Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Best Medicine

March 22nd. The second full day of spring. The second day of spring break for the boys. Could it be? Has spring really sprung? Nope. It's snowing. AGAIN. Snow & a wintry mix is expected to continue thru tomorrow, possibly dumping several inches before it's all done. Woo-frickin-hoo. And what else? Laurence is sick with a fever. Poor guy rarely gets sick, but to look at him today is to know he feels like crap. His cheeks are bright red, his eyes are watery, and I have yet to see his toothless smile. We missed a fun playgroup activity this morning, too, which none of us were happy about. A while ago he said he wanted to go to sleep, but after an hour of restlessness he said, "I can't sleep. I just feel awful." He actually agreed to taking some medicine, which is unheard of for him.

This is one miserable day that I want to...remember. That's right, remember. And here's why. I gave Laurence his medicine and told him it would bring his fever down and should help him be able to sleep. Just then Loic came over and sat down next to Laurence on the couch. "When you fall asleep, you can lay on me," he said, so sincerely. Laurence just looked at him and Loic continued, "You can lay here," putting his hand on his stomach, "my belly is really soft, like a pillow. You'll feel much better." Laurence didn't say anything, but I swear I saw a hint of his toothless smile. Maybe my winter funk is making me extra-emotional, but that moment was so touching, I shed a tear (or two). Loic's kind & caring words were the best kind of medicine on a day like today. Happy spring!

Monday, March 7, 2011

If You Can't Take the Heat...

So, maybe you've heard, we had a bit of an oven mishap last week. Just before dinner one evening, I turned it on to heat garlic bread when a few minutes later I heard some sizzling, popping & groaning (yes, apparently an oven can groan), and turned to see white hot sparks flying around in the oven. I leaped across the kitchen to turn it off. The groaning stopped, but the sizzling & popping did not. They continued for about a half hour, in fact, while the element slowly burned much like the wick (is that what it's called?) on a stick of dynamite. It was actually rather fascinating, but I tried not to pay too much attention, for fear the boys might take interest. I know Laurence stole a glance from time to time, but he was smart to heed my warning not to get to close.

Later that night Bill was able to order a replacement element online for a rather reasonable price, and it arrived in just a couple of days. Yesterday was Element Replacement Day, and when Bill pulled the oven away from the wall to unplug it, he revealed quite a site. Not only were the sides of the oven caked with years of spillage gunk, but under the oven we found quite an assortment of treasures...there were 4 marbles, bits of dogfood (not even the brand we used to use -- maybe from the previous owner?), 2 pennies, a plastic lizard tail, a bean from the "Don't Spill the Beans" game, jellybeans, 3 super balls, a sippy cup valve, the tube from my turkey baster, a 2-pack of plastic scrapers, magnetic Leapfrog letters, part of a candy cane, and a harmonica, to name a few. Oh, and dust. Lots and lots of greasy, sticky dust. As I was standing there trying to come up with a plan of attack, Bill pulled out the burned element. "Woah guys!" he yelled to Laurence and Loic, "Look at this! It's crazy!" Laurence was at his side immediately, fascinated to see the now bubbly, burned up old element, while Loic hopped over (wherever he goes these days, he's hopping) and instead stuck his head around the stove to see the mess I was looking at on the floor. "Woah, that IS crazy!" he exclaimed. Then, very seriously, "No WONDER the oven doesn't work."