Bored to Tears

I finally understand the true meaning of this phrase. It’s when you feel like crying because it’s cold and icy and disgusting outside, everything is cancelled, and you can’t leave the house anyway because your child is sick, which makes him cranky and sleepless, and your husband’s been out of town all week.

Miles currently sounds like a sea lion with a smoking problem. His cough is worse at night, so he either sleeps fitfully or wakes up extra early in the morning. He won’t eat anything except dairy, which I’m sure is doing wonders for that phlegm in his chest. The pediatrician insists that cough medicine is bad and doesn’t work anyway. She let me give him some honey for his throat, which he promptly spit out all over the front of his shirt. (It’s PURE SUGAR, kid! What’s not to like??)

Because of the weather and the traffic, C. has not been driving back and forth from his new job as often as he’d planned. I gotta tell you, people, it’s tough not having a relief pitcher. I hit the wall about 5 p.m. every day. That’s when Miles and I have exhausted all possible activities, are starting to get on each other’s nerves, and are tired and hungry. Annoyingly, no one has prepared a delicious meal for us. So I am forced to turn on “Bob the Builder” and rustle up some grub. It’s all I can do to muster the strength for his bath and bedtime routine.

[Aside: You know who I feel really sorry for? Military spouses. Can you imagine doing it all on your own for months or years at a time, while worrying that your husband might be killed, maimed or taken hostage at any moment? Wow, would that suck.]

So playdates and most activities are out because I don’t want to inflict Miles’ germs on anyone he’s not related to. And icy roads keep me from going anywhere that’s not essential. I’d feel really bad if we got in an accident just because I felt like passing some time at Target.

I am really trying to cut back on TV, too, since Miles has become a bit of an addict. He’s started saying, “Watch shows?” right when he wakes up, perks up his ears like he’s heard a dog whistle when “Elmo’s World” comes on, and sings the theme song to “Dragon Tales.” I have to say, though, I’m conflicted about it. Why is TV so bad, anyway? It’s clearly not hurting his vocabulary or development, and it doesn’t keep him from physical activity or interacting with humans. Plus, all he watches is PBS. What’s the big deal?

Besides, even reading has gotten to be a drag lately. Miles used to like all sorts of books, like Dr. Seuss and stories about dogs and cute woodland creatures, but now all he cares about are trucks and trains. In Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, he flips straight to the page with the firetrucks or the farm trucks. Then he points at each, saying “’zat? ’zat?” “That’s a hook and ladder truck, sweetie. That’s a pumper truck. That’s a backhoe. That’s a combine harvester.” Can someone please run me over with a front loader and put me out of my misery?

This morning Miles was up before the sun again. In a futile attempt to delay turning on the TV and get him to eat something, I made banana muffins from scratch while he dumped out all the blocks he owns on the floor. Then we played a few rounds of “My Belly, Your Belly,” ran up and down the stairs, jumped on all the beds, called Gram & Grandpa, searched for Noah who went missing from his ark, hid in the laundry basket, and tormented the dog. Then I checked the time and it was only 11 a.m.

With naptime uncertain, at least SEVEN WHOLE HOURS still loom until Dad arrives home. And that’s without traffic. I really don’t know if I can make it, people.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: For comic relief, CuteOverload.com is always a crowd pleaser, and moms will enjoy witty criticism of celebrity fashion.


lizarosenberg said...

You have my sympathies. Ours has a terrible cough as well. I made him french toast for breakfast yesterday, and put honey on it instead of syrup (though I left the syrup on the counter so that he'd think I'd used it...).

I know what you mean about the whole TV issue. Our son seems to be addicted as well. At first, I convinced myself that it was for language issues. We live in Israel, and I would sit him in front of the children's shows on our BBC channel so that he would have the English language exposure, because it was important for me that he hear English from as many different sources as possible. As time went by, he began to prefer the local Hebrew-language children's channel (though when he wants to watch a video or DVD, he always selects something in English).

While I'd prefer it if he didn't want to watch so much TV, I just don't have the energy (or the creativity!) to keep him entertained for so long on my own. When he watches, I make sure to sit with him on the couch and ask him "comprehension" questions about the storylines, just to see how much he understands, and also to discuss whatever lesson they're trying to teach (or come up with one on my own).

Sometimes, instead of television, I'll sit him in front of the computer so that he can surf either the Disney website (especially Playhouse Disney) or the PBS Kids website. He enjoys it tremendously, and I enjoy the fact that he's doing activities in English.

Mom2Miles said...

That's really interesting, Liza. We lived in Germany when I was a kid & I remember learning some phrases from TV commercials. Kinda makes TV seem less evil if you look at it as a language tool. :)

Nice bait & switch w/ the syrup!

Melissa said...

We've got the same ick going around our house now though my hubbie is home sick, too.

I hope y'all feel better soon!

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