Sunday, December 26, 2010

Go East, Young Men!

Our December voyages started inauspiciously: The Boy developed a case of pinkeye (conjunctivitis) on Wednesday night, to go along with a nasty cold, which consisted of a sprinting nose, lots of snot, and coughing fits during sleep. He was gracious enough to share his pinkeye with his brother by Thursday morning. So, we scrapped our plans to teach lessons on the way out east for a more conservative “Pick Up Antibiotics and Head Out Anyway.” My brother’s in town from California, and I’m not going to miss seeing him, come heck or high water (or high levels of eye gunk, anyway).

(Side note: here’s where some of my games start to backfire more than a little bit. The Boy and I play a game called “Gonna get your boogers!”, which consists of Daddy making motions towards getting some hangers from The Boy’s nose. He squeals and wriggles and covers his nose, then tries to return the favor. Of course, when he’s tired and sick and really excreting large amounts of nose candy, the game turns less fun and more of a power struggle. Such is life.)

We got to Aunt M’s in Harrisburg, after first calling to explain the medical situation and getting a confirmation to still stay - although when we got there, we discovered that the rest of the house was less than thrilled about the young plague carriers. They were having somewhat immune-compromised guests the next day and were afraid of transferring their germs. We understand that, so we decided to just hop back in the car (after being provided with dinner of an amazing steak) and head up to Grandpa’s house, one day early. Lord knows we’ve been in the opposite side often enough; we’d never “force” ourselves on someone who doesn’t want our germs.

The 24th opened simply enough: two hungry, grumpy children and an extremely ill Mum. Sigh. Took the children to Shop Rite to pick up Christmas Dinner food. Younger Bro started to pitch a major fit by the end of the trip, considering how hungry he apparently was. A trip to Dunkin Donuts cured that quite nicely. We got home and played with the children for a couple of hours, letting Mum rest. The Boy napped with her for some time during the afternoon, while Younger Bro decided to forgo most of his nap.

At night, we went to dinner at a local watering hole, celebrating the birthday of Cousin J. It went surprisingly well, considering that I took the two children by myself. The Boy was the picture of politeness all night, staying in his seat all the way through dinner and playing and coloring nicely with Grandpa and Uncle P. Younger Bro was his normal self, and I kept him entertained with the patient help of Cousin J. After dinner, nobody was left in the back room of the restaurant besides one other family, with whom I had a 20-year friendship; so, I felt completely okay with allowing my children to run around the room and beat on each other. It was quite entertaining: Younger Bro would tackle The Boy, bring him down quite hard. They both thought that was funny. The Boy would then punch at Younger Bro, beating on his back. They both thought that was fall-down hilarious. Sigh. Boys = puppies, for the most part. Come see the violence inherent in the system.

Younger Bro eating birthday cake was epic. Full hands squishing cake and frosting - followed by a face bath in said cake. Epic Win, Younger Bro. Way to pwn that cake.

After dinner, we stopped by St. Peter’s to say hi to the choir and to the priests, all of whom had been amazingly helpful to us through the course of The Boy’s treatments. They were happy to see the boys, black eyes & pinkeyes and bruises and all. I was happy to see them, for sure, and I miss them greatly, particular Mr. K. and Judith, two of the nicest and most fun people ever.

We all opened some presents last night, then the boys went to bed more-or-less willingly. This morning, I woke up feeling peckish (nothing an overabundance of anti-histamine medication can’t handle), but The Wife was functional and the kids were happy. The Wife and The Boy visited Alan Rubin’s congregation to great acclaim, and we had a nice, boring, slow Christmas day.

Do you know what the Jews call Christmas this year? Saturday.

I have a post about the difference between where we were a year ago and where we are today, but it’s still percolating and coalescing inside. More later, maybe.

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