Readers’ Choice #1: Quarantine Fun.

by Alexa on November 3, 2008

A few of you have taken pity on me and submitted requests for NaBloPoMo post topics. The first comes from Laura, who blogs at il piccolino, and while I enjoy her site for many reasons, surely not least among them is the fact that after each visit, I am merrily humming this tune for the next several days.

Anyhow. Topic request #1:

The upcoming RSV quarantine, and ways you will keep yourself entertained during it. You seem a resourceful lass so maybe it won’t be an issue, but I am always curious about the ‘what does one DO with these babies, anyway?’ question.

For those of you who don’t know, RSV is a virus nearly everyone contracts before the age of two. In healthy children it’s usually no more serious than a cold, but for preemies it can be life-threatening, particularly for those with Simone’s level of chronic lung disease. RSV season runs from now until April, and during that time Simone will only leave the house for walks outside or certain specialist appointments (everything else will be handled by a home nurse who drops by once a month to give Simone a Synagis shot). Visitors are restricted to those who are not sick, know no sick people, and have never touched anything owned by people who might have known sick people in the past.

At the moment, I am hard pressed to imagine having extra time that needs filling, what with freelance work, performing basic baby-minding tasks, and neglecting to clean my apartment. But winter in Minnesota is rarely a cheery affair. By December, sunset occurs shortly after lunch, and I suspect that the enforced solitude—just me, the cats, and the baby, day in, day out—will begin to wear on me.

Thus I have brainstormed a list of possible activities:

1. Assemble cats. Coat baby liberally with butter, then roll in cat food. Place baby on floor. Watch hilarity ensue.

2. Cheese eating contest! If baby isn’t eating solids yet, she forfeits. First prize is more cheese.

3. Engineer Rube Goldberg machine involving baby, cats, and household objects, with the end result being a perfectly shaken Martini.

4. Count things.

5. Story time! Read baby The Yellow Wallpaper.

6. Take up ventriloquism, then put on all-baby versions of Tennessee Williams plays.

7. With soup cans, chopsticks, string, and an empty shoebox, construct a small chariot*. Then, using Roomba, double-sided tape, and filet of salmon, induce cats to pull baby around apartment while you nap.

8. Drinking game! Drink every time baby cries.

9. Mix a paste of flour and water. Dip strips of newspaper in paste and use them to cover baby. Let dry. Tap gently with mallet to loosen cast, then make slit in top and draw baby out. Decorate papier mache baby.

10. Sack race!

Please feel free to try any of these at home.

*Chariot also useful for spur-of-the-moment Ben-Hur reenactments.

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