As a result of Laura having recently learned to execute a nice little head-first dive, which she does over and over again every time she’s in the pool, with enough of a bend in her knees to make her look like a little froggy, she now has bilateral inner ear infections. Laura is not a complainer when it comes to physical pain, but on Saturday night – on and off all through the night – she did a lot of moaning and waking up of her parental units. Still, on Sunday morning she said her ears were better and that she was just tired, and could she please still go to church because she really wanted to sing during the service with her Vacation Bible School group. Henry and Trish had talked about visiting our church and since Laura was scheduled to sing, it seemed a perfect time for them to join us. When they arrived at our house so that we could drive to church together, Laura was looking drained, and my intuition said that pressing on was not a good idea, but I ignored it hoping that Laura would perk up. In case my intuition beat out my hopes, I made an appointment for later in the day with Laura’s pediatrician, whose office is blessedly open on Saturdays and Sundays for sick-child visits. Good thing too. We got about a block from the church when Laura blew chunks, all over her dad. Tom merits a father-of-the-year award pretty much daily around here, and on Sunday it was for both going to church and sporting spew without complaint. And to Trish and Henry go the good-sports-of-the-year awards. Henry gets highest honors for not batting so much as an eyelash when (1) Laura hurled smack dab next to his seat, (2) he had to ride in the rank-smelling car next to Laura’s rank-smelling dad all the way home, and, (3) he was cheated out of the much-anticipated doughnut that was to follow the church service. Trish’s award is for using baby wipes to help to clean someone else’s kid’s barf off of that kid’s dad’s pants without gagging, and for having the presence of mind to take a photo of the ordeal in case of a blog. However, since Laura was reduced to wearing just her underwear on the way home, I can’t post a photo because she’d be embarrassed. When I owned my previous car, Laura never once threw up in it, of course. For those keeping score, it’s now Jeep = 0, Lexus = 9. But I digress, as I’m wont to do if it means I get to complain.
As a result of the ear infections, for the first time in Laura’s life, not because I’m opposed to them, but because she’s never needed them, Laura is taking antibiotics. She spent most of Sunday sleeping, and by this morning she was feeling much better. Laura and I spent the better part of today watching old episodes of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch on DVD. I love that she loves watching the shows that I loved as a child. And I’m just plain giddy that she’s become an I Love Lucy fan thanks to Tom getting me all five seasons on DVD for Christmas last year, which I really wanted and which made me happier than any old piece of jewelry any old day. DVDs of these classic shows are really the way to go. I would typically have to wait for the reruns to come on TVLand/Nick@Night in order to indoctrinate Kristen and Courtney into being true believers in the divinity of Lucy Ricardo. So I knew that Laura was feeling better when she was watching The Brady Bunch and recognized the actor who played a guest role in the Ghost Town USA episode. She said, “Mommy, look, that old prospector is Jim Backus! Jim Backus is also the millionaire on Gilligan’s Island!” (Apparently she’s been attentive to the credits at the end of these shows.) Then Laura began writing out lists of the actors’ names and their characters in each show (pausing the DVD when necessary to get the spelling of the names correct) so that she could cross-reference the credits from both shows to see if there was anyone playing more than one role besides Jim Backus. This undertaking of hers took hours, with lots of sitcom watching in between. I only briefly considered telling her about IMDB, but I didn’t want to put the kibosh on this intriguing venture, particularly since it was keeping her so busy and happy during her rest and recovery time. In fact, I was feeling quite proud of her, thinking that the level of detail that she was putting into this project was exceptionally creative, even brilliant. And then this conversation took place:
Laura: “Mommy, who is your favorite character on Gilligan’s Island?”
Mommy: “Hmmmm. I don’t know.”
Laura: “Well, in the silly part of your mind do you like Gilligan, or in the smart part of your mind do you like Ginger?”
Mommy [pausing, too baffled to immediately respond]: “What makes you say that?”
Laura: “Well, you probably think the Professor is the smart one, right?”
Mommy: “Yes, I think people typically do. What do you think?”
Laura: “I think that if the Professor wasn’t there and something scientific needed to be done, then Ginger would be the best one to do it.”
Mommy: “You do?”
Laura: “I’m sure of it.”
Well, perhaps Laura is right after all. They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or this line of thinking could be a side effect of the antibiotics, couldn’t it?