Friday, April 13, 2012

Stomach Bug of Death Break

It was going to be a wonderful spring break. Trips to the orchid show, the cherry blossom festival, the bioluminescent creatures exhibit at the Natural History Museum, Shake Shack, 16 Handles, The Doughnut Plant... Well, it's Friday, and I have eaten the following since Monday morning: 15 Saltines, 5 bananas, a bowl of applesauce, a scoop of rice, and two bowls of cereal and a bit of Pad Thai that I regret. If you know me well, then you know that the not eating thing in addition to the sitting at home all day thing adds insult to injury in a MAJOR way. My poor children. Not only did they trade off the virus over Easter weekend, now they are forced to spend their days watching TV and playing Xbox. Believe me, they are up in arms. Except they really aren't. They are good kids like that. And they love Dr. Who and Skylanders.

Our first scapegoat was Care-a-lot. Care-a-lot is the name of the Russian tortoise who normally inhabits Lane's Kindergarten classroom, but who currently inhabits our living room. Someone told me that those guys can give you salmonella, and you better believe I shot Care-a-lot some deathly glares when Ethan started vomiting last Friday night. But then Mila got it and she had refused to touch Care-a-lot. And then Ben didn't get it. And he is obsessed with Care-a-lot. It's adorable, really. I hear noises outside my room at midnight and go out and Ben's taking videos of Care-a-lot crunching on romaine lettuce. I really like to say/type Care-a-lot a lot. Also, we found out that at least three other boys in Ethan's class had spent the weekend as sick as dogs, so Care-a-lot, you got lucky this time!

The biggest casualty of the weekend by far were Ben's $78 Easter potatoes. This part of the story has a back story. Six years ago, when I was a few months pregnant with the twins, I got food poisoning the day before Easter. Ben made some wonderful au gratin potatoes for the occasion. Sadly, the evening after I ate said potatoes, the food poisoning ravaged my pregnant body in a horrifying way. After that, any time anyone said "au gratin potatoes," I trembled with fear and trepidation. They taste amazing going down, but... I can't talk about it, even now. So, flash forward six years later, and we're invited to our friends for Easter dinner. "We will bring au gratin potatoes!" I confidently type in an e-mail. When I deliver the news to Ben, he looks at me quizzically, "Are you sure?" "It's time. I'm ready," is my response. So, Ben makes up a recipe and goes skipping off to Whole Foods where he magically drops $78 on ingredients for his magical potatoes. To be fair, part of that was for asparagus which I requested, and $25 was to purchase a mandolin to make his onions and potatoes perfect in ever way. After he got home, he made potato chips with that mandolin which are the best potato chips I've ever eaten, so mandolins are welcome here. But yeah, if you're keeping track, that's a lot of gruyere, gorgonzola, and fresh mozzarella. Dang Whole Foods.

Easter Sunday comes and Ben's potatoes are truly awesome. However, we bring home more than half a pan. Great news on Sunday night! Worst news ever come Monday morning. Right now, I have about $25 worth of potatoes sitting in my fridge, taunting me with their awful au gratin-ness. Poor potatoes. It's not their fault that they have the worst timing ever. I have no choice but to swear off au gratin potatoes forever. Perhaps in 2020, I will have another go. Too soon to tell.

These are my spring break woes. We have had a few victories this week. I managed to take the kids to the Conservatory Garden in CP yesterday to meet friends, and it was lovely, albeit a little chilly. Last night, I went to Once with my friend MaryDee and prayed that I would make it through the whole show. I did, and it was a spiritual experience. There were angels singing and playing on that stage. After the show, I wondered if that were actually true when, after all the thunderous applause died down, the lead actor told us that his mother had just passed away on Easter after a thirteen year battle with breast cancer. He had held her hand as she died, and that had been his first performance back. We cried even harder, and I was grateful I had brought Kleenex.

Let's see, what else... I finished season one of Breaking Bad. I did four loads of laundry. I actually went to the gym once. So Spring Break has not been a total failure. Besides, imagine all the suckers at our school who got the virus and then had to get on their planes to Paris and Cancun! Bummer! We were the lucky ones!!

(I am starving...)

3 comments:

Jenni said...

WOW, what a spring break. SO sorry! And that was one expensive pan of potatoes...only in NYC. Glad there were a few high points...next year you know to swear off small classroom pets and Au Gratin like the plaque I suppose. Maybe if you guys are still there next year we'll come visit the city for spring break! =)

Kristen said...

Blah! In more ways than one! Sorry to hear that. I hate getting sick (in the American sense and the European sense). Double whammy.

What a Smith thing to do...I can totally see Aaron being the same way with Care-a-lot. (Totally fun to type.)

rebecca said...

I didn't realize how sick you all got. Bummer. And you should've let me come rescue your potatoes. They were so yummy and I was kind of sad when I was too afraid to ask you to keep some after Easter dinner. Leftover ham isn't the same without leftover cheesy potatoes so that all went to waste too. And way to have the right perspective - that would've been awful if you were traveling...Here's to being healthy!