Outside the box

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crates, by spinster cardigan on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

It’s nice here, outside the Cancer Box. Well, I’ll say “nice, in relative terms.” I was looking forward to this being the week where I got myself back on track, food-wise, exercise-wise, looking-for-work-wise.

All of that getting wise pretty much collapsed when Young A came out of his weekend of fun at his grandparents’ with a fever, diagnosed yesterday as strep. My kids don’t get sick often. So a ten day course of amoxicillin, in their world, is pretty close to being sentenced to fifty lashes. It takes an ungodly amount of cajoling and bargaining and reminding “But you drank this yesterday! The same thing! Okay, you can smell it one time” before the dose is finally downed. At least this time around Young A doesn’t require the rewards he extracted from us last time (ten Hot Wheels cars, one per completed day of med). I made sure to schedule his two daily doses when J is around to do most of the cajoling, because that sort of thing makes me lose it quite rapidly, even when I’m not under the influence of steroids. Young A has remained fairly chipper, even with a high fever, but now, on Day Four of his absence from his highly-structured Montessori classroom, he is starting to get annoyed (and yes, annoying). Netflix to the rescue.

In the meantime Young J is asserting himself as a fully-fledged member of the household. Last night I needed to give Young A a bath, and J was out, so I handed Young J the enormous home furnishings catalog we’d received in the mail and asked him to find us some new dining chairs. To my great surprise (because it didn’t occur to me the catalog listed any chairs that would be remotely affordable), he did find some. It was so refreshing to be able to get a recommendation from a eight-year-old which I could take seriously, and which brings us closer to a resolution to our chair crisis. We’ve not been able to invite people over for meals in ages because our chairs (leather covered ones we bought off Craigslist, ill-advisedly, seven years ago) are literally falling apart at the seams. We’ll go try out the chairs this weekend.

I did manage to go to the gym for a class yesterday. It felt good, even when the conversation veered towards Paris. I read a blog post yesterday where the author mentioned a tactic she uses for discussing violent events with her older kid without clueing in the younger ones with too many details. She said that “someone who hates Jews did a very prickly thing in Paris.”  Her older son understands this to mean someone was killed. I’ll need to think about it, but perhaps this is the way to bring Young J towards a fuller understanding of world events while keeping the awful details from Young A for a while longer.

All of this reality stuff? Way more complicated than fighting off cancer.

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