Despite a lack of sleep, family drama, and general bad habits, I am almost entirely un-sick. I got lucky. Or perhaps it was my “medication” I self-prescribed on my date with Cyn last night – a hot, gingery-and-garlicky rice bowl followed by a walk up to our local favorite pub and a big lemony, boozy toddy (Maker’s Mark). I am totally serious: that’ll cure any cough, and get you feeling better about the world in general, too.

My son isn’t so lucky. This morning he has a small cough and is just a wee bit peaked-looking. I am one of those old-fashioned dorks who thinks a little fresh air – followed by a good rest at home – is good for illness. So at 10:30 I take him and my friend’s girl for a walk. They carefully punch their shoes through iced-over puddles, deeply satisfied by the muffled crunching sounds at their feet. Nels speaks up authoritatively: “Walk!”, or “Carry!”, depending on his fickle mood. And when I pick him up, I ask my friend’s girl to carry my coffee. They pause at the end of the trail to throw rocks in the bushes – Nels remembers this from over a month ago on the same walk with his sister.

After my friend has taken her daughter home, I head to preschool to pick up Sophie and, since it’s her last day before Christmas break, she has a goodie bag to bring home with her. There is a warped little heart ornament made of that crazy cinnamon / applesauce / glue (ah, the concoctions that we learn of after becoming parents). It smells lovely and goes on our “tree” (about 14″ tall, miniature with pink lights). In Sophie’s bag there is also a cookie and a monstrous “gingerbread house” – an insane-looking graham-cracker structure (overlaid on a small milk carton – clever!) complete with, of course, tons of candy. God, the sweets this time of year. It’s off-putting. Of course, I don’t really mind it for my kids’ sake. I’m the parent here; it’s up to me to set boundaries on sugar (even as their eyes glaze over and they wave their hands in the air and moan zombie-like for any confection they see). Before nap each kid gets one piece of candy at the table and I put the house on the shelf out of sight. I will probably show it to Babydaddy for cuteness’ sake – then destroy.

12:48 PM and I haven’t eaten at all yet. Low-blood-sugar crash, expected. Time to nosh.

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