Monday, July 22, 2019

Our house has been christened

Andrew left me home alone with the kids for one day and everything fell apart. We moved here for his work, so naturally I knew he would have to start heading into, you know, work sometime. But I also expected to hold things together a little better at home.

After all, I'm the stay-at-home parent. Holding down the fort is is what I do.

But, on his very first day heading into campus I started sending him text messages detailing the ever-increasing chaos in our home and begging him for details on when, exactly, he was planning on coming home because...hello.

Benjamin was off the walls this morning. He wanted to ride his scooter, he found his little gemstone smash kit and wanted to excavate those on the front walkway, he wanted more breakfast, he got dressed and cleaned his room with a tornado of energy, he thundered around the house—stomping his feet and fighting with his siblings and demanding attention and things. He asked me when I was going to buy him a motorcycle (answer: never (buy your own motorcycle)). He had to be reminded to not jump on the couch.

Every time I got after him about anything he'd suddenly collapse on the floor and say, "But my tummy hurts!"

And I'd say, "Whatever, dude. You were just jumping on the couch. Knock it off."

"But really my tummy hurts!" he'd insist.

Two minutes he'd be buckling up his helmet to go for a scooter ride but instead would pick a fight with Zoë over something trivial.

"Let it go, Benjamin," I'd gently chide.

"But my tummy hurts!"

"Sure. Just...stop fighting."

Finally, during an Alexander meltdown (he ran into the doorframe and was a very sad boy so I sat down to snuggle him), Benjamin ran into the living room, launched his body onto the couch and started rolling around in a ball, moaning, "My tummy! My tummy! My tummy! I need a throw up bowl!"

"Get your own throw up bowl," I snapped. "I'm a little busy here."

"I don't even know where a throw up bowl is!"

"I just unpacked a bunch of mixing bowls. Just choose one of them."

So he got a throw up bowl out and chilled on the couch for about thirty seconds before he was off running around the house again.

It's legitimately difficult to know whether Benjamin is legitimately sick or whether he's being melodramatic or whether he's simply vying for attention. Like, it's impossible. He doesn't really act sick, or at least not like a typically sick child.

Also he often claims illnesses when he wants to get out of...whatever. His leg will hurt or he'll have a headache or his muscles will just feel so weak—too weak, even, to pick up those dirty socks he left by the back door. So it's hard to know if he's just saying he's sick or if he's actually sick.

Eventually I caught him on the couch again, just resting (which for him is odd). I ran my hand over his forehead to check for a fever and there was no obvious fever, but he did look a little green around the gills, and oh, so tired.

"You do look a little unwell," I conceded. "Why don't you just rest right here for a..."

I was going to say "while longer" but he jumped back up off the couch, insisted he was fine, and started ping-ponging off the walls again. Not really doing anything in particular (just running around the house making noise).

So we started getting lunch. I cut up a watermelon and Alexander and the girls flocked to it and started eating it. Benjamin walked by said, "Ooh! Watermelon!" and then disappeared.

"Do you want any?" I called to him.

"In a minute," he said. "I'm not feeling great."

Later I called to him to say that lunchtime was almost over and he stumbled over to the table and began to fix himself a huge plate of watermelon and pineapple and leftover chicken from Rachel's birthday.

"If you're not feeling well, don't take too much," I warned, but still his plate ended up heaped with food. He took one bite and then fled from the table to rest on the couch.

He came back a few minutes later and said he wanted rice and cheese like Miriam.

"You have to finish your other food first," I said.

So he scarfed it and started fixing a plate of rice for himself. He dished it out, put it in the microwave, came back to the table with a steaming plate of rice and cheese, sat down, picked up his fork, and let it clatter to the table. He hopped up, spun around, and vomited all over the floor.


Rachel offered to help him get into the shower. I cleaned up the vomit.

And while he was in the shower water started leaking—I assume from the shower somehow—into the laundry room through the light fixture.

Super neat.

So, now that we've had our first bought of tummy bug* and our first plumbing emergency it sounds like we're getting settled!

Benjamin rested for a few minutes (with a movie because otherwise I don't know how to get him to sit still for more than two minutes) and has been declaring with gusto that he's just fine. He was, in fact, almost in tears over dinner because I only let him have one helping (because we need to see how his stomach is settling). He's 100% sure he's fine (and has been up and running around the house like a madman again (he's such a hard sick person to have around because I'm 90% sure "round two" is coming for him, but you'd never guess it by the way he's behaving)).

The plumber is coming tomorrow morning. They'll likely have to cut through the ceiling of the laundry room to diagnose the problem. And they won't fix it up after, so we'll have to figure that out. And I'm sure it will cost a pretty penny. But I suppose it's better to fix this water-from-the-light-fixture problem than to electrocute everybody?

We're learning the joys of homeownership real quick!

* I've been wanting to say for a while (but haven't said it because I didn't want to jinx anything) that it's been a long time since we've had a tummy bug! Like, I know y'all think we get visit from the throw up fairy all the time (and, uh, we've certainly had our share), but this is our first time being tummy sick this year and the year is more than 50% over. We were on a pretty good streak. It's over now. But it was nice while it lasted!


  1. If the leak is bad enough, expensive enough it will be worth going through your home owners insurance. Also Ben is lucky you are his mom because in my house sick kids have to stay in their room or there is one seat in the couch we've dubbed the sick seat and that is it 😂 I'm the meanest.

  2. Yikes. I am so sorry. What a day.

  3. Benjamin is...a firecracker... His named and the word "stay" (or any synonym of "confine") don't go in the same sentence together. Hahaha!

    Also, home owner's insurance is a great idea—and my mom reminded me that we have a home warranty as well. So I cancelled with our plumber (who was super nice about it—at 10:45 PM! (did NOT expect them to pick up)) and made an appointment with a contractor through our home warranty company. SO things are looking up. :)

  4. Hope Benjamin is feeling better today - and that no one else got the tummy bug!