Winter Without End.

January is over! Thanks be to god.


The other night, Simone was sick, with that alarming scalding hot fever skin that children get making you certain death is imminent, despite the thermometer’s insistence that their temperature still hovers around 102, and she draped herself over me in bed, where I was holding Twyla with my other arm, and there was sleep moaning (Simone) and sleep wiggling (Twyla) and lots of sticky, airless heat-generating (Everyone), and then Simone was awake and crying and Twyla was awake and making baby sounds at me, and this was about the thirteenth time this had happened, so I asked Scott to check the clock while he was out in the kitchen fetching a bottle, thinking surely, SURELY, this sleepless hell night must be nearly finished, and LO! It was 1:30.

Naturally I broke things and stomped my feet and threw a tantrum, because my GOD, these children! Everywhere, children! Hot and damp and ON ME!

Alas the tantrum only happened in my head, because, well.

Instead, I handed Twyla to Scott and got up to measure out more ibuprofen and returned to rub Simone’s hair and say soothing things, and then I took the baby back, (because only I will do as far as Twyla is concerned), and patted her while making shhh-ing sounds, like the sea, and Simone coughed wetly into my eye, and all was as it was, is, and ever shall be.

As dreary as it is to read about other people being ill, I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got at the moment. Simone was scheduled to have her adenoids out last week, but instead she got sick, and was in fact SO sick, for a while, that I was wringing my hands and having visions of Lavinia Swire. Then she was at last improving, but yesterday slid downhill again in the afternoon, and so while she seems dramatically better today, I am regarding her progress with a jaundiced eye.

Twyla has come down with whatever it is, and is miserable and bewildered as only a sick baby can be. I’ve got it as well, though my case is still in the very early stages and so I am trying to stave it off with extra liquids, denial, and sloth.

Simone’s fifth birthday is Friday, with her party on Saturday, so it is a fun exercise to speculate about which of us will be ill, then. Will Simone be fully recovered? Will Twyla? Will I have fully succumbed, prophylactic sloth notwithstanding? Will Scott be felled as well? Many possible combinations to consider, which is exciting.

(So pathetic!)


  1. Melanie says:

    Get well soon, all of you! Thats an order! (My feeble attempt to strike fear in the heart of whatever germ is holding onto you). My oldest had the puking virus (I am too lazy to look up the correct spelling of) last week and i am watching my 4yr old like a hawk, especially since she declared she felt like throwing up at preschool but no worries mom, all better now! YIKES

  2. Alexicographer says:

    Oh, I’m sorry. I loved both “LO! It was 1:30.” and “Naturally I broke things and stomped my feet and threw a tantrum, because my GOD, these children! Everywhere, children! Hot and damp and ON ME!” because I can so relate (and I only have one child! and — touch wood — he’s generally sturdily healthy for his condition, which is colloquially known as kindergartener).

    I have commented on so many blogs and now I’ll add your to the list: it’s been a bad year for bugs. It really has (we’ve had several sweep through. See: kindergartener). Hang in there. I’m sorry.

    Also: 5???

    • Alexa says:

      I know! I can’t believe she will be 5, I really cannot.

      And it really has been a terrible year for bugs. Last year was uncommonly light on the sickness front for us, so I assume we are paying for it now. Paying DEARLY.

      • Alexicographer says:

        Well, you are not alone (on the paying for it part). Not that that helps one bit. Seriously, hope you all get better quickly and stay well a good long time. I want Simone to have a lovely 5th birthday party, for one thing (though happily of course if she herself is tolerably well, well, lovely has a pretty liberal interpretation in the 5 set, from what I can tell)!

  3. Jeanette says:

    Alexa…I am watching Cabaret starring Liza Minnelli this evening and can’t believe how much you look like a blond Liza…just saying! and isn’t she a beautiful lady? Also…I hope you and your family are on the mend. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • Alexa says:

      This is so funny, because I used to get that comment all the time in high school–I always assumed it was partially because of the giant false lashes I wore back then, but perhaps not…

  4. KDA says:

    Poor babies! Sickness visited our house not too long ago. Baby’s pediatrician advised lots of hand-washing to avoid spreading the germs. Yes, I wanted to say, but that doesn’t help much when she sneezes in my face and then proceeds to try to pick my nose with her grubby little finger.

  5. jill says:

    I just told my 14 year old the saga of his third birthday, for which he was very very sick, and we waited a week, and then announced “Tomorrow is your birthday!” I don’t think you can pull that off with a fifth birthday (he was just sick for his fourteenth, something about that kid). Here’s hoping everyone is mended and celebrating on Saturday.

  6. Sarah B says:

    I become all unnerved and unhappy and hand-wringy during my Sophie’s fevers and illnesses (Sophie, by the way, is also turning the big 0-5 this year, and wow, yeah, that’s big). I try to hide it from my daughter but she’s either noticed or inherited my tendency towards the dramatic. During her most recent illness (with her fever staying high for days on end, even with medicine) she sighed, between spoonfuls of gelato, “I just, I just don’t think I’ll make it.” And I laughed, finally, for the first time in a week. Because, yes, my mind goes exactly *there* with every bad cough or high fever of hers. You would think that particular anxiety would wear itself out, or be cured by exposure therapy, at this point. So, this is a sort of note to say, after reading your blog for years (and book! my goodness, the book!) I’ve grown so fond of you all that my heart did its characteristic oh-no-its-a-fever-sound-the-alarms galloping by the end of your entry. And I sure hope you’ve all made it just fine after all.

  7. Jennifer says:

    that baby picture makes me want to have another baby, right now. My baby is almost 8 and i dont think I will have any further babies (although i guess anything can happen!) but that picture is so so sooo adorable. I love sleeping baby pictures. thanks for sharing!

  8. Kara says:

    Poor babies, I hope you all get better before the birthday party. I mostly just wanted to let you know that as I was reading this, my husband was walking past me and stopped just to say, “Ah, look at that baby.” Which, let me translate, in his none-too-passionate communication style, means “Oh my gosh! That is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen! Because I am not one to remark on the cuteness of other people’s children, so if I noticed her and stopped to say something, that means she really is among the cutest babies ever (in the august company of our own babies, of course)!” Yeah, that’s about right. But just thought I’d tell you, because she really is perfection.

  9. Kim says:

    I see from the next post that Simone looks quite well on her birthday, and I very much hope everyone else was well enough to enjoy the event. But I have to say my main thought reading this heartrending tale of woe was “wait, you don’t have a clock in the bedroom??”

    Spring soon… right? No more sickness. Sickness, be gone!

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