Saturday, September 24, 2005
Slogging Through a River of Snot
Ugggghhhh, Jacob's got a cold.

A horrible, nasty, gross sort of thing which is not bad enough to need medical attention but which is bad enough to let him sustain one long, miserable, whiny note over the course of several days. His poor little eyes are all puffy and he's all nasal... very much like a short alcoholic after a 3-day bender. He creates his own body weight in snot every day, 40% of which ends up smeared somewhere on me - usually my right shoulder, which is the only place he's even marginally happy.

(When I say "happy," for him, usually I mean giggly and smily - this week, I mean only moaning intermittently instead of constantly.)


So far none of the rest of us have caught it from him, which is a good thing because I don't think I could tolerate myself if I were that unpleasant, and I'm darn certain I'd be sending Willem or Emily off to the nearest "Go Somewhere Else and Be Quiet" farm if they were like this.

But he's a baby, and he's still pretty cute, so we let him stay with us. We even let him sleep indoors, assuming he actually sleeps. Last night he was up 5 times between 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. I could actually feel the moment when the Motrin finally took full effect - his whole body relaxed and then he wanted to bounce and giggle and play. But this was at 12:45 a.m., and my personal tolerance for play and fun had long since faded. Then he bounced his forehead directly into my lower lip, which decreased my mirth even further. So, in my role as Evil Bad Mommy, I laid him back down and let him cry himself to sleep. If it had taken more than 2 1/2 minutes, I might feel bad about that.

Nah, I probably wouldn't, anyway.

He was well enough that we dragged him along to a birthday party for the brother of a classmate of Emily's. Could that be any more confusing?? We actually thought it was for the classmate, and we bought him a gift accordingly... but now, instead of looking like a cheapskate for bringing a $10 magnetic building kit, I look like a hero for bringing a gift for the often-forgotten middle child! Hooray for not reading the invitation thoroughly!!!

I have to say that, as far as 8-year-olds' birthday parties go, this one was actually really, really well-run. Plenty of activities for the kids, not a lot of stand-around-making-small-talk-while-waiting-for-food time for the grown-ups. There was a magician who was pretty darn tricky - which does say something for truth in advertising, as his stage name was "Tricky Dick." Though that leads me to the thought that he could switch fields to a much more risque venue and still offer truth in advertising, perhaps. Anyway, Jacob sat and watched and clapped the whole time, which was just a tad cute. His only break in applause came when the magician was showing off his "new pet raccoon" (a stuffed puppet) and made it wiggle and jump at all the kids. Apparently, to Jacob, spastic stuffed raccoons are right on par with monsters shouting "BOO" and strangers pinching his cheeks, because he had a brief but pointed meltdown after that one.

Jacob's obsession with putting things away continues, though I have my doubts that he'll hang onto that into his teen years. He's developed these sudden mini-tantrums once in a while, though right now they're reserved only for the most heinous and horrifying experiences, such as if he's put everything he can find into his little 6-pack cooler and the lid won't close all the way. You know, important stuff. They are highly amusing to me, though my snorting and giggling doesn't seem to entice him to join in the hilarity.

It's nowhere near late yet, according to my internal clock - only 10:43, according to my computer. But I'm going to go try and shuffle off to bed and get 20 or 30 minutes of sleep before the next attack of coughing and sneezing and leaking and whining descends upon our house.

At least he's cute!