Why is despair spelled with an "a" and desperation spelled with an "e"? English is a weird language.
I got to meet my college roommate during freshmen orientation. I had a cold and my voice was hoarse. She later told me that she thought my voice was "just like that" and was surprised when I showed up to move into our dorm room with my regular voice. To this day, every time I lose my voice I think of my freshman roommate and laugh to myself. She was such a fun roommate. I mean roommmmate. (That's for you, Linds - if you read this.)
Anyway, I lost my voice. My kids and the Husband all had a cold a few weeks ago and I thought I was miraculously spared. I was kind of in denial when my throat started to feel itchy last Tuesday. But then I woke up the next day with a cough and a fever. I had a fever for four days, two migraines, a sore throat and cough. And then I lost my voice. Yesterday was the worst - I could barely get above a whisper and it was rough going parenting my - ahem - precocious, three year old. At first she thought I was whispering because I wanted her to be quiet, so she would whisper back to me. Which I found wonderful. Then, in the middle of a whispered conversation she looked over at her sister and said loudly, "Mommy, Faith is awake! Why are we whispering?" Rats. Time to get creative.
I got down in her face at a distance from which she could hear me clearly and said, "Listen. Look at Mommy. I lost my voice."
"Where is it?" she said.
"Sometimes when you get a cold, your voice goes away. Mommy's voice went away."
I kid you not, a sly grin slid across her face as she said, "Really?"
I gave her a look that I hope communicated, Voice or no voice, I still have a hand with which to spank any disobedient children, and then whispered, "Here's what we're going to do. When I need you, I will clap three times, and then you will come to me so I can talk to you. Let's practice."
I walked into the kitchen, leaving her in her room. I clapped three times and she came running. Good start. "Let's practice again," I said. She went back in her room and I went into my room and clapped again. She came running again with a grin on her face. "This is fun!" she said. I gave her a smile and a thumbs up and told her she could go play and I would clap if I needed her. This worked yesterday. Mostly.
Today my voice is slightly better, although still very hoarse. I met the Husband for lunch in the middle of lots of errands (being sick for nearly a week got me so behind! Don't tell me stay at home moms don't do anything!). He was running late so I ordered for him and Lila saw her moment in my moment of distraction and took off on a few laps around the restaurant. I called to her, but it was a rather pathetic attempt. You guys, my kid is smart. She knew I was distracted. She knew I couldn't yell for her. She knew I was trying to keep that "I've got it under control" parenting facade. She was intentionally ignoring me, feigning an "I can't hear you" look of innocence. So I set down my purse and Faith's carseat and clapped three times. I was aware of lots of stares and a few furrowed brows, but guess what? My girl stopped in her tracks and came running to me.
I think Captain Von Trapp was on to something.
P.S. Look who scooted her little self across the bed in pursuit of a brush! She started out right by my leg and made it a good two feet! So proud of my girl!!