Tuesday, December 18, 2007

back in the front lines

So yesterday was the first day, after a full week of lying about in my pajamas with a trusty vomit bowl at my side, of being Back On The Job. The Sober Husband departed snappily in the morning for his beloved Doggyo, after dropping Iris Uber Alles off at her carpool. It was just me, pitted against five year old Lola and seven cats (the parrot and rats watched warily from the sidelines).

I geared myself up to drive for the first time in over a week and got Lola down to her swimming lessons on time. The only problem was that the swimming lessons were canceled due to remodeling. I would have known that if the Sober Husband had taken Lola to her lesson last week, while I was ill (during his week playing the dual roles of Drunken Housewife and Sober Husband, the man was compelled to cut a few corners, and the swimming lesson was the first thing sacrificed). We compensated for this by visiting the excellent nearby Salvation Army, where I picked up gorgeous silk ties to make Lola a skirt and Lola got the piggybank of her dreams. We also visited Lola's favorite Starbuck's (a rather nondescript one with lackluster baristas who like to turn the air conditioning up waaaaay too far) and Lola's favorite grocery store. In the car on the way home, Lola cradled her piggybank in her arms.

At home, I felt tired and crabby after putting away the groceries and wanted to rest. Lola was upset with me and created a book full of pictures of an upset Lola, ending with a dramatic drawing of a tall mommy towering over Lola and ranting away (a dialogue bubble was filled with dark scribbles), while tears coursed down the face of the tiny penciled-in Lola. There is nothing like a Lola for an effective guilt trip. Lola eventually dozed off.

When the Sober Husband came home, he was tired and crabby as well. "Are you ever going to do these litter boxes?" he demanded. (Normally I clean the boxes every day, but during my week's illness, I was incapacitated. The husband cleaned the boxes just twice, with a huge amount of drama, during that week). "I'm still getting well!" I retorted. "I'll do my best after I rest!" I did clean the boxes, but got quite whiny when the husband interrupted me to locate a package which we needed to send and to sanitize the bathtub so Lola could bathe (one poor kitten had, while I was in the literal act of cleaning the litterboxes, resorted to using the tub for his needs). "I only have two hands!" I said repeatedly.

In love with her new Salvation Army piggybank, Lola carried it all through the house, shaking it to hear her change rattle. In the kitchen, she dropped it and it smashed. I partially cheered her up by saving the face, which was intact (Lola also found the front feet and tearfully asked for those to be saved), which I displayed on the mantle for her. Lola cried brokenheartedly for an hour. The Sober Husband was loftily dismissive ("I try to avoid these attachments") on the basis that material possessions are meaningless and should be avoided (unless they are iPhones or iPods).

Finally the children were put to bed, and we collapsed. I played some World of Warcraft while the husband, holding his scholarly history of the CIA, nagged me over my shoulder. "Go left! Chase it! Chase it!"

"I'm not going to chase it; I'm going to throw things at it!"

"Go left!"

"Leave me alone! You're driving me crazy!"

One day, lounging on the couch in silk pajamas and being brought ginger ale by the children. The next day, time to pull on the sweatpants and do manual labor about the home. I just want to be whisked off to the sanatorium in Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain" so I can be wrapped in blankets and brought out onto a balcony for some fresh air and then perhaps lovingly prepared for a convalescents' ball if all goes well.


hughman said...

what can you throw? pillows? cream pies? flowers?

the Drunken Housewife said...

Actually I threw daggers at it until it was stabbed to death, and then I looted its corpse. (It being a monster).

(Iris and Lola don't do that when they play... at least not yet).

hughman said...

uh... a little violent for my tastes. that's why i don't like these games. i was always a Myst kind of guy.

Missy said...

There is only one thing worse than being sick, and that is recovering to face the Hell Household that disintegrated in your absence.

I am so glad to hear you are better, but take it easy on the recovery road. It will all get down, someday, sometime.

I still vividly remember my husband saying, "I was sicker than you with that virus." Why? Because "You kept getting up and doing things."