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5:36 p.m. - 2002-12-13

SICK DAYS WITH THE SNOT MONSTER

Not much stuff to report here today.

I had to stay home with Andrew yesterday as he had a fever of 100.9 when he woke up and daycare will not accept any child with a fever because...heaven forbid his daycare provider would actually have to put up with a whiny child all day.

Alright, alright...I know the real reason they can't take kids with fevers. I'm not stupid. They don't want the other kids to get sick. Duh.

He has a pretty intense cold going right now and I feel for the little guy. He's basically a well-oiled snot machine, producing almost 12 gallons of snot per hour. It's really strange...I mop his upper lip down with a Kleenex ... I turn my head for a split second ... and his lip is all slick again.

I toyed with the idea of duct-taping several Kleenex across the front of his head, tearing out two little eye holes and letting him go through the day like that. Then, every hour I'd remove the sopping wet Kleenex and replenish them with new Kleenex.

Sounded pretty ingenius to me.

I doubt child welfare would have been so quick to pat me on the back for it though. So we did it the old fashioned way. Me chasing him around the house all day, swiping at his lips.

Susie wants him to stay home again today in hopes that keeping him at home for four days straight will kick his cold to the curb.

...Except...she wants ME to stay home with him again.

Now...I have a real problem taking sick days at work when I'm not really sick.

But ... in my defense ... I've taken two sick days all year. Yesterday was the third and today will most likely be the fourth.

Susie's had almost two weeks of sick days built up over this year. She's taken nine sick days at her job...all of them to stay home with Andrew when daycare wouldn't take him.

It's funny. If I'M sick ... I go to work. I've had the freakin' flu, I've gone all night without sleeping, I've vomited like a dog ... and then drove to work.

I have to reserve my sick days for when ANDREW is sick.

And Susie has born the brunt of staying with Andrew while he's been sick this year.

So... now it's my turn.

And quite frankly ... I'd rather be at work.


Andrew gets all clingy when he's sick. Hold me, pick me up, don't put me down, don't make me nap, don't force me to eat, just hold me.

I had to hold him while I cooked dinner last night. I felt like one of those mothers from the 1950s with a child in one arm, a telephone cradled on my shoulder, a pot of boiling water in the other hand and a dog wrapped around my feet just in case there was a slim chance that I might drop some morsel of food on the floor that she would then scarf up like the goddamned mongrel that she is.

I'm back to hating my dog. Can you tell?

Anyway...staying at home with a sick Andrew is no picnic.

Not even the Wiggles can distract him from me.

That's when you know he's sick ... when the Wiggles are making Fruit Salad and he couldn't give two shits.


I took him to the doctor yesterday who confirmed ... yes... your son has contracted the virus that has plagued our city in recent weeks.

That makes it sound like smallpox when, in fact, it's a cold.

I was pretty much a shitty parent in the waiting room.

They've got this table for kids to sit and play at as they wait to be called back to the back and examined.

Some other little kids who seemed to be in decent health were sitting there playing at the table.

My son, who's clearly contagious from his constant hacking and projectile snot, saunters over to the table and starts playing with stuff on the table.

The other mothers gave my son a horrified look as he hacked and blew snot chunks all over their children.

I couldn't be bothered with their silent concerns. The kid was out of my arms for the first time that day. I needed a fucking break from holding him. So he's going to sneeze all over your precious little Ashley or Jennifer or whatever the fuck "hot" name you gave your kid.

So what? Some other kid sneezed all over my kid and that's why we're here. It's a never ending vicious circle of phlegm. Deal with it. You bring your kid to the doctor's office, the kid's going to come into contact with other sick kids.

As a parent, you do everything possible to keep your kids healthy because if they're not healthy, you miss work.

At least...that's my reason for doing it.

Anywayyyy...


Thanks for all your suggestions in trying to help me get the Imagisound Playhouse for Andrew in time for Christmas. Unfortunately ... not many of them will work. Actually...so far ... none of them will work.

I could order it off the web and pay $155 in shipping charges, making a $230 toy turn into a $400+ toy. Even though websites say "No shipping charges for orders over $100" they mean $100 worth of little shit. They're not talking about 90 lb. playhouses.

Believe me ... I checked.

There are no Targets in the area. I have to drive to Georgia for those and right now ... I just don't have the time to drive to another state to take a chance that they MIGHT have one of these playhouses.

The demo model that they have has been outside for what looks like an eternity. It's weathered and beaten. If it was in decent shape, I'd make the offer to purchase it. But it's covered in grime and fungus. And I really don't want to say "Merry Christmas son! Look! You got the House o' Disease for Christmas!!"

The closest Toys 'R' Us that I know of is at least 90 miles away and I'm not sure they'd have it either.

The people at my Toys 'R' Us are not helpful at all. After Andrew's doctor's appointment yesterday, we stopped by to see if any Playhouses had been delivered

"Excuse me," I said to the girl at the Service Desk.

"What?" the girl said.

"Would you happen to know if any Little Tikes Playhouses came in the shipment today?" I asked sweetly.

"No," the girl said.

I needed clarification.

"No ... they didn't come in or no ... you don't know if they came in?"

"I don't know if any came in."

Dead silence.

More silence.

Then...just a little more silence to turn it into an uncomfortable silence.

"Uhhhh..." I started. "Is there anyone here who would know if any came in?"

"Hang on," she said and slowwwwwly picked up the phone while Andrew unleashed two gallons of snot on my shoulder.

She aksed someone in the back if the playhouses came in and then hung up.

"None came in," she said.

I looked behind me to make sure there wasn't a line of disgruntled customers behind me, which may explain why this little bitch was being so rude.

No customers except me.

I decided to fill in the blanks for her in her customer service spiel...of which there were plenty.

"Sooo...I should check back again tomorrow?" I helped her.

"We get shipments in every day," she said.

"Thank you for your help," I said really smarmy. "You've been such a great help. I can't remember ever being so overwhelmed by such a helpful customer service representative."

No response from her.

I called her the C-word under my breath and hauled ass out the entrance, which I KNOW Toys 'R' Us employees hate. That's the one little thing they have control over ... where the customer exits the building and that's out the EXIT, not the ENTRANCE.

Fuck 'em.

Get a damned Imagisound Playhouse in your fucking store and I MIGHT play by your fucking rules, twatface.


Anyway...that's where we stand ... I'm at the mercy of Toys 'R' Us to get an Imagisound Playhouse in their inventory in the next 10 days or so.

Susie keeps asking me what's the big deal. It's not like Andrew THINKS or KNOWS that he's getting one of these playhouses.

I finally admitted it.

This playhouse isn't for Andrew. It's for ME.

I want to see an expression of joy on my son's face that I have yet to see. I want to see him the happiest that he has ever been in his two years. I want to record it all on videotape so that I can watch it again and again over the next 30 years.

I want my son to have the best Christmas ever ... every single year.

...Even if all his toys wind up coated in baby snot.

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