It was a gorgeous afternoon. Soft white puffy clouds danced like animals on parade through the columns of sunshine that shone down upon the young children playing in the yard. A cool breeze rustled wisteria blooms and the scent of jasmine wafted through the air.
Search was counting hockey pucks, while Destroy fired his foam football across the yard. Our dogs chased after their humans with a desecrated tennis ball and hopes they could get in on the game of catch. It was the idyllic moment every parent dreams about – a loving family with laughter echoing from the walls of a suburban bungalow.
And then Destroy yawned.
In the distance, the full moon began its transition to a blood red color – the light dimming with each passing moment before the shimmering illusion of a peaceful silence is shattered, sunlight and sunsets shrinking into the shadows in those last moments before the screams. The end was beginning.
“It is the very error of the moon. She comes more near the earth than she was wont. And makes men mad. “ – Othello
Destroy appeared at my side, dust and dirt streaked across his face like war paint, and climbed into my lap.
He yawned again at dinner, “I’m tired. Because I didn’t sleep.” Certainly an odd admittance from a little one staunchly convinced a nap will mean missing out on some fun, but I let it go.
He didn’t eat any dinner. Strange for a kid who so delights in his food that he often requires a reminder to “please chew and swallow” as he stuffs an entire container of raspberries into his mouth. (He will be well prepared for stupid human tricks in his future fraternity.)
He instead curled up on the couch, where he lay still. This was definitely not normal. “I want to go take a bath now and then go to bed,” he mumbled with still an hour to go before nightfall.
Jon was up to retrieve the thermometer before another pitiful sigh could be expelled from little man’s lungs.
And then he regurgitated everything in his tummy across the white microfiber couch. (Note: little tummies apparently hold A LOT.)
Code Puce! (I don’t know…seemed an appropriate color.)
A warm bath and 1½ teaspoons of Grape Children’s Tylenol later, and the fever was gone. In its place was the crankiest preschooler the Silicon Valley has thus far encountered.
It was a total eclipse of any semblance of sanity.
Destroy melted to the floor, flinging himself in accordance with whatever gravitational pull of the lunar cycle affected such lunacy.
He writhed and screamed a hysterical interpretive dance – symbolizing hunger, exhaustion and general malaise. He hit, he bit, he ripped his clothes off and raced his 37 pound self toward the bathroom where he planned to hurl himself back into the bathtub he’d spent the previous minutes flinging water out of.
Suddenly 37 pounds was performing feats of strength I didn’t think possible. He raged for hours on end – every ounce of energy expended into a tantrum for the ages. We actually questioned if we should be concerned about over-exertion due to excited delirium.
This is a kid who wears his emotions on his sleeve. What you see is what you get. And we were getting some serious crazy.
HEY KID – REMEMBER TO BREATHE!
His brother sat in awe of the chaos around him. When we finally coerced, cajoled and convinced the whirling dervish to take a moment, Destroy looked around a bit shell-shocked. Fourteen seconds later he was passed out in bed.
By morning the mystery illness was gone.
I guess that’s one way to fight germs… But even Nana had to admit – nobody’s perfect.