Reporting Live, From The Trenches…

So Hubs has caught my cold.  And then he doubled its intensity, because Hubs has to win at everything.  He stayed home from work yesterday, because men can do that sort of thing.  They can close the bedroom door, crawl back beneath the covers while the sun is shining, and go to sleep with a clear conscience.  I wouldn’t know how it feels to treat my version of the plague with a day of rest, because I’m not a dad.

Yesterday, in the throws of all the congestion and the coughing and the questions of HAS MY HEAD EXPLODED FROM ALL THE PRESSURE YET?, I wrangled Thing 2 and taught PE.

(And also?  Well, it snowed here.  And by snowed, I mean SNOWED.  And do you know what a PE teacher loves even more than the day of the Halloween party, when all the kids are wearing their costumes and hopped up on fourteen different varieties of sugar when they come to the gym?  Well, we love it when kids come to PE, straight from all the recessing, dressed in snowpants and snowboots, and carting in eight pounds of wet snow per child.  Because do you know what wet snow does on the gymnasium floor?  It melts.  That was the part I did remember from my high school physics class.  And big puddles of melted snow on the gym floor translates into BIG PUDDLES OF MELTED SNOW ON THE GYM FLOOR.  It’s only a matter of seconds before someone runs through one and slips.  And do you know what happens when you have a six-year-old slip and conk his head on the hardwood?  There are more tears than have ever been caused by Where the Red Fern Grows.)

When we made it back home yesterday afternoon, we had no power.  As in, LET’S ALL LIVE LIKE THEY DID IN LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE.  And yes, it was fun for approximately fifteen minutes, and then I was all, “Do you know what is going to be really fun?  Having no electricity all night with a baby who gets cold.”  Because cold babies turn into crying babies.

Even though Hubs and I were basically dying slowly from all the laboring to breathe and the expelling of lungs through coughing, we still tried to make the evening memorable and fun for the boy.  I remember a couple of nights from my own childhood, when the electricity was off for hours on end, and we had to sit around in the dark, playing Monopoly by candlelight.  I didn’t think I had enough energy left to contemplate high-end real estate purchases and deal with railroad negotiations, so we just sat around our living room, by the light of the gas fireplace and some candles, which the boy eagerly lit, doing nothing except being together.

And by some candles, I mean I was a bit worried that people walking by our house would look into our dining room windows and say, “Oh!  I think this is where the neighborhood seance is tonight!”

Since our cupboards are emptier than Old Mother Hubbard’s, and since we’re living off of the goodies that we can find in the back of the refrigerator, I sent Hubs out into the snow and the yuck to secure cheeseburgers for our dinner last night, since he was so well-rested and all.  I was just relieved to have a FOOLPROOF EXCUSE for not cooking the family’s supper!  Thank you, No Electricity!

I should note that Thing 2 was NOT a fan of crawling around our house in the dark for three entire hours, because TURN A LIGHT ON, ALREADY!  He was confused about why we were living in utter darkness, but then Hubs plopped a greasy 99-cent cheeseburger in front of him, aimed the flashlight at his high chair tray, and Thing 2 was all, “LET’S GET DOWN TO THE BUSINESS OF EATING THIS, SHALL WE?”  He completely forgot that it was dark in our house.

Before we even finished our dinner, the men who were working on the utilities outside in the snow and the wind and the cold, returned power to our entire section of town, and the lights came back on.

The baby wouldn’t be cold overnight.

Which just goes to show that when you grow old, the things that were so much fun in your childhood suddenly become UN-fun.  The boy was having a blast moving candles all over our house and shuffling around with a flashlight and matches.  He was making plans to build a tent-fort in our living room, in front of the fireplace, where he’d set up base camp for the evening.  I was busy wondering how I was going to warm up formula, with no hot water and no microwave.  And then I was all, “Um, will there be hot water for me to wash my hair in tomorrow morning?”

Oh, the sadness of first-world problems.

(And my worries about the hot water were simply ungrounded last night, because listen.  I was NOT at my Miss America best today.)


And then, I announced at a family meeting over the dinner table last night that we would ALL be going to bed at 7:30.  All.  Of.  Us.  Except for Thing 2, who was going to bed at 7:00.  The boy was a bit put out by this bold statement, but Hubs seconded the notion, because the Avalanche game wasn’t going to be televised until 11:00 PM.  He simply praised the glory of the DVR and backed me up on the early bedtime.

I threw back a shot of NyQuil.

I was sweating, because coughing can be a great form of aerobic exercise, so I turned on the ceiling fan in our bedroom.  I wanted to be surrounded by a comfortable climate and cool breezes while I coughed up my spleen.

Hubs was freezing.  He took a blanket to the living room sofa to sleep by the fireplace.  He, too, wanted to be comfortable before his head exploded with all the sinus pressure.

At 11:30, in the middle of my NyQuil haze, Hubs was up.  He had a migraine that he said was going to put him in the grave.  He was fumbling through the bathroom cabinets, trying to find the Tylenol, as he said, “I can’t even read the bottles!  Help me!  I can’t focus on the labels!”

So MeMaw, under the I-took-the-full-dose influence of NyQuil, shuffled in to help him.

I swear, it was like Dumb and Dumber in our bathroom.

And why are y’all even still reading this?  I’ve brought boring writing to an all-time low this evening.

I’m happy to say that Hubs recovered… from the migraine.  He’s still a plague carrier.

So that’s the report from the trenches tonight.  It sounds like a hospital ward over here.  In all honesty, we should probably hang a QUARANTINE sign on our front door to keep the rest of the world safe.

And then we woke up this morning to SNOW!  SNOW!  SNOW!, and found out we were the only school district of the three in our area who would march forth with classes.  The boy was bummed, but I assured him that he wouldn’t be making a snow day up come the first week of summer vacation, while the other two districts would be.

This did not ease his heart’s suffering at all, and he still declared the day to be completely unfair, as he questioned Hubs’ and my decision to build a house in THIS school district, and not one of the other two that are nearby.

So yes.  In the midst of all of this, we can still find things to be thankful for.

NyQuil.  Candles.  The really good tasting, honey-flavored cough drops that are made by some generic company I’ve never heard of before.  And the fact that our house is big enough to have different sick zones, with the patient’s choice of a ceiling fan or a fireplace.

Have a great weekend, and do try to stay healthy.  We’ll be spending our weekend inhaling large amounts of Vitamin C and non-drowsy Sudafed tablets.

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