Monday, January 17, 2011

A Topsy-Turvey Story

Taryn at Taleisin opened up this literary idol contest in honor of 12th night.  It was during my last week of winter break and my family and I were spending a week at a time-share too close to home.  The result was that my husband went to work everyday.  On the way to his office, he brought our pre-schooler (whose school had started at that point) to school.  My daughter Lily and I were left to our own devices during the day, which would have been fine if Lily had not gotten sick.

So, there I was feeling sorry for my sick girl and sorry for myself and VOILA!  Taleisin's role reversal writing challenge.  I jumped on that and churned out a quick scene, a moment in life of Lily and Mommy... only in this reality, Lily took care of me. It is not a deep literary piece, but it was not intended as such.

For your reading enjoyment, here is my submission to the Topsy-Turvy Literary Idol.  I had fun with it and I hope you will. 

“You’ll be okay, Mommy.  Just use the bucket if you have to throw up.  Try to be careful not to get it on the sheets.”  Lily’s small hands did their best to be soothing as she secured her mother’s long hair into a bun.  It was better to do this now than to have to worry about it getting gross stuff in it that she would have to wash out later.
            Her mommy whined and pulled away, almost knocking her off the bed.  “You’re hurting me!”
            “Shhhh, shhhh.” Lily rubbed her Mommy’s temples, behind her ears.  “You’ll be fine.  Be my brave girl, okay?”  Mommy’s head was hot to the touch.
            Lily got up and scampered to the bathroom to find the medicine.  Cursing to herself, she unscrewed the adult-proof cap.  These were far too easy to open.  She wished the manufacturers would stop making the medicine taste so good.  If Mommy were able to figure out the lid, and Lily was sure she would given enough time, she would probably down the whole bottle of Margarita flavored Tylenol.
            Mommy sobbed again and burped loudly in the general direction of the bucket.  Lily brought over a syringe full of the lime green liquid and Mommy smiled.
“Remember, medicine is only for when we are sick.”
“I know already, Lily.”
Lily excused Mommy’s tone of voice.  Mommy was a sick woman and needed compassion, not a lesson about attitude.  “If I give you the medicine do you think you can keep yourself from throwing up?”
Mommy nodded, burping once more.
Well, if she threw it up, they could always try a cool bath to lower the fever.  It was never Lily’s first inclination: getting Mommy into and out of a bath required strength and a functioning knowledge of physics.  Lily did well enough, but it was always a struggle.
            It was exhausting taking care of a sick Mommy.  She hoped she could get some sleep tonight before she had to be at school in the morning.  Mrs. Weston had said they were going to make marshmallow snowmen and Lily didn’t want to miss that.  If Mommy didn’t get better, she might have to take the day off and stay home with her.  She didn’t want to miss school if she didn’t have to.  First grade was a very important growth year.

Head on over to Taliesin's blog page and check out the other entry!


dolorah said...

Awesome. Yes, the role reversal worked quite well. I smiled for poor Lily :)

I've had the discomfort of my little ones concerned for me when I've been sick, and this is exactly how I imagined they would feel.


Talei said...

Wonderfully done! And I love that, -having to miss school to look after Mummy? I don't think so!! ;)

Susan Kane said...

Ohhhhhh, that is such a great reversal! Lily could probably handle things, if given the opportunity. Or she could call her grandmother, unless grandma is also sick.
Great perspective.

Lindsay Gage Natale said...

Excellent - loved it!

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