Saia had mentioned two or three times throughout the weekend that her throat was kinda feeling "yucky." But not really sore. And not enough to prevent her from doing or eating any of her normal things. And, therefore, not enough for us to really take notice.
Yesterday, though, the second we picked her up from school, the very first thing out of her mouth as her right hand went immediately to her throat was, in a very raspy, very weak little voice, "ma-ma...my froat...it weally hurts." And suddenly she could hardly walk, and was leaning into me like the life had been sucked out of her, and her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes all watery, and she was crashing fast.
Until Mommy mentioned not being able to go to karate if she was sick. And, man, it was as if a preacher had slapped the child on the forehead. She was suddenly standing up straight and perky and smiling and chatty. She jumped out of the truck and trotted upstairs to change into her karate clothes, and was the first one to complete her homework.
On our way home from karate, though, the sniffling and the aching and the groaning started up again. And although she managed to finish all of her dinner, she was obviously still not feeling well, and definitely not faking it, by the time I tucked her in.
And sure enough, a few hours after vicksing her down, salinizing her little nostrils, and coating her throat with a homeopathic honey emulsion, I hear the tell-tale grunts and moans of an uncomfortable, irritable, and getting grumpier by the second, 6-year-old. When I get halfway up the stairs, though, I hear a beeping. An annoying digital watch-like kind of beeping. Only muffled. And as I get to the top of the landing I realize that it's coming from the kids' room, and that the huffing and puffing is not Saia at all (who is, so far, snoring soundly, if a little phlegmy), but Chago, becoming visibly more frustrated as he thrashes his legs about and flails his arms, sending a couple of stuffed animals, Mommy's t-shirt, and a flashlight across the room.
Really dreading more than life itself the thought of having to deal with an awake and pissed off Chago AND an awake and sick Saia, I immediately dropped to my knees at the foot of the container between their closets, threw off the cover, and began frantically digging through little plastic body parts, strings, wheel-less HotWheels, more strings, at least 40 different miniature versions of lions and tigers (and bears, oh my, I know), and still yet more strings with the beeping growing louder and louder by the second, and Chago's audibles increasingly sounding like Linda Blairisms.
"Where are you, dammit?" I mutter beneath my breath, expecting at any moment to feel the pea soup spraying all over my neck.
Beep! Beep! Beep! it taunts.
And things are poking my arms all over. Jamming under my fingernails and pinching my skin. I can't see with the nightlight all the way on the other side of the room, and suddenly feel like that scene in Flash Gordon when they have to stick their hands into that big rock knowing that one of them is certain to get stung by something at any moment.
And then I found the little fucker. Some ridiculous little digital car racing game. And chucked it out into the hallway and down the stairs like a hand grenade.
Sweaty and out of breath, I crawled over to the side of his bed and tentatively pulled his covers back on and tucked his babies and the shirt under his arm.
Yes, folks, just another brilliant save by the Mominator!