Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Poop Card

Dylan has a new trick.  Whenever she's napping, or, rather, not napping, and needs an excuse to come out of her room, she plays her best card.  No, it's not the race card.  Telling us she can't nap because she's Scots-Irish-English-Brasilian-German really doesn't go to far with us.  Dylan, in a brilliant strategy, plays the poop card.  What can we do?  "I need to poop!" always works because A) we don't want to call her bluff and wind up with a turd in bed and, B) see A.

Normally, I'm working when Dylan goes down for a nap, so when Grady started running a fever last week and didn't go to daycare, Daddy took the call to stay home with the monkeys and witness, first hand, Dylan's nap avoidance techniques.  The other get-out-of-bed trick she uses is: The Random Question.  Usually, the question involves Santa, but sometimes it's, "What do you call your birthday?" (answer: April 24th), and is followed by the Mumbling Question, as in, "Where did Mommy mum mum uum...."

So, on the first sunny days of winter, I sat in the house with a crabby boy and a stir-crazy girl.  After the first day's stab at a nap, I decided Dylan needed a little outside time.  Alone.  "Daddy, I chewed on my sock," she told me as I tried to get her dressed.  Sure enough, in her bed, I found a soggy sock.  In the year's most obvious question, I asked, "You put this in your mouth?"  She looked at me like I'd just asked if she'd like cookies for breakfast.  "Save yourself," I said, "go play."

We spent our days with naps, poops, puzzles, coloring, chalk, and, when the fog would finally burn off, I'd send Dylan outside for a run around the lawn and a jump on the trampoline.  This only lasted two days, but the fog and Grady's fever kept us cooped up indoors for most of the time.  I completely understand why, in the far north of Canada when the snow melts in the spring, local authorities go door to door to see who's murdered whom over the dark, dark winter months.  No wonder Dylan's chalkboard illustrations of the family closely resembled police chalk outlines.

A fun as fevers, nap-tricks, and cabin fever are, my days with the monkeys wasn't all fun and games.  Grady's fever kept climbing and I finally took him to the clinic.  He had massive congestion and an ear infection.  Despite knowing what we were up against (and why we hadn't had a good night's sleep in a week), knowledge wasn't really power.

When Regina came in from work on Friday, she took one look at me and said, "Take me to bed or lose me forever."  Okay, she didn't, and I often confuse our life with Top Gun, but she was wise enough to tell me to get out of the house and go for a bike ride.  Instead, I played beach volleyball, then flew my fighter-jet super fast and made the fat guy in the control tower spill his coffee all over himself.

By tonight, Grady seems to be nearly over his fever and Dylan's been able to at least go outside and feed cows.  She even got to spend the afternoon (after another non-nap) with her cousins up the gulch and have a chocolate chip cookie dinner.  Watching your kids fight a fever (real or cabin) always sucks.  Grady just needed antibiotics, rest, and time, while Dylan just needed to figure out how to successfully play her Brasilian-Irish card.

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