Channeling Jane ... Fossey?
I ducked down and spied on her through the staircase railing, speaking quietly into my cell phone.
"She's in the living room. Yeah, in her high chair; I pulled it in there so she could pick at her eggs and toast and hopefully drink some of her water while Elmo was on."
"Is she drinking it?"
"Not yet ... wait, wait! She's drinking it now." I drop my voice to a whisper. "She just took like three big sips."
(This flu bug is NOT leaving my child alone, and she had a relapse on Thursday afternoon. Pukefest 2012: The Redux came with crying from both of us, plenty of laundry cycling through the ol' washing machine, and the request "Baby, please don't touch the vomit until mommy is done cleaning it." Doctors have been called, appointments have been made, advice from friends and family has been collected, and the main concern is dehydration. Oh, and sanity.
Thing is, every time I ask her to drink something or have a Pedialyte popsicle or whatever, she refuses. It has to be on her terms, and if I acknowledge what she's doing as "good" or "Yay!", she stops drinking and says, "No!" and cries. So my only option, in pursuit of re-hydrating this child, is to pretend I don't see what she's doing. She'll pick up the sippy cup and take a long pull from it, and I have to turn my eyes up to the ceiling and whistle. Only I can't whistle properly, so I end up just looking at the ceiling and making fish faces and saying the word "whooooooot" really low and melodiously. Terrible.)
"Awesome," Chris said through the phone. "Where are you right now?"
"I'm in the kitchen. I can see her through the staircase railing posts."
"Are you spying on her?"
"Yeah. If she sees me, she stops eating or drinking. It's like a weird mind game thing. I'm like Jane Goodall, watching the gorillas out there in the mist."
I can hear him shaking his head all the way from California, where he's been watching this chaos unfold for the last week.
"Please keep me posted on how she's doing. My poor girl ..."
"Of course. She just had two more bites of toast and ... wait, wait ... she just saw me. Hang on," and I duck down out of her line of sight, listening to her chew and sip from across the room.
And it's not until much later in the evening, once Birdy is in bed, the laundry is swirling, and I'm running random Google searches that I realize the gorillas in the mist were with Dian Fossey, not Jane Goodall.
I'm taking a free pass on this fact-mangling moment, seeing as how I was covered in puke at the time.