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Archive for April, 2012

5 Reasons I am Addicted to Chopped

April 30, 2012 9 comments

I’ll be honest.  I am a Food Network junkie.  I don’t watch the actual cooking shows, I love, need, live for the competition shows.  Challenge, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef, Next Food Network Star, ah, I love them all.  But nothing, nothing, compares to Chopped.

Set your DVR, mark your calendar, do whatever you must do, but DO NOT miss it!

If you’ve never seen Chopped, oh my goodness, shame on you!  Crawl out of your Food-Network-deprived bubble and tune in.  You get three chefs, a basket of ingredients and a panel of judges to make insightful and snarky comments.  Oh, and there’s a time limit, too.  It sounds just like any other cooking competition, but it’s not.  It’s special.  Why, you ask?  Why, my dears, it sounds like you want a list!

The Contestants

Which one's going down first? Here's hoping it's the arrogant butthead!

By and large, the contestants are normal, hardworking, talented chefs.  But there are two specific categories that most entertain me.  I love the humble chef who has fought his/her way to the top and simply wants a little recognition.  I root for these chefs and it makes me sad if they’re chopped.  I want these chefs to win as much as I want the other type to lose, quickly and with great humiliation.  The other chef is the arrogant, egotistical, a-hole who is perfectly comfortable telling his/her competitors how much better he/she is than they are.  I want to jump and cheer when these guys screw up and get chopped in the first round, and it’s just icing on the cake when they say in the exit interview that “the judges just don’t understand my food.”  Yeah, this is true, not many people understand undercooked chicken.  The exception that trumps my feelings toward these two types, or any contestant, for that matter is crying.  Just stop it.  There’s no crying in Chopped, unless you’re Alex Guarnaschelli.

The Judges

DO NOT interrupt Alex. She will snap your head off, then cry with you.

I love them all!  I love it when someone tries to interrupt Alex and she gets all bitchy and snaps on them.  I love when someone tries to argue cooking technique with Chris and he shuts them down.  I love how Aaron tries to put a positive spin on the most awful dishes, and then corrects the pronunciation of Latin words.    I love Amanda’s angry face.  Okay, let’s be honest here, it’s sounding like I enjoy seeing people get put in their places.  It’s true, I do.  And there’s no one on television who can do it better than the Chopped judges.  Hats off, ladies and gentlemen.  You tell those bitches how you’re really supposed to cook goat brains.

Ted Allen

Suave and accessible. And he sits on the counter, too!

If there is a more likable guy on earth, I’ve never seen him.  I just adore Ted.  He’s encouraging, friendly and he plays dumb about ingredients to make us ignorant viewers feel better.  Also, there aren’t many men who can so successfully pull off the jeans & Chucks with a jacket and tie with quite the finesse that Ted does.  I love him so much, I want to take him home and make him my new best friend.  Even as I’m cheering for the jackass that just got Chopped, he’s wearing his friendly sad face and being nice.  Ted is so much better than I.

The Ingredients

There's never any shortage of WTF moments.

Where else are you going to learn about ingredients such as black chicken, preserved eggs, tamarind or sea beans?  Chopped is the reason that when my kids ask, “What’s this?” in the produce department, I can confidently deliver a monologue on Asian pears or Jicama, thus reinforcing the idea that Mom does, in fact, know everything.  Chopped has also gone a very long way in convincing me of the importance of adding a little acidity to rich dishes.  Chopped is both making me a better cook and educating me on ingredients that I would never, ever dream of eating.  I still won’t eat them, but at least I know about them.

Scott Conant

Look at him! Just. Look. At him. (sigh)

You may believe that Scott belongs in the Judges section, and my friends, you could not be more wrong.  Scott Conant deserves his own section, because he’s my favorite.  There are many things I love about him, first and foremost, he is a beautiful man.  When he smiles, I swoon.  There are no words.  He is perfect.  Another thing I love is his absolutely unreasonable hatred of raw red onions.  Put red onions on his plate, do it!  Oh, he gets so mad and I love it!  You can just see the outrage all over his beautiful face.  My all time favorite Scott Conant quote regarding red onions?  “I have anger toward this.”  Ha!  Thank you Scott Conant, for proving that even the best of the best chefs still get pissed off when they’re served food that they don’t like and for making me feel better about my own dislike of raw onions.  Also, he’s quite cute when he’s in a red onion fit of rage.

