Monday, December 21, 2009

Snoodie Go Boom

The Snood is currently sporting a fat lip, a 2-inch scrape across the bridge of his nose, and a golfball-sized carbuncle just short of his hairline...

...which means we're running just about par for the course this week when it comes to facial injuries.

The thing is, my kid leads with his head. Which, unfortunately for him, means encountering the world (and all the solid objects it contains) face-first. Back when he was still crawling, it seemed his only clue that it might be time to cease forward motion was the sensation of his head colliding with the wall. And it showed, as bruises, bumps, and bonks of all shapes and sizes began sprouting from Snoodie's once pristine visage at an alarming rate.

I clung to a desperate hope that, once Snoodie started walking, his consta-wounds would abate. I'm sad to report that quite the opposite proved to be true. It seems the fact that the Snood's 99th-percentile head rests atop a 34th-percentile body all but guaranteed that his face would be the first thing to make contact with the ground when his initial efforts at two-legged motion went awry. His early walking attempts went a little something like this:


And, sure, eventually the guy got surer in his stride.

The problem is that the only thing this sure-footedness seems to have changed about the situation is the velocity at which he wipes-out.

We were spending Thanksgiving in Texas just after the Snood had just started hoofing it with real confidence. David and I were all standing around outside with Snoodie's Grandma and Aunt Tess. All of us stood watching him happily toddle up and down the sidewalk, until he suddenly lost his footing on some uneven pavement and went down.

The assembled group rushed toward him in a panic, but I calmly assured them there was no cause for alarm! These sorts of things happened all the time! It wasn't until I went to scoop my crying son off the pavement that I realized that there was blood pouring from his mouth in large quantities and came face to face with the realization that we had ushered in new era of wounds - the bleeders.

Now, whenever the Snood and I are out on the town we are routinely greeted by a chorus of "Oh no, sweetie, you've got a boo-boo!" and "What happened to his face?" It's reached the point where I am seriously considering changing supermarkets for fear one of the concerned checkers will call child protective services on me.

But I've come to realize that try as I might to slow him down some, there doesn't seem to be any stopping my Snoodie. He continues to hurl his adorable countenance at the world with reckless abandon and has now decided that, like some mini-mountaineer, he will scale all surfaces he sees, adding distance to the ground as a complicating factor in his falls.

But as I look over the kids in my neighborhood, the scabby-kneed girls in princess gowns climbing trees and the scrappy boys leaping off their bikes to protect our houses from alien attacks, I try to remember that injuries are part of the growing process, and part of the bloody-good fun of it all. So, I do my best to let Snoodie explore as he wants as I keep my band-aids and bags of ice at the ready. Plus, I can always comfort myself with the knowledge that if and when I do need to change grocery stores, there's another one just a few blocks further down the road.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Plague, Plaguier, Plaguiest

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, "" 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.


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.....

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So, this week we flew back from our Thanksgiving travels only to be faced with the startling reality that we had exactly 13 days until we leave for our Christmas travels. YIKES!

I went into a full-scale impending Holiday panic and begin spreading Christmas cheer by coating every available surface in my home with holly, ivy and whimsical Santa figures. Next up - the baking!

All this to say that there is no new blog this week. BUT - there is some good news!

I've been sitting on the tale of the Snood's terrifying reign of bio-terror that left a swath of vomit over three Texan towns before heading East for quite some time now and you'll get to hear all about it next week. Full disclosure, people, this tale will NOT be for the faint of heart (or the faint of stomach, for that matter).

See you then!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Open Letter

Dearest Department Store Santa:

I want to start off by making it perfectly clear that I understand that your job is difficult.

I know, I know - lots of people act like they get it. They pretend to sympathize with just how hard it is to be you, never having walked a mile through your "sno"-covered hell! But I am not like the others, Santa! I really do understand -- because for five years running, I worked every holiday season as a costumed elf, helping my very own Santa listen to the cares, woes, and materialistic demands of hordes of hideous little boys and girls. So Santy, I've felt your pain.
I know that children puke on you regularly. I get that it's hard to be merry when you are having to pose with some kid's pet ferret. I've felt the sting first-hand of that 15-year-old kid who outweighs you by forty pounds jumping on your lap, only to make obscene gestures as you pose with him, completely ignoring your query about whether or not he's been a good boy this year. Santa, you're not gonna find more empathy for you anywhere - but, dude, I gotta say, I took my kid to see you yesterday at the mall and I have a few helpful suggestions:
  • OK, the first tip is actually from my mom. She feels your outfit was incomplete without a Santa hat. (You might already be aware of this note, as Mom grumbled quite loudly after our interaction with you, "We don't like you, Santa...AND GET A HAT!")
  • Next - your Santa's Wonderland (tm) policy that bans me from taking pictures with my own camera, while understandable, perhaps would be easier to swallow if not delivered by your greeter with the implied threat of physical violence. It's not real Christmasy.
  • My final note is really the most important. Santa, I realize that when the blond Easter European lady in front of us demanded that she and her gigantic Ukranian husband be allowed to sit on your lap with their dog (the oddly named "Lovely Blackie") you were probably desperately in need of a well-earned break. But when you attempted, as a result, to shut down the line, thus asking the girl behind us in line, who was BLIND, to wait for an additional hour for a photo with you, I had to conclude that you are THE WORST SANTA EVER! Fortunately for all involved, as your nervous elves attempted to explain to the girl's tearful mother that "Santa really needed to go feed his reindeer..." you seemed to sense the crowd turning on you. There was a palpable feeling in the air that the assembled group of mothers might, in fact, be willing to beat Santa senseless in in front of their own children if you did not have a change of heart. And so you posed with the little girl before shuffling off in a huff, returning my call of "Bye, Santa!" with an angry glare. Come on, Santa, totally not cool.

In conclusion, I am sympathetic to your plight, Mr. Kringle. But please, don't shoot daggers at me from behind your whimsical round glasses OR be mean to blind children because it makes you suck as a Santa (and also, quite possibly, as a person) and puts a real damper of the whole "Christmas Merriment" vibe we're going for when we choose to take our children to the mall to have them photographed with you.

That is all, Santa. Hope this advice has been useful, and most importantly, have a really nice Christmas and don't forget that Hawaiian vacation I asked for!


Your friend at