Last Sunday, I made cheeseburgers for dinner. It’s a family favorite, but I’m still trying to get my pre-babies waistline back, so I decided to have the hamburger patty, but over lettuce instead of on a bun. The Husband is still trying to get his pre-babies waistline back, but trying a little less – I told him he should at least put some lettuce on his burger, so he could pretend he ate a vegetable.
We got food poisoning. From lettuce. So not fair – if I’m going to be wretchedly ill for a full week, I’d like it to be from ice cream, or chocolate, or very expensive Cabernet Sauvignon. Food poisoning from lettuce is just mean.
The… erm… graphic portion of the illness was over the first day, but we were achy, exhausted, and queasy the rest of the week; I’m pretty sure it was six days before we actually enjoyed eating again, and we spent every moment that we weren’t working curled in the fetal position on the couch. Scooter and Skeeter, on the other hand, were full of energy, since they both steadfastly refuse to touch lettuce (just this once, I’m glad I didn’t make them take the usual two bites).
What to do with two kiddos who are bouncing off the walls when all you want to do is slide down the couch? I thought of a few things, and I found a few more on the blogs of very clever people:
Coffee Filter Crafts. Super cheap and slightly translucent, coffee filters are a great thing to have on hand in your craft bin. We paint on them, cut out snowflakes, use them to hold glitter, beads, and other hard-to-contain supplies, and now, I use them to make Easter Egg decorations.
Washable sock puppets. Okay, I admit that this idea was born out of pure exhaustion and a desire to entertain the girls with whatever two items I could reach without actually standing. Take a clean(ish), white(ish) sock, and draw a face on it with a washable marker. Let your kids dictate what the face will look like, and let them make up a story. When you’re done, throw it in the wash and they’re just socks again.
Stickers. Distribute stickers across a piece of paper and have you children draw a picture that incorporates all the stickers. Help them make up a story about the picture. Here’s something positive that came from being too sick to move – I remembered how to listen to my daughters. They have a lot to say, and without the distraction of trying to get errands run and chores accomplished, I was better able to sit, focus, and hear what they had to say.
Scissors. I had no idea that this activity would snag my pre-schooler’s attention for the better part of an afternoon, but she loooooved it, and I admit that I originally suggested it rather sarcastically during an Exhausted Bad Mommy moment. The privilege of using safety scissors is still a fairly new one, and I’m a little embarrassed to transcribe this conversation in its entirety:
“Mom, can I cut up some paper?”
“Sure, hon, make some confetti and throw yourself a parade. Just make sure you sweep up after.”
“Wow, Mom, CAN I REALLY?!?!?!?“
And she did. I gave her some junk mail that had arrived that day, and she chopped it into confetti, threw it in the air and cheered for herself (gleefully assisted by Skeeter), then got the Dustbuster and vacuumed it all up.
I’m feeling better this week, but still a bit leery of salad greens. I learned a bit this week – about my kids, and about doing more with less. Scooter is clamoring to make more confetti, I’m betting there are cascarones in our future. I’ll put Skeeter in charge of the cheering while I charge up the Dustbuster.