Monday, April 17, 2006

Viruses, French Women, Pregnant Stars, Cellulite and Diet Coke All Tied Neatly Into A Bow

I think my teenage twins are faking their illness. I am a skeptic at heart, a trait which won me a few enemies on AOL message boards, but I am trying to overcome my disbelief and play along with them. I am certain that one of my twins was ill yesterday, but today he seems okay. His brother, quick to sense an opportunity to avoid doing schoolwork, cries out, "Oh my stomach hurts!" whenever I look at him cross-eyed. So, I say nothing.

Tomorrow, they take the
Washington State Assessment of Student Learning, otherwise known as the "WASL," and/or "A Big Waste of Time." Testing (even for school-at-home students, because we are affiliated with the public school and not traditional homeschoolers) will take place over the course of six days, which means I have six fewer days in which to shove the knowledge they are supposed to acquire down their throats. Oh wait. That didn't sound very educationally enlightened, did it?

Yesterday at church I heard that two of the children I babysit were home (on Easter Sunday!) throwing up. The three and a half year old boy and the almost-seventeen month old boy both caught my daughter's stomach virus. I am frustrated by this because I am so careful to wash my hands (while I sing the ABC's) and in fact, my fingers are cracked and sore from the constant washing. But all my efforts are for naught . . . the viruses transmit as if I've been splashing everyone with toilet water and teaching them all to wipe their snot on their neighbor's crackers. So, my house is empty today, courtesy of the virus that has caused working parents to stay home for a day with their sick offspring. (I only rejoice in my quiet house, not the illnesses. Really.)

I have to say that this day has been gloriously quiet, aside from my chatterbox daughter's never-ending requests for something to eat. Today she has asked for a waffle with syrup, saltine crackers ("square crackers"), granola bar, apple with no skin, Cheez-its ("orange crackers"), Cheerios, cookies, oatmeal, fish sticks, ice cream, and grapes. She hasn't eaten all these things, and, in fact, I've begun to think of her as my personal petite French woman, who eats only three bites and thus, maintains her sleek and lean thirty-two pound figure.

So, in between fetching snacks, I've worked on laundry, cleared out my bill basket, (that wicker holding tank for paperwork and bills), sent off the taxes (woo-hoo, a $40 tax return, whatever shall we do with our windfall?) and our estimated quarterly taxes (what fun to write a check directly to the government four times a year) and finished writing an actual letter to put in an actual envelope with a real live stamp.

And now, a random thought about famous people.

Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie--I couldn't care less about their pregnancies, nor their births. Do I want to see a paparazzi-stolen photograph of their post-baby bellies all jiggly like jello and criss-crossed with road-map patterned stretch marks? Uh . . . no? Okay, well, only a little so I can compare my own baby-ravaged body and feel a kinship with them. Admit it. You do, too. (You were also excited to see the headline reading "Cellulite of the Stars," on that magazine by the check-out lane and admit it, you looked at the pictures of skinny bottoms clad in bikinis and were secretly pleased to see the tell-tale ripples of cellulite. Or perhaps I'm projecting again.)

As for newborn celebrity baby photos? I don't care. No one does. We just want to see the postpartum mother and gasp at how good she looks while hoping she looks horrible. That's the truth. All babies look the same three days after they are born (except for your beautiful baby).

The teens just came out to fix themselves a snack. Yeah, they're real sick.

(And now? A true confession. I have a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke with Lime in my refrigerator and I'm going to go drink more of it. Right now. A girl has to have a vice and that's mine.)


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Yeah, I feel the same way. It's a vice, but, in the grand scheme of things, it's not so very terrible. I have cut back and/or stopped once or thrice, and then I ask myself, "Why?"

3:25 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I used to fake illnesses ALL THE TIME when I was a teenager. It was a pretty frequent occurance.

I don't care about Angelina or Katie either. I do hope they get cellulite though, for sure!

Hubby just got home, I'll read and comment more later!

3:54 PM  
Blogger Turtle Guy said...

Errr... that's some title, girl!

Mel, I've tagged you for a meme... not sure how much you really want to reveal about yourself, but there it is!

4:43 PM  
Blogger EmmaSometimes said...

WASL testing. Yes, Wasteful Assessment of Student Learning. When I graduated from homeschooling (I went 7th - 12th, my sisters were two and three years behind me, also graduated homeschooling) My parents lived in Oregon and we had to take our GED's if we were to have government jobs. The government required a HS diploma or GED even with college under our belt. Oregon doesn't recognize homeschoolers because they don't regulate homeschooling. (at least that's how it was back in ~cough~1990~cough~)

second, children eat by osmosis. Don't you know?

third, yeah for Hollywood cellulite. (oops, did I say that?)

5:24 PM  
Blogger Juliabohemian said...

I have heard that twins can have sympathetic pains for one another
(Did you ever see Cheech & Chong's Corsican Brothers)?

I also do not care about Katie Holmes (who is an idiot, if you ask me, for not insisting on a ring before getting knocked up) or Angelina Jolie (if you are truly worried about your boys catching anything, just keep them away from her and they will be fine)

11:51 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I hope this bug isn't going to make the rounds through your family again! Seems like you just got through it!
PS It must be your day for tags because I also tagged you! (feel free to not do it, since you seem to have your hands full!)

7:16 AM  
Anonymous mopsy said...

The Colorado equivalent of that test is the CSAP. Yuck. They teach so the kids can simply pass the test, I am convinced.

Katie Holmes has been pregnant for about 11 months.

I hope the germs leave your house, pronto.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

You are not projecting. ;)

11:22 AM  
Anonymous SMIT said...

DIET Coke is your vice? I wish I had a vice like that. Mine all have a million calories.

12:44 PM  

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