Vida was home from school yesterday with quite the scorching fever. I wasn't too surprised, then, to be awakened at five o'clock this morning by a wail of distress from Lea's room. Known as "Queen of the Fever Spike," she who had been perfectly healthy the day before—even attending last night's softball game (go Panthers!) and playing robustly with her friends—was now a quivering little ball of heat. I dosed her with some medicine, and then tried to leave. Of course, this was not permitted. So there we were, one of us too hot and insisting on no blankets or sheets whatsoever, and one of us too cold. We finally fell asleep again around six, but were soon awakened by a kerfluffle in the hallway bathroom. The spousal unit seemed to have it in hand, so I took the opportunity to crawl back into my own—warm—bed. Soon, it became evident that the kerfluffle was becoming a kerboomboom.
I opened the bathroom door to find Risa, Vida, and the SU. "What's going on? Lea's sick, and she's sleeping. You have to be QUIET."
"We're having an emergency," said the SU.
The emergency was Risa, who had inadvertently fell asleep while squooshing a giant wad of neon orange silly putty. It was now deeply embedded in her very long hair. Not at the tips, mind you, but at her nape. She was weeping silently and trying to hide her head.
"Let me see," I said. More with the weeping, lots of refusal. "Um, hiding it isn't going to make it go away."
I had to keep from gasping when I saw it because, really, it was terrible. She must have rolled around on it every which way; the tangle was the size of one of those mini basketballs that people use for office hoopster-ing. It was its own entity. I tried to engage it, but it wasn't interested. Finally, I said, "Get me some olive oil."
I don't know how I knew it would work, but for the most part it did. After a few minutes of massaging oil onto the wad, it started to give way. Once she showered, I had to snip little bits here and there, but at least she was spared a Tuesday morning surprise bowlcut.
About twenty minutes after I sent the big girls off to school with the neighbor, my little Queen of the Fever Spike emerged from her room, fully clothed for a day on campus. "Hi," she said. "Where's Risa and Vida?"
"They're at school. I sent them with L. so I wouldn't have to wake you up."
She looked around, confused. "Oh," she finally said. "I'm hungry."
So I fed her and she laid down on the couch, not fully recovered after all. And of course, the phone rang at eleven o'clock and....