We’re here and we’re hot

The cot did finally show up at the motel, which was awesome because the kids fell asleep right away. And then there couldn’t have been more than three separate incidents of people having loud conversations either out in the hallway or underneath our window during the night.

Chickadee was snoring. Monkey talks in his sleep. And Otto still hasn’t gone in for the sleep study he really needs to go have, but we have long suspected he has some sleep apnea, and thanks to the other noise, I was awake most of the night listening to him rest oh-so-peacefully (which was not, in fact, peaceful, as it turns out, so much as it was him NOT BREATHING) inbetween snorting in great gasps of air on account of that whole forgetting-to-breathe thing.

It was extremely relaxing, except not. BUT! Then we got up the next morning and Chickadee said, “My eye hurts!” and I was certain she was going to turn out to have pink eye, because wouldn’t that be the perfect topper to a night in hell at the SUPERGREAT motel? Oh, but I was aiming low. She didn’t have pinkeye.

She had a raging fever! SO MUCH BETTER!

Fortunately, I am well acquainted with my luck, so I had some children’s motrin tucked into my bag. We dosed her up and gave her some orange juice and put her back into the car. Because who wants to be sick in Allentown? Much better to be sick on the road!

(Fellow parents will understand when I say this: Chickadee is my Random Fever Child. She spikes a fever easily, often when she doesn’t have any other symptoms of being sick. It’s disconcerting, but I promise she wasn’t dying of tuberculosis or anything while we tapped our watches and told her to suck it up.)

The remaining four hours or so of driving were uneventful. The kids watched a movie on the portable DVD player, and then—as it was the last of the movies we’d brought and they are strange—they watched it again… in French. While reading off the subtitles to each other in some sort of dramatic rendition that required a lot of arm-waving.

By the time we arrived at Nearly Nickless’ (Otto’s brother’s) house, Chickadee was fading a bit, again, but there were cousins to play with and cookies to eat, so there wasn’t much time to lay around being sick. Obviously. She would perk up and run and play for a while and then slide into my lap for a bit of respite and then be off again, so I think she’s going to live.

Monkey was absolutely OUT OF HIS MIND with the delight of being OLDER, as his two cousins here are both younger than he is, and so—for once—he gets to be the big one. (Big is a state of mind. As it happens, Thing1, who is newly 5, is nearly Monkey’s size.) The three boys ran around and around at a dizzying pace, with Thing2 (who is 3) stopping whenever Chickadee elected to sit out for a bit to come over and say, “Hey! Hey! Chickadee? Chickadee? You wanna come PLAY WITH ME?”

Somehow the house filled up with people, and the afternoon passed really quickly. Thanks to Chickadee’s fever and the two days of traveling (with the not-so-restful night inbetween) I felt no compunction about putting the children to bed at 7:00. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

What happened after all the children were in bed defies description, but I WILL TRY because I’m like that.

My lovely sister-in-law comes from a large and hilarious family, and her parents and siblings were all here yesterday. One of her brothers had brought over his wii and another of her brothers had brought over his gigundous flat-panel TV (we watched the Patriots game on it, and WOW). Otto and I had never even SEEN a wii before, because we are are too busy listening to our vast collection of 8-track tapes to investigate such things.

So, there was some wine. And there was the wii. And somehow between these two things, there was some bowling (fine), and then I had some more wine and may have attempted Guitar Hero. I may have looked like a complete idiot, and there may have been some cameras. And it’s really too bad, because I liked everyone who was here very much, and it’s a shame that I am going to have to kill them all now rather than risk pictures of me swearing at a small plastic guitar ending up on Facebook.

This morning all four children rose at the ass-crack of dawn, and Nearly Nickless herded them all down into the basement playroom so that Otto and I could sleep a little longer, and once we got up he immediately went and and got donuts and bagels for breakfast, and also brought me a cup of coffee as big as my head, and so in conclusion I think I’ve decided to live here forever. I do need to find a way to, you know, make it WARMER, but we can work that out later.

Chickadee seems better today, too. But then, it’s hard to argue with the healing powers of a boston cream pie donut.

Bonus conversation from this morning:

Thing2: You! Should come! Downstairs with me!
Me: We should? How come?
Thing2: I wants to show you somethin!
Otto: I’ll come down with you in just a minute, Thing2, okay?
Thing2: Yes! Cuz I need you!
Otto: What do you need to show me?
Otto: Your cousins?
Thing2: Yes! My cousins! I want to show them to you!
Otto: My kids? You want to show me… my kids?
Thing2: Yes…?
Otto: Thing2, did you know I have kids?
Thing2: Yes!
Otto: Who are my kids?
Thing2: I don’t know. WHO?
Thing2: OH!

Well, I’m glad we were able to clear that one up.


  1. juliness

    Too cute!!

    Have a wonderful Christmas, wii, wine and all.

  2. hokgardner

    Reminds me of the time I took the kids to a huge family reunion with dozens of cousins. My younger daughter said sadly in the car, “Look at all of my sister’s cousins. I don’t have any.” When we explained that her sister’s cousins were in fact her cousins, too, she was so thrilled. “Big sister, I have cousins, too! Gran, did you know I have cousins?” That was the theme of the day – telling everyone she had cousins.

  3. Robyn

    Try Wii boxing. We’ve had the Wii for months and I’ve never played it because I hate the sport. I was finally convinced to try it two days ago. Holy boxing gloves is that fun! Talk about working out aggression! I had a blast beating the crap out of random Wii people. It’s actually a decent workout too if you really get into it. Of course, I’m so totally sore that it’s embarrassing. Want to make it even more fun? Get your family liquored up and watch them box. Hi-Lar-I-Ous!

