Kid A and YaYa playing cards

On Getting Well

I almost never get sick, which is why it's frustrating that for days lately I've felt knocked down by different viruses.  My digestive system is perfect.  Lovely.  Plenty of fiber, no yuckiness.  I won't get any more detailed than that, but let's just say that I take pride in my digestive accomplishments.  But these weird viruses- lamo.

Like this last one, which threw me for a loop.  It started with a headache so strong that I couldn't get out of bed.  I was only in a large amount of pain (as opposed to a montrous amount of pain) if I lay very still.  When Chinua passed me Solo so that I could nurse him, he of course was his usual exuberant self and ended up knocking his head against mine a few times. It felt like he had brought an ice pick into the bed with him. Good gracious he's a violent baby.

Anyways, the next day it had moved into my upper spine, and as we walked down into town to celebrate a friend's birthday, every step vibrated in different pain decibels all around my vertebrae.  The next day?  Lower back and kidneys.  Very strange.  Very mysterious.  No fever.

Today I'm feeling better but still not myself.  I'm going to get well, take supplements, eat sprouts, get my immune system back in order. And that concludes my long illness memo.  Thank you for attending.

On putting the right pants on

This morning Solo woke up and popped his face next to mine, making that wrinkly-nosed-bared-teeth grin that he's making in the photo a couple of posts down.  (He starts in his bed and ends up in mine.  Sometimes I wake up next to him with virtually NO MEMORY of collecting him from his bed in the middle of the night.)

As I was rubbing at my eyes, trying to wake up, I noticed Leafy lurking around the doorway (as he does if he wakes up first) wearing the pants that YaYa had been wearing when she went to sleep the night before.  It was strange.  I rubbed away and tried to figure it out, then gave up when I felt the headache coming back from the strain.

The kids of course busted their guts laughing when they saw Leafy wearing YaYa's pants.  And then she said, "But I peed in those pants!!"  Ha ha ha.  Turns out she peed in the middle of the night, got up, took her pants off and put new pants on, and then when Leafy woke up and his pants were peed on, he took them off and put on a random pair of pants that he found on the floor- YaYa's pee pants.  (Are you still following me?)

It's a regular pee party around here!  Come on over, we can all pee in our pants and then switch!  Like musical chairs!  Only stinkier.  (Sigh.)

On Marathons

Today, when we were sitting around the table doing schoolwork, Leafy set up a little computer and speaker set for himself.  The computer was a small yellow wooden box that we use for toys.  The speakers were some math manipulatives.  He set them up on the floor, and proceeded to beat box and dance for about half an hour.  It was very cool and very distracting.

Then he pressed an invisible button on the computer and speakers, and said, "Whoa, I was just dancing for four days."

On bathing

I've finally figured out how to get my older kids really bathing themselves.  In water shortages, it doesn't work to let them hop into a shower themselves, because the WHOLE WORLD is at stake if they let that water run too long and I can't flush a toilet later.  And then sometimes the showers don't work, the hot water in the bathrooms doesn't work, everything is spotty.

But a good old bucket bath is perfect.  I give them a bucket of really warm water, tell them to get wet and soapy and rinse off, and Voila!  Two kids down, two to go.

On Chai

At the heart of every Indian woman is the desire to make good chai.  So when I go to Tripta's house and she makes chai, she looks at me inquiringly afterwards.  "Ohhhhh.  Good chai," I say.  "Thank you Didi," (sister) she replies, with a modestly gratified look.

I know exactly how she feels.  The other day some guys were over, practising music for a concert that they are putting on with Chinua. Wow, such great music, from a British-Iranian guy who's been playing since he was four, an Israeli drummer, and my husband on mandolin and Saz, playing Celtic songs, gypsy songs, and an Egyptian folk song: Beautiful.

I made chai, and then while in the kitchen I heard one of the guys raving about it.  "Perfect ginger, perfect sugar, not too strong... Perfect."

I felt rather smug.

On Aging

Isn't it funny how having kids makes you feel young and old at the same time?  So often I find myself turning into a crone, standing hunched over my cutting board in the kitchen, slicing onions with tears in my eyes, barking "Calm DOWN!" to the kids who are jubilantly racing through the house, destroying everything in their path.  They fall down in fits of giggles, and I'm dismally muttering in the corner, "You better pick that up when you're done with it,"  and  "I said CALM DOWN!" And I realize that at that moment, everyone else in the house is SO MUCH MORE FUN than me.  I'm raining on the parade.

And simultaneously, I feel very young, because of the sheer ratio of hours of lego play to hours of non-lego play in my life.

On What it Feels Like to Really Swing on Vines through the Jungle

You would get your face scratched by other trees, I would think.  And you would get bugs in your mouth.  And then there would be all those jolts and swoops and thunks.

But then there would be moments of truly flying, when the whole jungle flows past you and you can see it so clearly and smell the flowered breeze, and that's how I felt today.  Just a normal day, but I was feeling better and I could see, again, like for the first time, the true value of what I've been given.  Bantering with Kid A, receiving baby kisses from Solo, I laughed so many times today, and I felt so glad.