Wednesday 13 February 2013

My Life in Isolation

Aside from the rather traumatic hospital visit on Thursday, I haven’t left the house for nine days now, and in the nine days, I am almost certain the house has grown smaller. It will take at least seven days for the antibiotics to work. Until then, Ebony will still have pneumonia in her right lung, and her immune system will be working hard to fight it.

The shoes
So I’m under house arrest until Friday, and so is Ebony. She doesn’t seem bothered though. In fact, she has been having the time of her life. She never tires of the game put shoes on, take shoes off. A game so tedious I have actually contemplated eating the shoes just to know I’ll never be forced to play again. The extra rehearsal time means that her elephant impression is now second to none. The only criticism I have about her impression, and it is a small criticism, I don’t want to sound like one of those pushy parents, is that elephants don’t have waving hands at the tip of their trunks, but aside from that it is a very real and moving portrayal of the majestic beast. Another new activity she has been trialling to fill the time, is climbing, or more accurately almost climbing, somewhere and then becoming stuck and whining until I help her down. Over the past week she has got stuck on the windowsill, the rocking horse, the back of the sofa, the sofa cushion, the big box, the little box, the bed, the bath and the toilet. Each of these times, even though I am only ever a few steps away from her, she has whined loudly until I have helped her down. There is no ticking clock to symbolise the passing of time in this house, no, only the deranged mule-like grunts of a one year old whose foot is stuck.

If you are not yourself familiar with the joys of parenting a poorly toddler, you are probably thinking that a commitment-free week sounds quite nice. Perhaps you are imagining getting an early start on your spring cleaning, or alphabetising your spice rack. This is far from my reality. If anything, the house is less tidy than ever. There are shoes everywhere, and each time I try to tidy them away, I am in for another round of put shoes on, take shoes off, so it’s really not worth the risk. The mountain of vomit drenched clothing, which I was competently working my way through at the weekend, has now mixed in with the recycling and become an avalanche of filth that has taken the utility room by force. We don’t go in there anymore, for the fear we may not come out alive.

Poorly Ebony
The living room, though hurriedly tidied each night while Ebony coughs and splutters into the mattress upstairs, looks like the after effects of an earthquake at a second hand toy shop. In case simply looking around the room isn’t enough to prove that I am failing to provide Ebony with a clean and tidy environment in which to play, she has taken to pottering about the room looking for dirt. Like a cartoon detective she seeks it out, lying flat to glare under the sofas, and reaching her chubby go go gadget wrists behind the furniture. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has procured a cartoon magnifying glass to help her in this quest, or if she carries in her back pocket a faded up treasure map to help her locate grime. As soon as she finds some mess, be it a bit of plastic or some day old toast, she turns to me, eyes big with disapproval, and holds it out to me in a “Oops, is this stale kidney bean meant to be on the floor, Mummy?”.

Apart from my husband, whose conversational flair in the evening can be matched only by Ebony herself, and a brief visit from my parents (who I think mostly come to remove stale kidney beans in the hope of ensuring their granddaughter makes it to at least two years of age before being taken away by the state), I haven’t seen another adult for six days. Not even the postman.

Please, send help.

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