Do I have an unhealthy attachment to this show?  Do I have a not-so-secret crush on Scott Conant?  Do I think it’s hysterical when a holier-than-thou chef serves bloody chicken?  Do I almost pee my pants when there are thirty seconds left and a chef hasn’t even gotten plates yet?  Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!!

All images via Google images.  Scott Conant has a website, but there are more pics of food than of him.  Boo.

They Told Me These Kids were SMART.

April 29, 2012 6 comments

My children are intelligent little beings.  They’re smart, clever and have memories like elephants.  They also sound like elephants when they run up the stairs, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is, they’re smart.  They are capable of learning new things.  They have very long memories.  But at the ages of ten and twelve, they have not yet learned to do certain things without parental reminders.

These are the things they can’t learn.

  1. You must brush your teeth every morning.  Yes, even weekends.  Nighttime brushing is automatic, but morning brushing presents a serious memory lapse.
  2. You must bathe.  You know you’re going to have to shower.  Don’t make me tell you to do it and for the love of God, don’t argue about whose turn it is to go first.  Everyone will bathe.  (Hint:  if you go first, you’ll get more hot water. They haven’t figured this out yet.)
  3. You will empty the dishwasher when it’s done.  Groaning and protesting will only guarantee that I use the dishwasher far more often.
  4. A special one for my son.  You have karate class three times a week.  You have had class on the same days for five years.  Take your uniform!
  5. That place you go every day called school?  They give you homework.  You’re going to have to do it.  I won’t forget it, neither should you.
  6. Another one for the boy.  Flush. Every. Single. Time.
  7. For my daughter.  Brush your hair.  It only counts if you actually remove the tangles.
  8. Eat.  Your body is made to tell you when meal time is.  It’s not my job to remind you to eat lunch.
  9. Wash your hands.  Way more often than you do now.
  10. Wear a jacket when it’s cold outside.  Or you will be cold.

I have reached the point of motherhood where I just feel like I’ve said these things enough.  It should have sunk into their resistant little brains by now.  I worry about the state of their teeth and their homes when they move out on their own.  Or maybe I just worry that they’ll never move out on their own.  How can I possibly expect them to remember to pay rent if they can’t remember to eat lunch?  That may seem like a premature concern, but consider this.  I have spent (on average) eleven years trying to teach these things.  In another eleven years, they will be adults.  The clock is ticking.

Life as a Valued Customer

April 29, 2012 3 comments

I’ve spent the last hour shopping online for a new cell phone for my daughter (and negotiating her indentured servitude to offset my monthly bill).  Whilst I pondered just how much money I pay every month for cell phone service, and browsed the sales available, the never-quite-dormant anger started to swell.  I’m freaking sick and tired of being a long-term and supposedly valued customer and getting no damn appreciation from my service providers.  Today I’m calling out the two worst offenders, at least in my life.  Verizon and DirecTV.  You suck and you make me hate you even as I write the checks.  No, I don’t actually write checks to pay my bills, but saying “I hate you as I click on ‘pay now'” doesn’t quite pack the same punch.  Play along, please.

Look, I know there’s competition for these businesses.  They want new customers.  They need new customers.  They will come to your house, walk your dog and cook your dinner if you will please become a new customer.  I get it.  But what about me?  They need me, too.

I have been a long and faithful customer to both of these companies.  I pay them stupid amounts of money every month for their services and you know what?  I’d like a little damn appreciation sometimes, too.  You’re offering huge deals and sales to your new customers.  What about the customers who have been supporting you for the past five, ten, twenty years?  Do we get a little something something from time to time?

And get completely screwed over in your tenth year.

No, they don’t owe me anything.  We have a business agreement.  They provide a service and I pay the agreed-upon amount to receive said service.  It just really frosts my cookies when they’re throwing great offers around for new customers and completely ignore their existing, loyal customers.  DirecTV doesn’t love me.  They know they’ve got me, because no one else offers NFL Sunday Ticket.  So as long as I keep paying my bill, they don’t even have to think about me.  If I can, by chance, find some people who do not have cable or satellite service, and brainwash them into signing up, then I get a bill credit.  Please.  I’m thirty-six years old.  Everyone I know already has whatever kind of service they prefer.  I’m not hanging out with people who are trying to figure out how to watch TV.  Now, Verizon will offer me a huge discount on a phone if I add a new line.  Jeezy peezy, I already have three lines.  How freakin’ many do I need?  They’ll give me a discount because I’ve forked over cash every month for two years…I am not impressed.  When we started down this road, back when the relationship was new and the spark was still alive, I got a discount every year.  Now I have to wait an additional year, pay a thirty dollar upgrade fee and they never even tell me I look pretty.

