Monday, December 24, 2007

Creeping Crud and Car Crunchiness

Remind us never again to travel when the kids are coming down with something.

We're currently staying at Papa & Grandmothers' house, and the kids really like being here. Tonya and I would like being here more, except that we all seemed to come down with something at the same time. Actually, we knew it was going around last week, as we were planning on getting on the road, but we figured it wouldn't be too bad--that it would blow over in a day or so.


Let's see... Mommy and Daddy both came down with it. And, unusually, Daddy got it harder than Mommy did this time. The Happy Boy came down with it, and has not been Happy for the last several days. The Adrenaline Junkie has it, and it has caused her to lose her breakfast a couple of times since we've been here, just like her brother. The Pillowfight Fairy has it too, although she appears to have lucked out: she wound up with nothing more than a really drippy nose, so far as we can tell. We don't appear to have infected the grandparents yet, thank goodness. (They were already sick.)

However, there's still time. And everyone--aunts, uncles, cousins--is coming over here tonight to open presents!

What is "It?" So far as we can tell, It is a "Common Cold." However, It should be thought of as no more common than that experienced by the great Ogden Nash:
Go hang yourself, you old M.D,!
You shall no longer sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
In not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Führer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympian laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

Yup, we've been fighting the Führer of the Streptococcracy for the last several days now. We think we might have turned the corner, but the Allies thought that just before the Battle of the Bulge, now, didn't they? And I seem to recall that happened about this time of year, too!

Well, yesterday I stayed home with the UnHappy boy while Tonya took the girls to church. And the Adrenaline Junkie, now three, had a spit-up just as they were pulling into the church parking lot. You see, she hasn't mastered the art of blowing her nose yet. The only way she can figure out to make that funny nose-blowing sound like Mommy and Daddy, is to put the tissue over her face, and snort. So, all that gunk stays inside instead of coming out, and it makes her sick to her stomach. Well, Mommy wheeled quickly into a parking spot, and threw open her door...

Crunch. As she opened her door, the car pulling into the next space over hit it just right, that it got all nice and crinkly. It also won't close on its own--thus, the bungee cords in the above image.

So! Not only are we stuck far from home with a sick family, but our getaway vehicle is out of commission. It's drivable, but not particularly watertight or climate-controlled anymore.

And yes, that's the same vehicle we had to get fixed two months back.

So: do we have any Plans B around? Well, yes, when there are grandparents around, there are always Plans B. Papa and Grandmother have a couple of smallish SUVs. The big question, of course, is whether or not it's possible to get all three child safety seats in. This was an issue after our previous run-in with another vehicle. Well, we figured we'd give it a try. After all, while Honda CRVs aren't particularly big (with no third seat), they're a lot bigger than Toyota Corollas.

Well, after about an hour or so of shoving, tugging, pushing, and grunting, we came up with this arrangement:

It's not completely kosher, I'm afraid. I had to loosen the straps on the near seat and yank it to the side in order to get the seat in the middle in place. However, it's not loose. So long as the middle seat doesn't fall out, the near one isn't going anywhere. Not kosher, perhaps, but it'll do.

(It occurs to me that this arrangement might not have worked, had our run-in occurred six weeks from now. In early February, the Happy Boy turns one, and his seat gets turned right-side-forward. There's no telling whether we'd be able to get it installed in that orientation with the other seats--at least, not without a lot of Crisco.)

Anyway, we decided to try a fit check:

About the only thing that we have to watch out for now, is that our children will now have the opportunity to experience the "Quit Touching Me" game, which they previously didn't have.


Tonya and I are strongly considering de-stressing next year's Christmas season. Between our church's annual Christmas Extravaganzas, for which I'm generally the musical director, and all the rushing to get presents ready, and get packed, and on the road, this often turns into the most annoying time of year--not to mention the fact that we always seem to get sick about now. We're thinking that we need to have Christmas next year be a much more low-key, relaxed affair--no travel, no music direction, just us and a tree and some presents, and a nice meal that the kids actually want to eat. Is that too much to ask, or would that, as my Sister-In-Law likes to say, "make the Baby Jesus cry! On His birthday!


Chris said...

Great One!

First and foremost, Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hopefully by the time you read this the crud will have crept elsewhere and you'll be back home where you all belong (sans minivan).

Being about 3 years ahead of you re the age of our respective children, it makes sense that it was about 3 years ago (maybe 4) that we instituted the "you come to us" policy for Christmas Day. If any grandparent, aunt or uncle wanted to see the three most fabulous children on that morning (or the Eve before), they had to come to us. There's just something about waking up in your own bed on Christmas morning that is wonderful.


Wendy Power said...

I'm telling you, a 15-passenger van is looking better and better for you people...I'm glad no one was hurt.

Merry Christmas, despite the crud and crunchiness. Squwunches to all.

Timothy Power said...

Unfortunately, "Squwuuuuunch..." is very, very close to the sound of Door Meets '91 Toyota Camry.

I'm beginning to think that "Odyssey" is an ill-starred name for a minivan. After all, the whole point of the original Odyssey is that a whole lot of really bad things happened to the stalwart hero before he got home, not to mention what he had to put up with when he did get home. Here's praying we don't get kidnapped by minor goddesses or turned into pigs before we get home tomorrow.