Paris Hilton went in and out of jail* in less time than my 6-year-old has been incarcerated on the couch with a bucket and a thermometer perched close by. Having ventured no farther than my own mailbox in the past four days, I have had less exposure to the outside world than that schmuck, Andrew Speaker, the TB patient who has been on Larry King, Good Morning America and, if I have my facts straight, is set to head out on the American Idols tour this summer.
It has not been a good week. Johnny "Sixteen Mil" Johnson might disagree, however, having given Supervalu a courtroom beat-down this town usually reserves for lawsuits named (insert city agency here) v. Mayor L. Douglas Wilder. While Johnson was busy adding another "riches" to his rags-to-riches-to-rags story, I've been busy reaching for rags. Sweet mother of God, that's a lot of vomit for a 37-pound person! While she rages with conventional fever, the little one and I are crazed with the cabin variety. Since the quarantine began, our eyes have consumed:
7 episodes of the Brady Bunch (from the complete series DVD set the kids gave me for Mother's Day)
2 episodes of I Spy
4 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
1 How the Grinch Stole Christmas
1/4 Leave it to the Real Beavers (Discovery Channel)
1 Beauty & The Beast
1 whole day's programming of PBS Kids
I must say my attention span seems to be slipping away, drip by drip, kind of like the pipe behind the first floor bathroom that every once in a while just starts leaking for no reason and then ... where was I? ... yes, my attention span seems to be getting shorter but happily the newly redesigned Times-Dispatch understands my suffering. Now I can read Q&A-type stories with hip, chatty language that recognizes that I am in the desirable 18-49 demographic and that I take my news like my men — light, breezy and not too deep.
The ice is melting too fast (yes, another study!), the Russians hate us again, Silvio might be dead, Darfur ... well, just Darfur, Bono refuses to answer my letters (hear me now, little Irishman, you will be mine!), the health insurance system is in a shambles (did you hear?), terrorists want to kill us and take over our malls and reprint our money, the housing market is in the toilet and neither TomKat nor Brangelina has yet to self-destruct and I'd be fine with all of it if my daughter's temperature would just drop to two digits so that I could return to a normal life of scrubbing toilets.
Insanity would be a welcome relief at this point. Spending 72 hours and counting locked up with your own children makes it easy to understand why someone would try to hurl themselves into the popemobile.
-- Janet Giampietro
* and back in...