It’s days like these where I honestly wonder if I’m cut out to be a mother. 5 days into a particularly mild case of the chicken pox for Odelia and Azi, and I feel like I’m a chicken clamoring to escape the coop. They’re not miserable, so it seems cruel to be locked in the house. But considering that they might still be contagious and we sold our car anyway, we have nowhere to go. In the past few days I’ve become intimately familiar with the walls of our house, the inside of my laundry machine and the unique personality quirks that make my children special. And I’ve almost lost my mind.
As a life-long overachiever, I’ve always said that I wanted to have a career. I’m relatively certain that this bout of chicken pox drove this point home. It’s not that I don’t love my kids – of course I do. A lot. It’s just that I appreciate them so much more when they’re not home, all the time, for days on end.
There are two highlights that I’d like to mention from these few days.
The friends who were supposed to host us for Shabbat lunch cancelled at the last minute because of the chicken pox. Disappointing, but I don’t really blame them. Instead of scrambling to prepare a meal with two kids at home, I decided that I would do something memorable. Instead of the traditional Shabbat meal (chicken, as always), we ordered bagels and lox. I am rather certain it was the first Shabbat meal that I didn’t have to fight with the kids to eat every last bite. And, since they don’t eat lox, there was plenty for me.
Being on ‘house arrest’ meant that the kids were home for 3 meals a day (and I thought it was hard enough just to think about making dinner!). With no car, this pretty much meant that we ate everything in the house. So, I decided that we should bake something. Not only would this give us something to do, but it would give me something to eat (when the kids weren’t watching, of course). While we were up to our elbows in flour, Odelia said to Azi “right we’re having the best time with our best mom?” I’m pretty sure my heart melted right at that moment. Until 10 minutes later, when I didn’t let her eat the raw dough. At that point she told me “you’re not nice, and you’re not even pretty.” Ouch.
I have this theory that overworked people sometimes dream about being sick, as they expect it to be a relaxing, quasi-vacation day, one that doesn’t deplete the days in their vacation bank. If you’re ever feeling this way, feel free to give me a call – I’ll be happy to knock some sense into you.
As a footnote, I’d really like to thank all of those who were kind enough to let us visit during the past few days, and who weren’t afraid of popping in or sending their kids over to break up the tedium of too much family togetherness. I’d especially like to thank some special people who, during Hollie’s bout of chicken pox two weeks ago, agreed to watch her all day (while their own child was home with chicken pox), so that both Mordecai and I could go to work. I never thought I’d be so happy to drive an hour and a half (each way) to work!