Karaoke chicken… it’s what’s for dinner

By Mir
October 20, 2005

My children are old enough now that we’re almost beyond the age of hilarious malapropisms. Alas! For some reason, though, Chickadee has a mental block with the word teriyaki. And this is particularly unfortunately because she just LOVES teriyaki chicken. So she’ll ask me if we can have karaoke chicken for dinner, and I’ll tell her I’m just not sure the chickens will be able to hold the microphone, and she becomes very annoyed with me. This doesn’t stop me from cracking the very same joke the next time it happens, by the way.

Anyway, I wasn’t thinking about amusing word play when little miss so-not-a-morning-person walked into my room this morning at o’dark thirty, half-dressed. Usually I have to DRAG her out of bed, and I’m sure that if I’d been, you know, AWAKE, I would’ve thought to myself, “Self, this is quite unusual.” But instead, I uttered the first profundity that occurred to me: “S’early.”

She slipped into bed beside me and we went back to sleep.

When my alarm went off, I realized I wasn’t alone and tried to remember how she got there.

“Hey, Chickie,” I rubbed her back. “What’re you doing here? You got up and started getting dressed and came into my bed…?”

She pulled the sheet over her head. “Tired.”

“Oooooookay… why’d you get up and get dressed, then?” I was still half-asleep, myself.

“My jammies… hot,” she answered, flinging the blanket off of herself.

“Hot…?” Wait. Up early. Back to sleep. Jammies too hot. With a heavy sigh, I reached my hand around to her forehead. Toasty!


“Hey, um, sweetie? You not feeling so good?”

“Throat hurts. Head hurts. Too hot.” Okay, then.

After a short while we were joined by Monkey, who was quite indignant that he still had to go to school when his sister was getting to stay home. After much whining (some of it even from him) we got him dropped off and returned home. And then I faced the dilemma that has plagued mothers throughout the ages.

If I let her go without motrin, she would lay on the couch and be a miserable–but quiet–lump. I could turn on the television for her and pretty much work the entire day. But there would be guilt, because she’d feel rotten.

If I give her the motrin, in half an hour she’ll be nearly as good as new, begging me to please stop working and come play Mousetrap, and generally making me wonder why on earth I let her stay home. But isn’t making her feel better the goal?

I’m such a sucker. I gave her the motrin, and spent most of the day trying to convince her that yes, I really would MUCH RATHER play Mousetrap, it’s true, but I had to [talk to this person on the phone; answer this email; finish revisions on this assignment; etc.]. I did allow her plenty of television and took a longish lunch break to fix us the secret family comfort food: eggs scrambled with cream cheese. (She loves it when I fix this for her, just like I always loved it when my mom made it for me.) She scarfed down her food and sucked down juice all day long and I was beginning to wonder if she was all better by the time we went out to fetch Monkey from school.

On the drive down to their dad’s house, she started lolling against the headrest and looking sort of pale, again. I left the kids with him complete with admonitions about what she could and couldn’t have, and headed back home. When they returned to the house a few hours later, I anxiously inquired as to how she’d been doing, and my ex said she seemed to be pretty much fine.

But, see, Monkey was VERY cranky. He’d bumped his head on the way in and wouldn’t. stop. crying. Finally I felt his head. Toasty!


Hey, I know! Let’s take everyone’s temperatures! Wanna? It’ll be fun!

Monkey was running about 101, and Chickadee was somewhat miffed to only be at 100.3. I announced that everyone would be having a swig of motrin and heading to bed. Go brush your teeth, all you little germheads!

“Come on Monkey,” the ever-doting big sister guided her brother up the stairs. “I bet neither us will go to school tomorrow. We can stay home together. I bet we have stripped throat.”

First of all, they had best NOT have any sort of throat–stripped, strep or otherwise–that will leave me with TWO whining, sick children and probably end with ME sick as well.

Secondly, I wish I could share and explain the mental image I got from that. It’s so funny and not good all at once.


  1. buffi

    Stripped throat is exactly what it feels like. I remember thinking that’s what it was called. I love that the fever was some sort of contest. I can see it: “100.3? Damn, are you sure? Take it again.”

    I’m still laughing over the visual I get when I think of Karaoke Chicken. The mic in its wing, singing, I Left My Head in San Francisco…

  2. Bob

    LOL – stripped throat, karaoke chicken. Ours were psketti (spaghetti) and red monster (red lobster). We haven’t had psketti for some years, but we still go to red monster.

  3. Bob

    P.S. – did the stripped throat show up? Is today going to be a productive work day, or a “Mommy, I’m bored. Mommy, whatcha doin’? Mommy, I want something to drink. Mommy, Chickadee won’t let me watch thingamabobby and it’s my turn. Mommy, Monkey won’t stay on his side of the couch. Mommy, why is that vein throbbing on your forehead?” kind of day?

  4. DebR

    I hope the kids don’t really have stripped throat, Mir!!!

    Bob, my family used to eat psketti too. :-)

  5. Marti

    Running fevers here today too. Possibly misunderstood post…something about a singing chicken doing burlesque with a monkey?

    Sounds good, sign me up, I’ll take two – here’s my credit card.


    Best wishes for rapid recovery at MirHouse.

  6. Katie

    Hope they feel better soon! Mine always have competitions on who has the higher fever, drives me nuts.

  7. Aimee

    I guess psketti is a universal phenomenon, eh? We used to say that, too. I think karaoke chicken is my new favorite, though.

  8. Amy

    The other day Emily said she felt “obnoxious”.

    She meant “nauseaous”. Either way, it was correct.

  9. Lizzy'sMom

    My nephew had a couple of zingers – everyone likes “snake sauce” on their steak right? and the dreaded “dinareena” when you spend too much time sitting on the toilet.
    My daughter had a few, but those two have become family favorites.

  10. Colleen

    Wow, two kids sick at once. Good grief you’ve got your work cut out for you.

    I love the stripped throat and kaoroke chicken. Too cute.

  11. Brian

    Scrambled Eggs with cream cheese? Sounds interesting. How much cream cheese per egg, if you don’t mind me asking. P.S. Love the blog. It has become part of my daily routine.

  12. Em

    Ok, here is my rationalization for holding off on the Motrin. Best read in a whiny tone: but they need the imuuuunity! The fever will actually help FIGHT the bugs! The Motrin might maask something!

    I mean, as long as it doen’t get too high obviously. I little fever never fried anyone, right?

  13. Amy-Go

    Sounds like Stripped throat to me! Poor, poor Mir. *pat*
    Hope they’re all better soon – at least Strep is curable with one quick shot of penicillan, unlike the dreaded VIRUS, which can go on forever. That’s me, always on the bright side!
    Oh, and we never went to McDonald’s when Jack was little. We went to Big Arnold’s. I still think of it that way, too!

  14. elswhere

    from the Malaprop Archives at our house:

    Honey Sesame Chicken=, for some reason, “Disney Chicken.”

    And automatic [i.e. automatically flushing toilets]= “Annoying toilets,” as in “Is there a flush handle? Or is it an annoying toilet?”

    With hopes for no stripped throats over there–

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