Companies, please take note.  New customers are great.  Wine them and dine them and buy them flowers.  But don’t forget about the people who are actually giving you money right now.  We’re important, too, and goshdarnit, we want to feel important.  You want us to bully our friends into signing up with you?  Then you’d damn well better start giving us a reason.

image via google images

I Think I’m Losing My Mind This Time

April 28, 2012 6 comments

Yesterday, I had a moment.  A bad one.  One of those moments where I felt like I was in some surreal, alternate reality and I would have happily committed myself to an asylum.  I’m pretty sure someone’s going to revoke my mommy card once I publish this, but I have to tell you about it.  And if you’re a mother and you’ve had a similar experience, please tell me that I’m not dancing on the edge of dangerous mommy instability, tell me that this is one of those funny/weird mommy things that happens sometimes.  If you’ve never had this happen and you do think I am dangerously unstable, please feel free to hold your comments.

The family went to Walmart.  It was one of those occasions that I try to avoid, when everyone needed or wanted something and had to pick it out themselves, so we sucked it up and took the family to the store.  We were all in the electronics department browsing for one thing or another when it happened.

In my defense, my mind was far elsewhere.  I was worn out from an unprecedented level of badness at work all week, I hadn’t had dinner and I was tired and starving and all I really wanted to do was get my groceries, go home, put on my pajamas and eat something.  But I was trying to be a trooper, so I was browsing the discount DVD bin in search of a horror movie acceptable for my daughter.  And because I’m a sucker for discount bins.

So, anyway, we were all in the same general area, but we were all somewhat scattered.  Don’t judge.  My kids are old enough to wander around Walmart and they’re both trained in karate and loud screaming, so it’s not necessary for me to keep my eyes on them at all times.  Moving on.  I glanced up from my bin, because I couldn’t remember if we already owned the Family Guy Star Wars spoof and I found it for five bucks (!!), and I saw her.  Looking at the CDs, there was a blond girl.  She was wearing flip-flops, shorts and a baggy t-shirt, and she had her hair pulled into a quick ponytail.  Just like my daughter.  But that’s not her.  Or is it?  No…of course not.  But it could be her.  Good Lord, is that my kid?

Friends, I stared at that little girl like a deranged stalker until she finally turned enough for me to see her face.  And finally, completely, understand that it was NOT my flesh and blood.  It was just a blonde girl.

Oh. My. God.

This is my child, my firstborn!  I’ve been looking at her precious face, and even the back of her head, since the day she was born.  I know everything, everything, about her.  I know that child better than anyone on the face of this planet, but I mistook this other blonde girl for my baby.  Someone take me away and put me in the round room, because I have finally lost it.

As parents, we hold an image of our children in our brains, and that’s how we see them.  Every once in a while, you get to see how they really are. (I’m actually talking about appearances here, nothing deeper or more meaningful.)  I’ve been struggling with this issue for a while with my daughter because she’s almost a teenager and really not a little girl any more.  She’s still my little girl, but to the rest of the world, she’s a half-grown young lady.  My brain can’t quite jibe my pigtailed baby girl with this tall stranger that lives in her room.  I am apparently so turned around by her young-lady-ness that I couldn’t pick her out of a blonde-girl line up.  At least not if all the blonde girls had their backs to me.

My mommy intuition is failing.  I suspect that this is a defense mechanism that kicks in as our children near adolescence.  Let’s be honest, if you knew as much about your seventeen-year-old as you did your five-year-old, you’d never sleep another wink.  It’s time to start backing off and letting her grow.  It’s not my job to dress her or cut up her hot dogs anymore.  I’ve finished laying the groundwork.  Now it’s time to take a step back and just keep her on the right path.  I’m not sure that I’m ready to stop being Mommy and start being Mo-om-with-an-eye-roll, and maybe that’s why I’m so determined to see my baby when I look at her.  It’s not my choice, though, and it’s not optional.  If I don’t start recognizing my beautiful, mature young lady as she is, then, sooner or later, I’m going to take the wrong kid home from the store.

