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The Boys Are Sick

I was finishing grading the last of the first batch of my students' papers when I heard a thump from upstairs and had to rush up to deal with vomited gingerbread and a hysterical child.

Darn. What the heck is it with my kid around the Christmas holidays? Last year, right after New Year's, was Sam's first trip to the ER, trying to deal with a mysterious vomiting illness. Now, he's only puked once this time, but it just feels the same. Something about it is so familiar that I just know that this isn't going to be an isolated occurrence. He's asleep in bed once more now, but he keeps whimpering and gurgling in his throat, making me rush to his side with a plastic bowl.

I have a feeling that, like last time, this vomiting is more related to the throat than the stomach. Doctors conjectured a year ago, though nobody gave us a firm diagnosis, that a sore throat and a cough were to blame - perhaps strep throat. He was coughing earlier today, preventing himself from ever falling asleep for his nap. More to the point, Eric is downstairs with a self-diagnosed case of bronchitis; he sounds just awful, and his chest is full of phlegm.

I'm feeling okay. I need to be okay, as there's just too much going on right now for everybody in the family to be incapacitated. Somebody needs to be able to whip the house into shape for spur-of-the-moment house showings; somebody needs to be able to rush around for plastic bowls and humidifiers. I also absolutely have to be in class tomorrow night; it's our last class meeting, and I need to hear the final presentations, give them their take-home exam, and do the evaluation thing. Can't miss this one, no sir.

You know, it's a funny thing. I always thought I'd be absolutely useless when it came to puking children. If any vomiting incidence was going to do me in, though, it was the one tonight - half-digested, dark brown cookies with that wonderful scent of cloves and ginger, all turned and sour. I could smell it before I even hit the stairs; I can still smell it. My only thought was, "Oh, poor baby!"

I doubt the same tolerance would hold if Eric developed the vomiting end of the illness. Honey, I love you, but you can hold your own bucket. A mommy's iron stomach only maintain its shape when the puker is her baby, I believe.

The cookies were yummy, though. I initially had trouble getting the dough to firm up; it was more like a stiff batter than a soft dough until I added nearly an extra cup of flour to it. It tasted good in the end, if a bit more crunchy than I generally like my cookies.

I decided to just do the decorating with raisins, little candies, and sprinkles instead of icing. Maybe Eric and I can do icing later with the rest of the dough (I still have half remaining in the fridge), but I figured that Sam wouldn't be able to handle it very well, anyway. He enjoyed poking raisins all over the gingerbread men's bodies with little rhyme or reason for location involved (at least, as far as I could discern). I rather think he enjoyed the decorating more than he enjoyed eating the finished product; the ginger was a little strong, perhaps, though I did use the more mild version of the recipe.

I was hoping that after Sam went to bed tonight, Eric and I could make our own cookies with a more "adult" flair. As it was, when I was helping Sam, it was all I could do to keep myself from strategically placing the tiny yellow stars in exotic places.

(Okay, okay, so I get a little randy when I'm ovulating.)

Eric's arrival home, complete with baritone voice and tragic face, though, put an end to my plans. Well, the dough will keep. For now, I'll just focus on providing my sickies with love and comfort rather than amusement.

Isn't ginger supposed to settle the stomach, anyway? Not that it's their stomachs that suffer at the moment; I don't know what kind of cookies I could make for a sick throat. Eucalyptus doesn't translate well into baked goods.

Maybe, if I can hold off on the cookies until Sunday, the scent will be good for yet another Open House. Our realtor thinks it would behoove us to keep having them. As it turned out, three people were there yesterday. One guy brought his father, and the two examined the house for about half an hour; in the end, he left a question about whether there are hardwood floors under the carpet in the living room. We're pretty sure there are not, but our realtor is more of a mind to say that we really don't know, but would be happy to allow him to come over and peek for himself in a corner. I just don't want to lead him down a false path; we looked under the carpet in a corner ourselves, and what we saw looked pretty bad.

But we move onward. Another Open House doesn't require that much more work from me, so it's not a hassle. I just want this place sold already!

previous one year ago:
Dear Sweet Black Nectar, Oh, my.
two years ago:
Today is a "good chin day."
three years ago:
As it turns out, this will be the first baby born to library staff in about fifteen years, so everybody is learning.
four years ago:
These are rich kids, and rich mommies around here don't take their own kids to libraries very often.
In the ears:

On the Bookshelf:

Gratuitous Sam

Poking a raisin into a cookie

More cookie decorating

Sprinkling the cookies


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