Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

Sick and Twisted

My husband is sick! Not that I’ve-got-a-hangnail-so-I-need-all-of-your-sympathy-and-pampering kind of sick, but that real not eating, fever, cranky kind of sick. My man is a worker, so when he leaves his job early, comes home, and gets into bed fully clothed and shivering, I know something is wrong. I can only remember three or four times in the 13 years of our relationship when he has been truly ill (I don’t count that bout of food poisoning from that Chinese place that sells burritos because he should have known better), so all of my ailments and complaints must take a back seat because I need to kick into high gear.

Of course, the girls are unsure about how to handle this. They haven’t seen Daddy too sick to play Black Ops or pretend that their little legs are pieces of chicken that are begging for a nibble.

“What’s wrong with Daddy?” the Princess inquires.

“Why doesn’t he want to play with us?” the Pirate questions.

“He’s just really sick, girls. That’s all. Let’s let him rest while we go in the other room and play.”

We color and watch television and eat by ourselves for most of the evening. Having Daddy in the house without interacting at all with us is very strange. Even when he is knee-deep in a battle on PlayStation 3 with twelve-year-olds from Oklahoma or something, he still yells at the kids about fighting, listens to their stories about their friends at school, and unsuccessfully demands ladylike behavior at the dinner table. By seven, we were wondering what to do with ourselves.

Early box cover art

Early box cover art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mommy, can we play this?” asked the Princess carrying the game of Twister they had received for Christmas.


I explain the rules in the most kid-friendly language, snap the spinner into place, and watch as they lay out the mat.

“Left foot on green.” After a few moments trying to explain which foot was the left foot and why it looked differently when the girls faced each other rather than the same direction, the girls complied.

“Right hand on red.” Clear across the mat, little hands slapped down on red circles.

“Don’t forget,” I said, “you have to keep those left feet on the green circles.”

“Left hand on yellow.”

“This is ridiculous.” The Pirate was giggling as she stretched back toward the yellow circles.

“Left foot on red.” Now, it had gotten tricky. How were they going to move that left foot over without lifting that left hand? They weren’t. Young bodies crashed to the floor.

“Can we do it again?” came from the Princess.

“Yeah, Mommy. Do it with us!” added the Pirate.

Perhaps the need to make my girls happy or the refusal to admit the number of years that had actually passed since the last time I had played Twister caused a momentary lapse in judgment, but I got my behind up and readied myself for some mother-daughter fun.

“Left foot on red.” No problem, I thought. I’ve got this.

“Right hand on red.”  Cool. I could do this in my sleep.

“Right foot on green.” What the hell? What’s going on with my thighs? The quivering happening in my lower extremities hadn’t happened the last time I played this.

All of a sudden, the Pirate is flat on her back laughing hysterically.

“What’s so funny?” I ask.

“Mommy has a big booty!”

There I was: pregnant, legs shaking and unnaturally far apart for a person my age and not on a cheerleading team, and bent over in front of a goofy four-year-old. The utter silliness of the sight had tickled her so that she abandoned all competitiveness.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me just say that there are some things, sick spouse or not, you have to admit have no place in your adult lives. And Twister, specifically with me not playing the safe role of spinner, has no place in mine, especially when I have a little Pirate oh so eager to point out the anatomical growths that her birth caused!


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4 thoughts on “Sick and Twisted

  1. Marilyn,
    Are congrats called for or are you invoking poetic license. Either way, best of all to all in 2013.

    • Hello, Buddy,
      No poetic license…reality. Number 3 is on the way. I’m catching up with you before I call it quits, I guess. Thanks for the well wishes. Same to you and your family, my friend. I really do miss you!

      • I think you should catch up with me before you call it quits!


        • Have you started smoking crack since you’ve retired? LOL. My little Pirate is like three kids in one, so I’m almost there! I will admit, though, that there’s nothing quite so lovely as the genuine laughter and happiness of someone you care for more than life itself, even if that laughter is at your expense. I love and miss you bunches!

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