Thursday, September 10, 2009

H1N1 and Button Pushing Extravaganzas

I'm taking a short break from cleaning.

Chris decided to lay the smack down about the dirtiness of the house. I think it was the ants. Apparently one can't leave food out for an extended period of time in the south. This happened once before, several weeks ago, and we sprayed. Problem solved, right? It appears, however, that in Florida, ants can be a recurring problem. Huh. Who would have known?

The smack down occurred yesterday after I made a run to the grocery store and came home to find him cleaning up the kitchen. Himself. I know that you are thinking, "Wow, what a great guy!"

But really, he only does this sort of thing when he can't stand it anymore and feels that it would be patronizing to ask me to clean. In a way, it is sort of nice to come home to find your husband cleaning up the dinner from the night before. But his silence is a judgment. I felt an inkling of shame before I went and laid down on the couch to watch television.

So, today I have been cleaning up and I'm fixing to scrub the floors. With bleach. And spray disinfectant on every single surface because our 8 year old was diagnosed with Influenza A last night.

The diagnosis was done via a freakishly long q-tip shoved up his nose. He asked me what it was going to feel like, to which I replied, "It will tickle. You'll probably just sneeze."

I think he is still a little bitter that not only did it not tickle, it stung like a Mo-Fo. He sobbed for quite a while afterwards and cried that he would have rather had a shot. I used to shove things up my nose all the time when I was little and I always remember them tickling; apparently diagnosing the flu is a bit different. Huh.

So, I'm 99.9% sure that every one in the house has been exposed because the following scenario is generally what happens when Wesley coughs:

Wesley coughs without covering his mouth. It is usually on or near some common surface area in our house such as the dining room table, the remote control or the kitchen sink.

"Wes," I yell. "Gross. Seriously, cover your mouth," I say. It pisses me off because I'm sure he is the model of perfection at school and coughs in a tissue or on his sleeve at school, but the moment he walks in the door of the house all rules are out the window and he turns into a slob.

He looks at me, turns his head and coughs again. With more force than before and this time, directly on on a common area surface.

He does this because I am certain that he has worked out the exact ratio of probability in his mind about whether or not I will actually hit him. He knows it is likely that I won't. When I do it is because I have been pushed beyond the limits that any sane person can possibly be pushed, and my sanity is something that is questionable if you ask any one who has been a part of my life for any extended amount of time.

You see, Wesley is a button pusher. It is an skill that he has perfected over the years of observing and dipping his toes in the water, so to speak.

He pushes Chris' buttons.

"Dad," Wesley says.

"What, Wes," Chris says.

"Who is your favorite Viking football player," he asks.

"Umm, probably Adrian Peterson."

Wesley ponders this.

"Dad," Wesley asks.

"What, Wes."

"Who is your favorite player from the Vikings who doesn't play for them anymore?"

"Cris Carter? I don't know," Chris says. "Probably Cris Carter."


"Dad," Wesley says.

There is an audible sigh from Chris.

"What, Wes."

"Who is your favorite Viking who doesn't play with them anymore, who was a quarterback and who used to play with another football team," Wesley asks.

And on and on it goes, because Wesley KNOWS that Chris can't NOT answer a question no matter how inane or how mind-numbing it is.

He pushes his 14-year-old brother's buttons.


"Leave me alone, Wes," he says in his jaded teenager voice.

He would punctuate this request with a flip of his Zac Efron-ish hair out of his eyes if he still had it. To his dismay, however, Junior ROTC required hair that is a little less whimsical (and greasy) than his former 'do. This was something he realized too late, i.e. after registration.


"I said, leave me alone."


"Shut up!"


"I'm going to hit you!"

Wes points his finger and puts it up to the side of Calvin's head.

"Wesley, stop it," Calvin yells.

"I'm not touching you."


It is at this point the yelling has alerted the inquiries of adults in the immediate vicinity.

"Calvin, stop the yelling, and Wesley, knock it off," I order. "Wesley isn't touching you. Chill out," I say.

"He is bothering me, though," Calvin yells.

"Just ignore him," I say.

"I can't ignore him, he's bothering me," he screeches, his 14-year-old voice pushed to the brink of its manhood and breaks into a squeek at the end.

And on and on it goes.

It is particularly dreadful in our current SUV which is lacking a third row seat. The third row seat option has moved from a "want" to a "need," as in "I need to maintain whatever shred of sanity I have left ~ which isn't much ~ or I'm going to FREAK. THE. FRACK. OUT. And abuse whoever is in my immediate vicinity at that unfortunate point in time."

So, Wesley is home. This H1N1 crap has reinforced what I already know: that I am grateful he goes to school every morning.

I will probably do the veritable drop-kick on Monday morning and sing the Doxology when he is well enough to go to class and observe the behaviors of others and learn how to push THEIR buttons.

But now, for me, it is back to cleaning and disinfecting.

Because of his constant contact with people, my husband has decided to take the next two days off and work from home to avoid the chance of contaminating others.

And he is looking a little bit like he is going to start cleaning the kitchen for me. Again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ask Chris if he will come clean his Mom's kitchen also!! :o)