  4. Sara

    We plan on having some embarrassing wine and Guitar Hero fun here tomorrow as the children are receiving it for Christmas. And you better bet I’ll be checking for cameras! Merry Christmas!

  5. LuAnn

    Ahhh…kids. What a concept! :p

  6. shannon in oregon

    wii! yes, it’s a workout AND a gaming system.

  7. janet

    wii wish you a merry christmas
    wii wish you a merry christmas
    wii wish you a merry christmas
    and a happy new ear!

  8. Contrary

    Firstly, let me just say this: I want a Wii!

    Ok, sorry about that. My inner child gets a little loud sometimes.

    I’m glad y’all are having a good time up Nawth. Is there snow? Is it lovely and cold? Would you put some in a styrofoam cooler and send it to me so that I can shove some snow down Pookie’s pants?

    Happy Christmas Eve!

  9. liz

    I thought my favorite part of this post was going to be:
    Fortunately, I am well acquainted with my luck…

    It was actually:
    Otto: Thing2, did you know I have kids?

    It’s so beautiful to see Otto and the children “blurring the blood lines,” so to speak.

    Merry Christmas, sunshine!

    I’m off to wrap presents with the help of a three-year-old. We are using LOTS of tape.

  10. Warrior Knitter

    I’m just sitting here laughing and laughing because it’s Christmas Eve and you’re supposed to be happy and I am and you tell really great and wonderful stories and I’m still laughing and thank you for having a blog and making me / us laugh all year even on Christmas Eve.

    Merry Christmas

    and I am still laughing.

  11. carolyn

    Wii are getting a Wii for Christmas too. I went to Walmrt to get it, at midnight, on a Saturday night. They only had 3 in stock, so I stood in line with two other lovely people for an hour until the appointed “sell” time, and then I went home all happy. I can’t wait to play it, although i have to act all cool and parent-like so my son won;t think I bought it for myself, which I did not. It is his Christmas present.

  12. Leandra

    We’ve sucked you in to our glorious southern weather!! Bwahahahaha.

    Punkin spikes random fevers, too. Glad you mentioned packing the motrin b/c that is something I should do, too, before we head off into the wilds. Hope Chickie is on the mend.

    Merry Christmas!

  13. D

    Lesson to be learned — wii and wine don’t mix.
    Play responsibly.


  14. ImpostorMom

    I so want a wii now. Of course I realized this much too late to actually procure such an item. My wonderful son has broken out in unexplainable hives. Joy!

  15. Jules

    He said.. ‘my kids’

    Merry Christmas sweetie.

    Beware the Wii.. you can wake up one morning and not be able to move your shoulders..and in a panic you may go to the doctor and he says to you, “Oh you have a sports injury” and you show him your fat ass and explain that this fat ass obviously doesn’t do sports *snort* and then you will remember the night you played tennis.. drunken tennis with a room full of teenage boys…

  16. All Adither

    Fun? Wine? I guess the key is to spend Christmas with your friends.

  17. getsheila

    I attended a Wii party last night. OMFG. I am hooked. HOOKED. And stiff. I love the part in tennis where your little Mii falls on her face when you miss a shot and then the black cloud of something I am sure is bad language appears above her head while tra-la-la song notes float above her opponent’s.

    Merry Christmas, Mir and Mirfans.

  18. Burgh Baby's Mom

    I hate the wii that has moved into our house. Hate.

    Merry Christmas!

  19. Fold My Laundry Please

    Unfortunately, my daughter does have pinkeye. Fortunately, it happens often, so I have the medicine already and can avoid a doctor visit.

    Merry Christmas!!

  20. Flea

    Merry merry Christmas, Mir!

    Maybe Otto can get a CPAP machine before next Christmas! My husband had his sleep study on Friday and will get one next week (YAY!!!!!). It’s the best thing EVER!

    And a nmerry Christmas to your entire family!!

  21. kathy

    Hey Mir, have a lovely Xmas. I really can’t figure out how to day this. And I’ve erased it a million times and started again. There is a very serious childhood disease which has unexplained fevers as a symptom. I’m sure chick is fine and doesn’t have it. But it might be something to be aware of. I don’t want to be more specific as I’m sure you’re already aware and I’m just making you unecessarily worried. So I’ll stop.

  22. prophet

    ‘and a partridge in a pear tree’. . . . to you, too! Hope your Christmas was blessed. My own Christmas was impacted by wine ingested Christmas eve (which did not involve guitar hero, but which included a jazzy Schroeder piano wannabe and assorted Lucys singing Christmas carols. . . . and did I mention the aforementioned wine?) Luckily there were no 5 year olds until after noon.

    For which I was grateful.

  23. joaaanna

    Otto sleeping sounds like my husband. I’m sure he’ll need the CPAP. I actually had a sleep study too because I wasn’t sleeping well. It turns out that I sleep just fine – except when my husband was choking and gasping and gagging next to me all night. Now he just needs the humidifier attachment. Sleep, glorious sleep.

    Merry Christmas!

  24. jo-less

    Kids are funny. Picture a small boy worried about his grandfather….

    Boy: I want to find Bubba.
    His Mother: Where is Bubba?
    Boy: He went down the garden.
    His Mother: Are you worried about Bubba?
    Boy: {nods}
    Bubba (who has been sitting literally two yards away while this exchange goes on: So who am I then?

    Cue giggles and smiles from the boy, after a shocked moment. He genuinely hadn’t spotted his grandfather even though he was looking right at him sitting beside his mother….

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