 

image via google images

You’re Only as Old as Your Coffee Makes You Feel

April 28, 2012 6 comments

My morning coffee is something much more than just a breakfast beverage.  Some days it’s the only reason I get out of bed.  I love my coffee and I’m always sad when I drink the last of it.  On Sunday mornings, I sit around in my pjs all morning drinking coffee and it is the best part of the week.  In the past couple of days, though, my coffee has started to turn on me.  It has started giving me heartburn.  It’s mildly uncomfortable and certainly not enough to keep me from my delightful brew, but still.  Why does my coffee suddenly hate me?  There’s only one possible answer.  I’m old.

Okay, I’m not really old.  But I am inching ever closer to the big four-oh and I’m starting to feel it.  I’m not quite hobbling around with my walker and forgetting my children’s names yet, but I’m clearly not twenty-five anymore. (Okay, sometimes I forget my children’s names, but only sometimes.  The cats should be so lucky.)  Since aging is far better than the only realistic alternative, I have decided to age with all the grace and dignity I can muster.  It’s not easy, though, when I burp my way through my coffee and moan about my aching back, with worries about my blood pressure and cholesterol at the back of my mind.

As a thirtyish mom with kids who are getting way too old, far too darn fast, it seems unfair that I have to deal with my own aging when I’m so distracted by my children’s rapid maturation.  Two kids racing into puberty and teenage years are enough to keep anyone’s plate full.  But since I will still have to deal with myself even after they’re grown and gone, always assuming that they will actually move out of my house someday, then I must take a moment now to consider ways to combat the advanced years that feel right around the corner.

Heartburn

This is karma, plain and simple.  A few weeks ago, I told my sister-in-law that we keep Pepcid around just for the heck of it, because we so rarely get heartburn.  And then I failed to knock on wood, so I clearly brought it on myself.  How to deal with it?  Well, I will not give up coffee.  That is not something that’s going to happen.  So I guess I’ll just deal with it.  It’s not a big deal, and should it become a big deal, then I’ll put some cream in my coffee or lace it with Tums or something.  Until then, my guts will get a daily dose of hot, bitter, black coffee strong enough to grow legs and walk away whether they like it or not.

Wrinkles

My forehead has a line.  I swear I’m not exaggerating; I really and truly have a permanent and quite prominent line in my forehead.  I might be delusional, but I feel like this has more to do with my fondness for making faces than my age, after all, my mother did tell me that my face would freeze like that.  How to combat it?  I have two options.  I could get Botox, but needles in my face just don’t hold much appeal.  (There are needles involved, right?  I don’t really know so very much about Botox.)  With that ruled out, I can just make faces even more frequently so no one will notice that there are lines there.  Faces it is, then.

Gray hair

I have some grays, but I do manage to cover most of them with Nice and Easy (that’s my style), not so much because I am trying to cover gray, but more because blonde suits me a little better than my natural doo-doo brown.  It makes it much easier to explain my frequent blonde moments, you know.  However, I do have a few stubborn little suckers that just really want to be seen.  The solution?  I usually yank them out if I can get a grip on them; otherwise I just blame it on my kids, like I do my stretch marks and my bad back.  They don’t care, they think it’s hilarious that they’re breaking me and making me old before my time.

Aching Joints

Right before it rains, my right knees aches, unbearably.  It’s enough to make you wish for a drought.  I’ve never had a knee injury or any kind of knee problem, so I can’t explain it.  My spine is a hot mess, so my back aches all the time.  I make a sound when I get off the couch or when I stoop to tie my shoes.  There’s a lot more grunting than there should be for a woman who’s in the prime of her life.  There’s no real way to make these things go away, so the only possible solution is to hang around people who are older and in worse shape than me.  A little perspective works wonders, so I suppose the time has come to chill at the local retirement home in my down time. 

I know these are relatively minor gripes, but in my head, I’m still about twenty-three and completely unprepared for even the slightest signs that I’m (gasp!) getting old.  The bad part is that I’m pretty certain that it’s going to get worse and I already have grocery clerks calling me “ma’am.”  One man’s good manners are just another woman’s deflated ego.  I suspect I might now be cresting the hill, and in a few short years, I’ll be over it.  So in the spirit of aging gracefully, the time has come to move on to the next lifetime milestone….Cranky old lady-dom, here I come!  I look forward to dwelling within your gray walls where we all speak with no internal filter and call people “sonny.”

