There is a lot to be learned from the Speechless episode 1.13 “S-I–SICK D-A–DAY”. Let’s start with the word “chelidon”, shall we?
It’s called your chelidon.
Kenneth arrives at the house and lets out a sneeze — into his hand. Maya flips out. Uh-oh, here comes another one — without any cover at all. Maya is so flabbergasted by Kenneth’s poor sneeze etiquette that she cannot remember the medical term for what I call the crook of your elbow.
Dylan comes up with the word. It’s your chelidon. She is trying to tell Kenneth to sneeze into his chelidon.
The DiMeos are easily panicked about germs. When someone gets sick it disrupts the already complicated schedule they maintain. And Jimmy tells Kenneth that J.J. usually takes longer to recover than the rest.
Maya banishes Kenneth from their home and work until he has been symptom free for 24 hours. Therefore, J.J. needs one of his siblings to read his board at school.
Ray volunteers so he can visit some of the classes he may be taking next year. Dylan simply says she will do it not giving a reason. J.J. chooses Dylan citing that he likes her “reason” better. There goes J.J. sticking it to Ray again in typical sibling fashion!
Okay, I am not sure what day of the week it is, but the role swapping continues (thus the movie reference!) Maya sneezes just as they are beginning their morning routine. She is convinced she can still go on with her “mum” duties. Wrong. Jimmy has to take over.
Maya gives Jimmy the to-do list. Maya and the kids doubt Jimmy can handle it. But he makes it through by feeding the kids donuts and being super chill at carpool duty. He is feeling pretty proud of himself but does not want Maya to know he managed well. He does not want to hurt her feelings or shake the pride she has in her caregiving role.
Maya is feeling better so Jimmy returns to work the next day. The kids are unable to hide the fact that Jimmy actually did a pretty good job as “mum”.
When Jimmy returns home from work, Maya calls him out on his cockiness and reveals that he had a simple list that day. She begins spouting a much longer, typical list full of acronyms (a hallmark of life in a special needs family).
Jimmy realizes he is not really equipped to do all that Maya does. He actually begins to doubt the value of his role in the family. And then he sneezes. Man down.
Jimmy spends the evening in the “sick room” as they call it, sealed with a plastic curtain and duct tape. Maya is left to manage the evening but Kenneth insists on staying at the house as long as one of them is sick.
The evening begins to implode when Ray has a panic attack over his science project and locks himself in the bathroom. Maya is frustrated that she cannot get Ray to calm down. Dylan and J.J. are at each other’s throats because J.J. “fired” Dylan from being his aide when she started flirting with a boy in his class. In return she messed up the TV controls.
Kenneth visits Jimmy in the sick room desperate for help.
Jimmy comes to the rescue with tricks on how to calm everyone down:
- Light jazz music for J.J.
- Made up physical challenge for Dylan
- Real ice cream disguised in a fat free container for Maya
- False science claims to lure Ray out of the bathroom
It turns out Jimmy does indeed have value. He is the “Family Whisperer”, the one who keeps everyone sane.
Maya and Jimmy have new found respect for each other’s roles and the whole family pulls an all-nighter together to help J.J. with his science project.
Other highlights from episode 1.13:
- Kenneth worked in his aunt’s beauty parlor as a kid and developed some mad skills at manicures and hair styling.
- It turns out that J.J. “fired” Dylan because he was trying to protect her from the guy she was flirting with in J.J.’s class – turns out the “charming” guy was really a jerk. J.J. was protecting his sister.
- Maya gives the kids breakfast bars that are “specially formulated for the needs of a pre-menstrual woman”. Ray proclaims he is feeling less moody and happy with his body after eating the bar.
- Jimmy calls J.J. “blabbermouth” when he nods his head several times in quick succession.
- Fun fact from NASA — the names of the Mars moons Phobos and Deimos that Ray is trying to replicate for his science project mean fear (Phobos) and panic (Deimos). Coincidence that Ray had a panic attack over this project? Hmmm…..
Thankfully Kenneth and all the DiMeos survived the germs that were circulating. They also managed to survive all the role swapping that ensued. And they learned more about each other in the process. That about wraps it up for Speechless episode 1.13.
Be sure to check out my post for the Top 10 Jimmy DiMeo Moments – this episode certainly gave us even more!