Thursday, December 30, 2010


"That's when he turned his hat into a bucket..."

So dear readers here we are at the end of another year. And you know what that means--just one more holiday to get through and then we can breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that as soon as that ball drops and the cork pops at midnight we can avoid the germ-manic mass gathering of people until Memorial Day! Well, that is if you haven’t already spent this holiday season (and by holiday season I mean the endless 62 days between Halloween and New Year’s Day) nursing sick children, avoiding other sick children at the pediatrician’s office, and administering shots of liquid Motrin like a bartender at happy hour. (Minus the happy!)
There’s one thing every mother wishes for during the holidays--that her family gets through them healthy. There’s no greater emotional balancing act than trying to prepare for the festivities, entertain relatives, and care for sick children. And God forbid El Husbando gets sick at the same time…that’s a special kind of hell that will propel you into immediate sainthood.
The story I share with you today is inspired by real events that occurred at a New Year’s Eve party a few years ago. It’s also a story, I’ve discovered, that’s familiar to many of you as well.   
But before our story begins, I want to thank each and every one of you for reading me every week. All of your emails, letters, kind comments when you see me, and phone calls mean more to me than you’ll ever know. Mom to Mom, Dad to Dad, Person to Person, we’re all in this crazy life together. Even if mine seems more crazy at times.
On behalf of my husband (the most patient man and best sport in the world), my children Jack and Katie (who in the future can just hand my columns over to their therapists and save a few years’ of explanation), Bad Dog (the most faithful misbehaved canine companion ever who I'm determined to spend the eternity of my afterlife with), and myself, may this New Year bring you much happiness, good health, and an abundance of humor to see you through the rest! 

 ‘Twas the Night Before New Year’s

‘Twas the night before New Year and as we ventured out
Our family was all hearty, healthy and stout.

Our lungs were all clear, our noses mucous free
As we awayed to our friend’s party all giddy with glee.

I with my bag of antibacterial wipes readied the kids for the trip,
To drive across town to eat chips and dip.

The hostess was smiling as we all hugged and kissed her,
After which I noticed on her lip was a blister!

I wanted to run, I wanted to hide,
But Jim still had not found his way in from outside.

So I entered the house with great trepidation and fear,
And tried not to cringe as all the other sniffling guests appeared.

A runny nose here, a croupy cough there,
I wondered how not to breathe in the air.

I sat on a chair trying hard not to worry,
Resisting the urge to leave in a hurry.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear? A sickly looking teenager,
Fevered, ‘twas clear.

So next to me he did sit, black plastic hat on his head,
To ring in the New Year on the couch, not in bed.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2…

When suddenly I heard the rumble from deep down below,
The rising sound of vomit before it started to flow.

That’s when he converted his hat into a bucket,
As everyone cheered “Happy New Year!” I screamed---
MOTHER (fill in blank)!!!!!!

It gushed from his mouth, his nose and his ears,
And all I could think was, “Let’s all get out of here!”

Why did we leave our sweet nest that ‘twas clean
To sit here and wade in this germ-infested scene?”

Bubbles from his nose continued to pour
Round the brim of the hat and onto the floor.

Finally he stopped, the rest seems so vague,
As I grabbed hold of my family and escaped that black plague.

And so we were home in three minutes fast,
Scrubbing and rubbing the germs from our…

Everybody sing:
Should Old Acquaintance get the flu and throw up on the floor,
Just get the hell out of there, but climb out the window there’s germs on the door!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Come on 2011--Bring it on!

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