The coughing began just after midnight as a far-away noise in the back of my sleeping mind. As I rose to consciousness, I half-thought it was The Princess. Was it The Princess? She hadn’t seemed sick during the day, in fact, all of them seemed to be getting over brief bouts of runny noses, and I had just been thinking that they were all on the mend. If I just lie here, I thought, it will stop and I can drift back to where I was.
The coughing persisted, and then came footsteps down the hall. I groggily thought The Princess was coming to climb into our bed as she has been wont to do (too often) in the past. I prepared to feel her pulling on the footboard and crawling her way up the mattress to settle in between Manfrengensen’s body and mine, her cold feet taking time to warm against my calf under the quilt. The footsteps stopped on my side of the bed, and opening the eye that was farthest from my pillow, I saw that the visitor was Clooney, not The Princess at all. He was hunched over in his striped pj’s, looking quite miserable as he mumbled something that seemed incoherent to me. Still in a groggy state, I assumed he’d had a nightmare, and made a motion for him to climb into bed (the sliver that The Princess would have carved for herself), but then he repeated his words.
“I just threw up,” he said.
Now, he’s not much of a hurler; hasn’t proven himself susceptible to stomach viruses in the past. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider him a placer in this sport that Edison has so often gone for the gold medal in. So when Clooney said, that he’d thrown up, I assumed something trivial, something he’d thought was vomit that was really nothing.
And then he erupted…like Krakatoa.
I started freaking out, jumping up, and gingerly stepping tipped-toed between what had landed like spin-art on the floor, “Clooney, get to the toilet!” I said, trying not to shout, but the urgency evident in my voice. And then, I had to run after him, repeating “the toilet! Clooney!” as he ran down the hall to the one closer to his bedroom rather than just shortcutting to the master bath on other side of my bed.
By this time, Manfrengensen was chasing after me, chasing after him, and the horror, my god, the horror.
Master bedroom, upstairs hallway, all over his room, hall bath. We got our son situated back in bed, after stripping everything and taking it down to the laundry. As we cleaned and cleaned and the clock struck one, I shrugged to Manfrengensen, “I guess, he’s just not experienced when it comes to throwing up?”
Manfrengensen looked up from the scrub brush he was using on the rug, and just said, “Clearly.”
Parenting: every day another surprise.
Two nights ago, I heard someone come bumping down the hall around 1 am. When I opened my eyes, Clooney was standing on Manfrengensen’s side of the bed, and he was hunched over, kind of holding his stomach. My first thought was a panicked one, fearing a night like Krakatoa. He mumbled some gibberish, so I asked him to repeat it, but he couldn’t form his words.
“I want…” he tried to say.
“What?” I asked. “What do you want? Do you feel sick?”
He shook his head like he was trying to clear it, and then said, “I don’t want to see the Smurfs movie.”
Last night, it was the Princess’s turn. When I picked her up from a playdate yesterday, she said that she had a headache, and then it turned out that she had a slight fever as well. At 4:30, she woke me up, and while I was lying down with her, she got really chatty, almost deliriously so, going on and on about her field trip to the aquarium almost two months ago; how she touched a starfish, how she saw a swordfish, guys in the shark tank wearing scuba gear, even a detailed description of a stuffed polar bear in the gift shop. By the time I got back to my bed the clock read 5:33 am.
And then, I got up at 7 to take Edison to Harry Potter Camp, which is about 45 minutes away. I have never been much of a commuter, so it’s a big deal. Roughly I am in the car three to three and a half hours each day this week, but he’s enjoying it immensely. It would be nice if we had some floo powder or he could apparate, but such is the real world of us Muggles.
When he got out of the car yesterday morning, we exchanged a moment that just made my heart feel light. You know that look, when you know there’s love there? Like the look you give your newborn child, a back-and-forth feeling of bonding that is increasingly rare as they grow up, and especially around the time when they hit puberty? It was powerful. I was on air all day from that moment.
Yesterday he had a potions class.They duel with spells, go for walks in the “Forbidden Forest”, and yesterday they met a unicorn (a pony with an ice cream cone on its head). Friday there will be a Quidditch tournament. Overall, it sounds like the staff is really creative, and it’s taking place at this school that has kind of Gothic architecture. He’s surrounded by other faithful fans like himself, and he’s having the time of his life. So for that, I can do this drive. For him.