The photo above illustrates the sum total of my productivity this weekend: I marinated* and managed to cook chicken tenderloins (and grilled zucchini).
Well, I guess that’s not entirely true: I also managed to keep a very energetic two-year-old alive, fed, and relatively happy while being unable to open my eyes without experiencing searing pain in my left temple (where every single one of my sinuses is apparently located), so I guess that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.
You know what’s really not fun? Having the flu**. Extra-not-fun: having the flu and being responsible for a person who doesn’t understand the words “Mama needs to go be sick now, I’ll play dinosaurs in a moment.” Extra-extra-not fun: doing this alone because your husband is out of town for the weekend (…Kendrick? …Come back?***).
I had this recurring dream all weekend long: we were back living on the Upper East Side, and I went over to my parents’ apartment and felt sick and ended up deciding to stay there overnight…and then woke up in the morning in a panic because I realized that our son was home alone with no one watching him. I frantically ran out to the street in search of a cab, but couldn’t get one and ended up trying to run all the way uptown (but never actually making progress, in the way that happens with dreams). I was lost somewhere in Central Park, crying because the sun was up and I knew our son was awake and would be looking for me and scared, when I got a call from Kendrick, who had received an emergency phone call from the police telling him that Indy had somehow gotten out of the crib and out of our apartment, had made his way downstairs, and had been found wandering around on Second Avenue.
Oh yes, and he was holding…
…wait for it…
…a breast pump.
How’s that for symbolism?
I think it’s safe to say I was a little bit anxious about my ability to care for my son while so sick that I was barely able to take care of myself.
Being really sick with a child for whom you are solely responsible is interesting, actually, mostly because it’s a distillation of the ways in which your life has changed. On the negative side, no one brings you soup. You continue being the soup-bringer even when you have a fever, because that’s how it works when you’re a mom. On the positive side, you figure out that you really are capable of getting up and moving (and pretending to be a lion, complete with half-hearted roars) even when it doesn’t feel like you are, and that’s a cool thing: concrete evidence of just how deep your desire to not just care for your kid, but keep them happy runs.
It also sucked, by the way. A lot. Which is why I ended up calling my dad in tears and asking him to come watch Indy for a couple of hours on Sunday so that I could shut my eyes and try to get my headache to go away. (Thanks, Dad.)
*The marinade deserves a special mention (it’s Morgan’s recipe, and it is good): combine equal parts ketchup, soy sauce and brown sugar, add grated ginger, and pour over chicken tenderloins. Let sit for a few hours before cooking.
**Consider this your Public Service Announcement for getting a flu shot. I got one last year; didn’t get sick. I didn’t get one this year; got sick. My son got one; didn’t get sick. It’s a very simple equation, and it equals go get a flu shot.
***He’s coming back today. I would be happy if it didn’t hurt to smile.
P.S. I take back what I said about no one bringing you soup.
Morgan brought me soup. All the way from San Francisco, which is quite a feat. <3