We have been positively drowning in holiday cheer over here. Well, holiday cheer and the white-hot throat daggers of strep. Both, equally and with the exact same amount of dedication. With just 5 days till Christmas, my true loves gave to me …
4 sweats and shivers,
3 blades to gargle,
2 swollen lymph nodes
And a bug that left me feeling shitty.
But it came in tasteful, shiny wrapping paper, so, ya know …
Being sick this time of year is such a treat, because there are so many sophisticated films to take in (i.e. the Christmas Prince) (But, for real though, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and a brutal fever is the perfect way to sweat out some of those Christmas confections you’ve been stuffing into your mouth hole.
As the mother, finding yourself bedridden for two days before the jolliest weekend of the year is not unlike playing Ebenezer Scrooge in a local church production of A Christmas Carol. You’re a ghost, looking in as your spouse carries on dutifully in your absence. This is what baths would be like if you weren’t around. This is what the dinner rush would be. This is how laundry would be folded. It would all march on without you; Slowly. Wrinkly. Whiney.
The chicks passed the ick like a filthy baton. Spike kicked it off strong, followed by JoJo, who was trailed, not far behind, by Sloppy Joan and myself, simultaneously. But it’s interesting how the sickness materialized, festered and then vacated each of their little bodies. I have found, in my eight years of mothering, that, when under the weather, my girls often fall into one of the following personas:
The Walter White.
This is the kid who leaves for school in the morning smiling and talking about weekend plans and how wonderful their cinnamon toast is and comes back to you an hour later entirely deteriorated, a completely different person. This is the scenario that always brings the most passive aggressive school nurse shaming. You just know she’s wondering why you sent your kiddo off in such bad shape. Little does she know she was so good just 3 hours earlier.
The Jo March.
This is the kid who gets crazy emotional and affectionate when she’s sick. She talks about what a wonderful mom you are, how you should go and enjoy frozen yogurt without her, and how sad she is to be missing the opportunity to play with her sisters whilst she’s ill. Always with giant cartoon teardrops in the corners of her eyes and an endearing redness in her cheeks.
The Katniss Everdeen.
This is the kid who comes down with the ick, goes to your bed and sleeps for 48 hours, waking only for medicine and a drop of water. She goes into a self-induced coma to recoup and reemerges like a true badass. Classic Katniss.
The Sixth Sense.
This is the kid who, after just 24 hours, makes a miraculous recovery. She’s running around the house and jumping off the coffee table so you send her back to school. Three days later she comes home with a 103 temp and hot tamale tonsils. You just don’t see it coming!
We shook off the strep just in time for the major festivities. Unfortunately, the burning little bitch gave way to a barky, brutal cough that left all three chicks barfing in their sugar cookie-filled pie holes. Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like hacking over Grammy’s hamballs.
But we’re coming out on the other side now. I’m almost 90 percent sure of it. I took some time off, which I used almost exclusively to find homes for all the new shit we had stacked in our living room. This, of course, was only made possible by throwing away all of last year’s new shit. The thing that truly scares me is that year by year, gift by gift, all of these treasures are finding a nook and a cranny in my home. But my home isn’t exactly getting bigger, right? So eventually I feel like I’m just going to wake up in FAO Schwarz. My house is slowly morphing into the apartment from Big. The toys are taking over and their army is mounting by the minute.
Anyway, with all the Amoxicillin flying around I didn’t get a chance to really wish all of you who spend 10 minutes a week with me on here a warm and Instagram-worthy holiday. I hope it was filled with warm cinnamon rolls and cocoa, lots of smiles around the tree and at least one thing you truly wanted for yourself.
Much like the strep, I’m ready to shake 2017 off like a labrador comin’ out of a car wash. Let’s rally and kick some ass in the new year.