Tuesday, July 16, 2013

desperation inspires creativity

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!!

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