Colds And Coughs And Congestion And Closets

Someone posted on Facebook this morning that there are 93 days left until Christmas.  My first thought was, “Is this accurate?”  My second thought was, “WHO has time to sit down with the calendar and count this up?”  Because that person?  I would like them to come do some things at my house.

Namely, laundry.

Because what I don’t have time for is flipping the pages on my big kitchen wall calendar to count out how many shopping days are left.  I’m entirely too busy having anxiety about how we’ll actually PAY for Christmas, as well as WHAT DO YOU BUY AN EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD BOY AS A HOLIDAY GIFT?!  I mentioned this to the boy (the CAN YOU BELIEVE SOMEONE COUNTED THE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS MANUALLY? and not the WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, because I already know what he’s going to say:  a 1960 car that’s a total fixer-upper and doesn’t run, so I can let it sit in the driveway and talk about how cherry she’ll be some day soon), and he told me, “Mom…. There’s this thing called a computer, and I imagine if you asked Siri how many days between now and December 25th, she could spot-on tell you in two seconds.”

And this is why he’s getting scholarships for college.


Apparently there are 93 days left before Christmas morning hits us and sends us all straight to Credit Card debt, but what has ZERO DAYS LEFT before we reach it is COLD SEASON.  I’m not talking about the weather, because Small Town has had a moment of love for us and has decided to keep a gentle, warm fall rolling for a bit yet.  I’m talking about COLD colds.  The type that start out at 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon as a sore throat and then morph into a I MIGHT DIE NOW chest cold at midnight.

Yes.  ‘Tis the season, and I have partaken.  I am celebrating and embracing a lovely chest cold that has left me wanting to just lie down on the floor, because my bed is simply too far away.  I blame a friend of mine who kept texting me last weekend, proclaiming I HAVE A SORE THROAT, and I AM GOING TO THE STORE FOR ORANGE JUICE, BECAUSE I FEEL A BIG COLD COMING ON, and I HAVE SOME SINUS ISSUES HAPPENING NOW.  Even though I didn’t see this friend in person this week, I’m fairly certain that her germs went straight through the phone lines and crawled onto me.

(And another thing the boy would probably say?  “Mom, we don’t actually HAVE phone lines any longer.  We have cell phones and it’s nothing but cell towers and the age of being digital.”  WHATEVER!  I taught that child to use a spoon AND the toilet, which seem PRETTY BASIC, so he needs to cut me a moment’s worth of slack.  Grace.  It’s for all of us.)

(And now I’m wondering if I should show grace and mercy to my friend, and blame my second son for the chest cold that I’m in the throes of.  He did, after all, find a REALLY CLEAN TUBE OF CHAPSTICK THAT SMELLED JUST LIKE A DELICIOUS MILKSHAKE on the playground last week, and we all know the kid USED IT.  He probably kissed me with dirty milkshake Chapstick germs.)

Regardless of the chest cold that plowed into my immune system this weekend with the force of a space shuttle launch and left my voice sounding like a six-packs-a-day smoker, it was all THE SHOW MUST STILL GO ON, because MOM STATUS.  So… I gutted our walk-in closet.

Our walk-in closet has been the stuff that the producers of the Hoarders TV series would love to get their hands on.  Every manner of clothes we no longer wear was shoved in there, along with shoes that have seen better days, and the boy’s Halloween costume from a decade ago.  And if you think it was all hung up and placed on the shelves NEATLY, then you grossly underestimate the Jedi family.  I had two giant Hefty garbage bags of hand-me-down clothes for Thing 2 sitting on our closet floor, which the cat had dug into, in her effort to create a cave in the midst of size 6 T-shirts.  She’d managed to pull a good portion of those little boy clothes straight out of the open bag, so that she could have herself a nice bed to hide in.  I had enough dirty laundry on my closet floor to constitute an intervention, too.

“Hi, Mama.  Come on in and sit down.  We’re here because we CARE ABOUT YOU, and we are overly concerned with your inability to wash the dirty clothes in a timely manner for your family.  We say this in love, as we look at the fourteen loads you have on your closet floor, right now.  Let us help you.  Let us send you away, to a facility.  It’s quiet there.  There will be counseling sessions and gourmet dinners; you can stroll through the flower gardens, and you can focus on the hurts someone has caused in your life to keep you from washing clothes like a normal girl should.”

To this, I say, “Thank you,” and also, “Where do I sign the paperwork?”  Because a lovely estate with lush gardens and casseroles for dinner that someone else made sound wonderful.

So yes.  THAT is how I spent my sick weekend.  I wasn’t in bed, as any husband would have done.  I was upright, mentally yelling at all the kids in my PE classes who came to school last week with coughs and snot, as I created a mess in my bedroom that rivaled the fall of an entire empire by air-dropped bombs.  I had pulled everything OUT of my closet.  By then, it was too late to quit, because WHERE WILL WE SLEEP TONIGHT?!  THE BED IS PILED HIGH WITH THE FALLOUT AND DEBRIS OF THIS PROJECT.  So, I kept going.

And the washing machine kept going.

And the Sudafed kept trying to work.

All the blesses.

The payoff is that I now have a walk-in closet that could actually be labeled by a realtor as A WALK-IN CLOSET.  It’s no longer THIS SPACE WHERE YOU STEP ON EVERY MANNER OF CLOTHING TO GET WHAT YOU WANT.  I have a bare, hardwood floor now, and, people, I swept it clean yesterday.  We have shelves with some space.  We have rods that aren’t crammed full of hangers and wrinkled clothing we haven’t worn since the Reagan administration.

Plus?  CLEAN LAUNDRY.  You know… until these heathens all decide they want to disrobe tonight and wear pajamas, as they toss today’s outfits into the hampers.

The punks were kind of cute today, so I snapped their pictures, before I sent them all out the door to church this morning, as I said, “Mama needs to lie down with her cough for seventeen seconds before the dryer tells me it’s time to fold more clothes.”

It doesn’t take a CSI:  Small Town detective to come to the conclusion that the little one had just washed his hands seconds before his mother snapped this picture.

Yep.  That’s water on the shirt.  Why use a hand towel, when you have a perfectly good T-shirt on?

And the bigger punk?  Well, listen.  He’s going to have to stop hanging out with the cute neighbor boy, because the cute neighbor boy is now labeled as A BAD INFLUENCE.  He challenged the two of them to NOT SHAVE UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

Hmm.  Apparently that’s 93 more days without a razor.

I am not a fan of the beards, and I am REALLY not a fan of one attempting to grow on my baby’s chin as wispy stubble, because then I have to admit that he’s now a MAN.  I offered him $20 in cold, hard, laundered cash to shave it all off this morning, before those whiskers really get out of hand and people mistake him for a relative from the Duck Dynasty family.  He grinned and said, “Ninety-three more days, honey!”

I told him, “Then I don’t even have to worry about what to buy you for Christmas, because I don’t buy gifts for beards.”

In reality, I think I’ll just give this child the gift of a LIFE SKILL, and teach him how to use the washer and dryer.  We have 93 days to learn the art of NO REDS WITH WHITES and DAWN DISH SOAP IS YOUR MIRACLE HELPER IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM.

Y’all have a good Sunday.

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