Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Four has left the building! Or, as Bisky put it the night before her 5th birthday: “Mommy, four is leaking out of my body, and five is driving in his car to our house getting ready to jump in”. WHERE that child gets her imagination, I’ll never know! Turning five has been a BIG BIG deal in this house, requiring a ‘family’ birthday cake, a fancy unicorn birthday cake, screamers (streamers), balloons and the whole nine yards. It was most expectantly anticipated, with all the promises a nearly-five can make. Like, ‘When I’m five, I’ll do such-and-such, or not do so-and-so’ (author note: it’s been four days and so far all those promises were as empty as those of Glad Press and Seal, which will NOT, in fact, suction your kid to a wall no matter what the ads say).

And then disaster struck!

It started with poor little #StopThatAiden. The Sunday before the party, he was just lying around lethargically. That was sad. Then he started throwing up, which was sad and gross. We kept him back from preschool.

It was the first time the boys didn’t go to school together. Although I will occasionally take one out shopping with me, they’ve always done most things together. I was curious and a little worried about how #NoBen would do without #StopThatAiden. Well, #NoBen has apparently inherited Bisky and Dreamy’s ability to completely detach because he did just fine…other than apparently trying to lick the toys in one of the centers, I was informed, but we don’t actually know that having his brother there would have been a deterrent. So who knows about that twin thing with them?

Sometimes they seem to have an extra strong bond and sometimes I wonder if they’re both really mine. They sleep together and while they don’t seem to complain if they get puked on by their brother, they seem inordinately upset about much more minor things like taking one another’s water. They are actually playing together a lot now, which is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. They have little conversations, and little arguments, and work together (AWWWW). But the three of them are also constantly fighting over who is who’s best friend (NOT AWWWW)….YOU’RE FAMILY AND YOU ARE ALL EQUAL BEST FRIENDS OKAY?

So after #StopThatAiden got sick, it was like little puking dominoes as one child after another fell prey to this marauding stomach bug. I was literally cleaning throw-up 24 hours a day for three days. I was quite proud of my stellar immune system until 3 days before the party, when I had to drive two hours back from a client and realized that being exposed to toxic body fluids non-stop did in fact, take its toll.  All I can say is, thank goodness I never clean out my car because those plastic bags came in handy.

And I did keep my brood quarantined until their symptoms stopped for 2 days, and I made sure no one touched bodily ‘fluid’ but me but that sucker went airborne! It sidelined Pat for a whole weekend, and I’d venture a guess that not much sidelines her! My friend from out of town came THREE days after the symptoms stopped and STILL got violently ill. Of course, I don’t know that we can take all the credit/blame. Pretty much everyone in this state is sick including people we

never went near so I can’t feel too guilty.

But there was a time or two when I wondered if I should cancel the gala. It was agonizing! She had been so excited, but anyone who knows Bisky will understand that trying to make her be a gracious hostess of anything if she’s not feeling well is not likely to end well for anyone. I would have cancelled if any of them had been ill the days before, but they were fine so we went ahead with the party. It was a pretty good time, I’d say, if the yelling, screaming and lack of anyone demanding to go home was any indication. We did a piñata and that was a little hairy for a few minutes…”PUT DOWN THE STICK #NOBEN!!!!” but no one got hurt.

And now we’re five. Next major event is the boys turning three…will that mean TWO piñatas?

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