 Image

Author’s Note:  I just called myself an author! Ha!  Anyway, I am slightly bothered by the paragraph about gray hair because of the alternate spelling of gray, namely “grey.”  For some reason I feel that gray hairs should be “grey” and gray crayons should be “gray,” and I can’t explain it.  I don’t think it’s a belief based on grammatical fact, but I did not learn the ins and outs of “gray/grey” in my grammar police training.  However, I’m opposed to “grey” on general principle, so I have opted for “gray,” against my better judgment.  I would also like to note that the multiple uses of the word “gray” just now have rendered the word silly and meaningless to my brain.

Photo via http://www.uselesshumor.com

Violating a Chicken and Other Fun Monday Stuff

April 23, 2012 6 comments

I’ve been posting rather obsessively over the past couple of days, and if I haven’t run you off yet, then you know that I’m stuck at home today with sick kids and also I’m making chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight.  You also know that Monday is my house cleaning day.  (This is what I write about?  What am I doing?  Thank you for reading my nonsense.  If you’re eagerly anticipating an upcoming post about something that is not boring and humdrum, please accept my apologies in advance.)

So in the spirit of writing about unremarkable things, I feel moved to share with you all the interesting things that my Monday has brought.

  • My chicken began the day frozen solid.   I quick-thawed it in cold water, just enough to pull the sack o’ gizzards and innards out of the cavity before simmering for broth.  After forcing my hand up a half-frozen chicken’s rear, I discovered that this particular chicken didn’t have said sack o’ innards included.  When did this practice stop?  How long has it actually been since I bought a whole chicken?  I am a lazy, lazy woman who buys chicken in pieces.
  • I discovered a bathroom rug on top of the washing machine, which can only mean one thing.  Hubs discovered cat pee on a rug this morning.  Hello laundry and bathroom cleaning.  And, uh oh…
  • Litter box cleaning.  How can I have fallen out of my daily litter box scooping habit?  And why do I have a cat who misses the target ten times more often than either of the human males in this house?  Is this a problem specific to orange cats?  Because I have had two orange cats in my lifetime and they have both delighted in peeing on the edge of the litter box.  Then kicking a bunch of litter out of the box like I’m not going to notice it.  Hard to miss cat pee.  The nose knows.
  • Daytime TV is draining my intelligence and will to live.  I just actually saw “Trouser Snake” as an answer on the Family Feud.  I also heard a man on the same show quote his slogan for the funeral home where he works.  “You Stab ‘Em, We Grab ‘Em.”  Oh dear, it’s time to turn the Food Network back on.  Why do I never have anything good on the DVR for times like these?

It’s not all bad, though!  There have been good moments, too, just not while my hand was inside a chicken.

  • The boy just wandered into the kitchen and asked, “Mom, what is that delicious smell?”  This from the boy who generally believes the smell of any cooking food is gross, disgusting or, at best, unusual.  The boy who hides Febreze in his closet and douses himself in Axe regularly thinks my chicken broth smells delicious!  Winning!!
  • My daughter, the actual sick one, says she still feels awful, but she can talk now and she actually smiled a little while ago.  Also, no fever.
  • It’s an unseasonably cold and rainy day and I have not had to leave the property.  Actually, I wouldn’t have even left the house if I didn’t have to pick up the trash cans and get the mail.  Speaking of the mail, I only got one bill and it was one that I paid last Friday.  Hooray!
  • I watched several hours of court shows and now feel extremely satisfied and successful in regards to my marriage, the number of children that my babydaddy has and my lack of friends who borrow my car, then immediately wreck it.  Anyway, I don’t let people borrow my car.  It’s my car.  (full disclosure.  hubs and babydaddy are indeed one and the same.)
  • I have spent most of day on WordPress, amazed at my stats.  I shan’t reveal numbers, because I don’t want to embarrass myself.  But since I am still surprised that people read what I write, because I do not consider myself a writer, I am feeling awfully flattered and kind of like a minor internet sensation.

As I read other blogs and articles about important, profound things or exciting adventures, I feel a little guilty that I don’t have anything more exciting to offer you.  But, this is life and it just is what it is.  Some days it’s funny, some days it’s exciting, but mostly it’s just kind of dull and repetitive.  That frozen chicken might be the most exciting thing that happens to me today, and I’m sure to tell hubs about it when he gets home, but that’s okay.  There are things much worse than that in this world, so I’ll glory in my boring life.  And I shall try to make it interesting enough to write about.

