David's sick. It's Saturday, and usually we do all sorts of cool things as a family on Saturdays. But today, he's been groaning in bed all morning (it's only 12 noon) and I have been with the children. They're sick, too, although they're at the end of their colds.
Clara, Diego and I got up at 6, watched some Dora video about dancing to rescue Swiper, their kleptomaniac friend (these episodes are WAY too long). Then we played with the plastic Little People House. Clara loves this toy from Grandma MJ. "Mommy, sit! Daddy sit! Mommy, eat!, Daddy, eat!" she says, moving the plastic figurines around the little dining table. Around 8 a.m., Diego went down for a nap, and Clara and I drove to the farmer's market; we normally walk, but it's raining. We bought some Katz Coffee, some fresh broccoli, fennel, red leaf lettuce; some of Monica Pope's red pepper and walnut puree, farro, hummus, and some fresh herbed pita chips. We got home, put the stuff away, made breakfast -- eggs, cheese, and turkey sausage burritos (can I get an eeeeww from my vegan friends?), washed the dishes. Then it was 9 a.m.
Since then, we've been creating dances, rhymes, obstacle courses, listening to Indian filmi music, dancing some more, and generally trying to make the day pass as painlessly as possible, given that we're stuck inside with a sick daddy asleep in the bedroom.
I'm trying to remember what my brothers and sister and I did when we were little and stuck inside all day. Fought, of course. Built forts. Watched TV. Fought some more. Made popcorn. Drove my mom nuts (YOU KIDS ARE GONNA DRIVE ME CRAZY!). First of all, there were hardly any rainy days in Southern California; you know the song, right? Secondly, when it did rain, it didn't rain a whole lot. So I'm sure we went outside on rainy days because they were so exotic, so novel.
One of the differences between my childhood and my children's childhood is that my siblings and I lived in a small town, in a house with two yards, one in back and one in front, up on a hill where we knew all our neighbors. I used to ride my bike to the beach, which was four miles from my house. I rode on the bike trail built on the San Juan Creek flood control, where homeless men (we called them hobos) tended their fires and cooked their food in the cans set directly in the flames. My children live in Midtown Houston, which not long ago was a ghostly ghetto, though now it sports high priced lofts and a Starbucks. Our house is surrounded by major city streets -- Milam, Travis, Westheimer and Alabama -- and while there's a small patch of grass out front, most of the year it's full of stinging nettles and red ants. Not to mention the plethora of transient foot traffic (way more since Katrina) on our sidewalk, making its way to the rail line one block over. Simply put, where we live is not kid-friendly.
And I admit that I find myself sometimes fantasizing about a suburban home with a large yard where my kids can run around and throw balls hard and far.