool schedule. Muffin tin lunch - try it - it's awesome. Works like a charm, best way I have found yet to get a healthy midday meal into my finicky daughter's belly. This same picky girl requested peas during the grocery store sprint. When Steve looked at me sideways upon seeing the peas at dinner last night, I just shot him the "she asked for a green vegetable shhhhhhhh" look and he was dazzled watching her scoop them into her perfect pout. I am onto this game. I know better than to go to BJs and buy 25 packages of peas. This was a one time request. I have learned a thing or two in 4 years.

With work done and lunch in our bellies we cuddled up to watch Pirates of the Caribbean. I had been talking like a pirate all day. It was "Captain Jack Sparrow" this and "we be peppering the chicken matey" all day and if I am being honest, she was slightly terrified of the movie by the time I pushed play on the DVR. Perhaps you don't think a TV14 movie is an appropriate choice for a 4-year-old. I would usually agree with you, but the cueing area for the Pirates ride at Disney is a bit S-C-A-R-Y and I cannot go to Disney without Pirates. See where I am going with this? She had to LOVE this movie - even the ghosts and the fighting and yeah, it was a bit more scary than I remembered. So I was all, "oh, isn't Jack so funny?" "this is all pretend!" "everyone is ok!" About halfway through I worried I was going to be up all night with a little girl afraid that Captain Jack Sparrow and his band of ghoulish pirates were coming to get her. Instead she totally ROCKED the movie, LOVED it in fact! "Mommy, let's go find me a pink pirate hat!"

We finished the day off with a trip to the library where we found books on princesses and pirates, of course. She sat on the floor and read Sleeping Beauty while I chopped cucumbers because wouldn't you know it, SNACKTIME again. Suddenly from behind me, "touch it, touch it I say." Creepy, right? It's from the movie, she found the page and inserted the appropriate dialogue and while I was totally creeped out, I was also proud of her. This moment, her reading on the floor, me chopping vegetables, pouring lemonade, putting things onto the tray I purchased months ago imagining a moment just like this one; this was what I had always thought motherhood would be like. As I placed the glasses and napkins into the tray I heard her out on the porch talking to herself, creating some little story and I remembered the story my mother always told me... the one where she asked if I wanted to play with her and I told her, "we're fine." I was alone at the time, but not really. My imagination was just as active as Caroline's at her age and here she was, waiting for me to read the "Encyclopedia of Princesses."

and so we read, and we cuddled, and I stroked her hair and looked at her beautiful big girl face - so changed from it's baby roundness, each cute freckle a memory of a day spent at the shore. I thought of little Lyle, just five minutes down the road, in the arms of his mama and how my own Caroline was once so very tiny and fragile. Such long legs, so tall, with curls and a killer smile with wide eyes full of happiness. There was a small breeze and the only sound in our little neighborhood was our laughter. Four and a half years ago in CT I never would have imagined we would live here, that I would have this little porch, that I would have a day like this with her. It was a sick day, yes, but it was so much more. I think I'm going to have to build these "sick days" into our routine. So, so worth it. Cherish that baby Auntie C, celebrate his milestones, take mental pictures everyday, don't wish away his baby ever, but I cannot wait for you to have a day like this with big boy Lyle. I'll buy him the pirate hat and teach you how to "Argh, matey!"


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