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Someone is Faking. Or Not.

April 23, 2012 6 comments

Once again I am home with sick kids.  My kids have been sick more this winter/spring than they have in their entire lives.  Sometimes it feels like they’ve been sick more than I have been in my entire life.  Thankfully, it’s never anything serious, just a frustrating series of colds and viruses.

I kind of feel like I should qualify that by saying my daughter is sick again.  My son is also home, but his level of sickness is questionable.  He’s kind of a tough nut to crack.  I’ve always had trouble getting inside his head the way I can do with my daughter.  There’s no question when she’s sick.  She woke up crying because her sinuses hurt so bad.  Melodramatic, yes, but it makes my job of determining the level of illness a lot easier.  When she doesn’t feel well, she needs to let everyone know it.  Often and with much moaning and wringing of hands.

This is not the case with the boy.  I’ve lost count of the times that he’s cranky and out of sorts and I touch his face to find him burning with fever.  Most of his life, he’s seemed to not even realize when he’s sick.  I may ask, “Are you feeling all right?” (because mothers know…sometimes, at least.) and I can see the realization dawning on his little face.  Why, no, he’s not all right, he has strep throat or an earache or mono or something.  No, he didn’t really have mono.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure if he’s ever had an earache, either.  Sturdy little kid.  However, this spring, he’s been introduced to seasonal allergies with pollen counts in the bazillions.  He hasn’t felt quite well for a month and we’re learning a big lesson in sucking it up.  He wakes up feeling kind of rotten pretty much every day, but a dose of Claritin and a good breakfast usually put things right.

Until big sister is sick.  Sometime around the time he notices me dosing her with DayQuil or Pepto, he suddenly feels crappy.  Really crappy.  Really, truly awful and incapable of learning today, Mom.  I generally diagnose this as a bad case of “my sister is sick and I shouldn’t have to go to school.”  I know what he’s up to, but I have a confession.  Sometimes I let him get away with it.  I have my reasons.

  1. If one kid is sick, it stands to reason that the other one might be sick, too.  They won’t share games, tv or snacks, but they share cooties with unmatched generosity.
  2. I am a sucker for his sad face.  He knows it and uses it against me like Kryptonite.
  3. I am not that concerned about him missing one day of school.  It’s a ridiculous understatement to say he’s a good student, so whatever he misses, he’ll make it up tomorrow.  It’s not that big a deal.
  4. I have enough repressed Mommy-guilt on my plate without sending a sick kid off to school and getting a call from the nurse midway through the day.
  5. Most shameful, but I’m being honest here.  If both kids stay home, I don’t have to leave the house to take anyone to school at 8 am.  I also don’t have to wear real pants today.

Yes, all that, but mostly, I don’t want to send a sick child to school to spread germs and feel awful all day.  And I enjoy wearing yoga pants on my day off.  I enjoy it a lot.  But that’s neither here nor there.  The fact is I now have one very pitiful sicky hopped up on DayQuil and chicken soup and one question mark dosed with Claritin and bacon pancakes.  (Have you tried these?  I highly recommend them.  Just mix crispy bacon pieces into your batter. mmmm)  We had the “suck-it-up” talk about how you don’t take a sick day when you feel a little bad, you only take a sick day when you’re really, truly and honestly too sick to function.  I also instructed him that he’s not allowed to smile at me today.  That may sound crappy of me, but the last time I let him stay home, he spent the entire day smiling at me.  When I called him out on his “lying-and-got-away-with-something” grin, he repeatedly told me, “I just like to smile.  It’s true.”  Jeez, if you’re going to lie to me, you really need to get better at it, kiddo. 

So here we are, all unsmiling and grim.  The kids are segregated, just in case the boy isn’t really sick, or if he’s sick with something else, or possibly just to keep them from fighting and talking and louding in general.  Kid sick days are not exactly a vacation day for Mom.  It may be my day off, but I did have things planned for the day, now I’ll be doing good to catch up my laundry and maybe clean the toilets.  I’ll be busy taking care of my children.  The boy needs many things, such as soup and medicine and warm cozy naps.  After all, if he didn’t need my constant care, I might forget that he’s “sick.”