Now that my house is finally filled with the suitable amount of Christmas whimsy and I have successfully purchased approximately nine thousand Christmas gifts AND I have shipped said gifts to approximately eighty-six different destinations - - - I'M BACK!
Oh, I forgot to mention that I have also baked roughly 9 million holiday cookies. If anyone out there has a craving for a sugar cookie shaped like a gingerbread lady who's had an emergency frontal lobotomy, please contact me via the comments section immediately.
Now that the Christmas insanity is beginning to wind down, I've finally found the time to sit down in front of my laptop and tell you all a little tale I like to call: "What I Did on My Thanksgiving Vacation".
What I did on my Thanksgiving vacation was --- I contracted the plague.
I realize that I have previously claimed in these pages to have contracted the plague, but to use one of my husband's favorite expressions....I WAS WRONG! That was not the plague. That was a mildly terrible head cold.
What happened to us the week of Thanksgiving....THAT was the plague.
It all started on a Friday, the morning before we were due to fly to Texas for the holiday. David got up to collect the Snood from his crib and the next thing I heard was the always terrifying exclamation, "Uh-oh." I sprang from bed and headed for Snood's room, secure in my knowledge that nothing good could be afoot. I arrived just in time to see David extracting el Snoodo from his barf-covered crib, which he had thrown up all over some time in the night.
It was deeply grotesque.
BUT! As soon as we'd de-pukified Snoodie in the bathtub, I have to say, he seemed no worse for the wear. He ate a huge breakfast and didn't have any fever, so David left for work and I got busy packing for our trip.
Things were still looking good as I put Snoods to bed that night, and I thought we might be in the clear......until David arrived home from work looking decidedly green and announced he "wasn't feeling so good." I banished him to the couch in a sad attempt at quarantining the virus and settled down to get some sleep...
...only to be awakened at 10:30pm by a sudden and overwhelming need to projectile vomit out any and all food I'd ingested since 1983.
I won't go into too many details about the next several hours. Instead I'll simply quote my father, who describes the experience saying, "The thing about the stomach flu is you're afraid you're going to die until you become afraid that you are not going to die." Yeah, it was kind of like that. At some point during the night David was awakened by my sounds of distress and opened the door to the bathroom...
He took one look at me and uttered a horrified, "Oh...no" before retreating to the relative safety of the couch.
By 6:30a.m. I'd given up on any hope that the sweet relief of death might take me away and I peeled myself up from the bathroom floor. I told David that we could still make our flight, if he would take full charge of the Snood. In response, he began vomiting in my general direction.
Realizing we could neither travel nor remain upright for long enough to care for our own offspring, we begged Snoodie's babysitter to take him for a few hours. She agreed, simultaneously proving the existence of a loving God and allowing us to head back to bed for the remainder of the morning.
I now interrupt this blog entry with a little segment I'll call HELPFUL HINT TO THE AIRLINES: If you make it your policy that people must fly the same day that their ticket is issued OR face a quadrupling of the price of their ticket, you practically force families with sky-high viral loads to board your planes. And that's annoying. Thank you.
Nine hours after I first woke David up, we limped like so many deranged zombies onto our flight.
Luckily, the flight was uneventful and three hours later we poured ourselves out of our seats and into the loving arms of my husband's family.
And the horror came to an end.
OR SO IT SEEMED.
Have you ever read the above book about 10 people who arrive at a mysterious island, only to be picked off one-by-one by an unseen killer? Our Thanksgiving was kind of like that.
After some debate about whether or not we should cancel our trip altogether, David and I put our collective imaginary medical degrees together and surmised that since Snoodie was already showing symptoms that probably meant he was no longer contagious. Yeah, that was not so much accurate.
One by one the members of my husband's family fell. My mother-in-law was the first to go, throwing up the whole way home from a visit to Dallas. David's dad succumbed next, spending all of Thanksgiving day curled up in bed, his occasional moans our only assurance that he was still alive as the rest of us feasted. My brother-in-law then spent that night with his own gastro-pyrotechnics. My sister-in-law came home the next night, excited to announce her engagement. She barely had time to flash the ring to the assembled family before heading off at a full sprint for the nearest toilet.
Then the calls began to come in:
"You know, just after we came over to see you guys poor Melissa got terribly ill....."
"Uncle Bob was barfing for two days after you stopped by with the baby....."
By the end of our time in Texas we calculated that the Snood has claimed upwards of twelve victims. Not bad for a guy still in diapers. We apologized profusely as we packed up our belongings for the trip home...
...the only one of us who seemed immune to the shame was patient zero himself, the Snood. As he looked over his assembled victims, waving weak goodbyes from their sick beds, I could almost swear I saw a glint in his eyes.....