Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vomit, Fever, Sore Throat, Oh My!

The other day I did something I thought I would never do again--stand by while my companion vomited in the bushes. My companion was Alex, and he vomited chocolate milk shake into the bushes by my office. Sorry if I just ruined your lunch.

Alex had a fever on Monday and was just generally blah. Maybe a bit more than "blah" because he threw up. Fortunately the bug passed through him quickly--or so I thought. He went to school the next day seeming close to 100 percent. He had not eaten much the day before, but I really thought the vomiting incident was more a gagging thing than a vomiting thing, if you know what I mean. He has always had an "impressive" gag reflex that he exercises when he does not want to eat green veggies or, God forbid, an entire banana.

Anyway, I sent him to school. As of 12:30, I had not received a call from the nurse, so I assumed he was okay. Then the call came. Alex had thrown up in the classroom--per the nurse--and was waiting for me to pick him up.

I scramble to pack up some work to do at home and rush to his school. Where I find him sitting in the main office, WHISTLING. What sick kid whistles? And then comes home and plays the Wii for two hours? At least I was able to get some work done.

The next day comes. There is a two-hour delay due to snow. Alex seems fine. Even sets up a disco party in his bedroom (lights and all). Then he tries to brush his teeth. It's 10 minutes before we need to leave. And he gags. In 30 minutes we are at the doctor instead of our respective school/work locations.

So he has strep throat. Lovely. Fortunately the doctor says he can return to school the next day, because it would be approximately 24 hours since he started the antibiotic. I had no idea strep throat did not always involve a sore throat. I had it once, and my throat KILLED me. Strep can manifest itself as a headache, fever or tummy ache. Sometimes causes vomiting. And you can also get strep in places like your rectum. You needed to know that, right? (I hope you stopped eating your lunch by now.)

Anyway, Alex bounced back quickly. He has been good about taking his medicine. He is back to his smart-ass self. He's still milking this illness, though. Yesterday morning he requested ice cream for breakfast. Sorry, kid. Your "free ride" is over.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Snips and Snails and ... Sports

My son has been acting disgustingly ... male lately. Not in an endearing little boy way, but in a full-grown man way. Think obsession with sports and video games, dirty socks all over the floor, and an inability to clear his plate from the dinner table. I won't even go into what his bathroom looks like.

Last Saturday I returned home from running some errands with Lauren to find Alex and Brian camped out on the couch, bags of M&Ms and pretzels between them and fast food wrappers on the floor. They were alternately screaming at the TV (the Penn State bowl game was on) and stuffing food in their mouths. It was just so ... male. Until Lauren stripped down to her skivvies, like she always does, and started playing with her princess dolls. However, they didn't even notice her until she dared obstruct their view of the TV.

A few days later, I overheard my two "men" discussing the Sugar Bowl. Brian: "Arkansas threw a pass and then [blah, blah, blah]." Alex, who fell asleep before the game was over: "Really? What did the ref say? [blah, blah, blah]." I'm not sure how to feel about Alex's obsession with sports. He would go to a Penn State sporting event every day if he could. His knowledge of football, basketball, and volleyball, not to mention soccer and wrestling, is really quite impressive. He holds his own in sports conversations with adults. He also has a very "adult" way of yelling at refs when they make what he considers a bad call. No ref is safe from the "wrath" of Alex. If the refs could hear him, they would not believe his comments were coming from an 8-year-old.

At the risk of getting all scholarly on my half-dozen blog readers, I will admit I am wondering how I ended up with two children who exhibit just about every gender stereotype. Lauren even more than Alex, actually (Alex is afraid of 3D movies and roller coasters--decidely "un-male" things of which to be afraid). At the risk of sounding cliche, I suppose it's the ol' "nature vs. nuture" debate. I think a bit of "chicken and the egg" comes into play, too. Does a little boy develop an interest in football because his parents take him to games from a young age? Does he like football because that's what all his friends play on the playground? Or is this particular little boy just "wired" to love sports?

I'll save my discussion of "sugar and spice and everything nice" for another post, although here's a thought: since when did "everything nice" include Disney Princesses? I have yet to meet a little girl who doesn't love them.* I doubt I'm the only parent who resisted introducing her daughter to those questionable role models, and then gave in when it became clear that obsession has a mind of its own.

Anyway. Boys. Sports. Inability to clean up after themselves. Discuss in the comments.

*I know there are plenty of little girls who do not love Disney Princesses. They must just live in a different kingdom than my own princess.