It’s one of those goofy Mama things where everytime you snuggle in bed with your toddler your hand slips down to pinch their little booty for the dual purpose of checking to see if they’re wet or dry and also to get a surreptitious caress in. My daughter rarely has an accident at night anymore, but old habits die hard. In this case, she had wet the bed – luckily we have a waterproof pad down so it’s no biggie and when I whispered, “Sophie!” her little voice said, “What?” in a very sharp, very aware, I-sort-of-knew-I-was-soaking-in-pee type of way.
What I probably should have mentioned in the first place is that my husband has contracted the chicken pox and the reason I woke at all was that he was running the hottest bath he could in the middle of the night, being that he was going through some intense fever / chills. He’s very cute, asking about the temperature in the way a newly-blind man might ask a friend to describe a pretty flower. “Is it hot in here?” “What do you think of the temperature in here, does it feel cold to you or normal?” I think he’s amazed that his body is tricking him and no one else. Besides the tell-tale blisters which are coming out in force today, he’s not getting too much more trouble – mostly I’m just encouraging him to rest. Chicken pox is a sort of rite of passage for parents, but one thing I have learned about it in the last few weeks (the disease has been running through our community here and there since the fall) is that a vocal minority (fortunately) of people can be – how should I put this? – full of convicted ignorance when it comes to the pox. Incorrect, scary, or sloppy “knowledge” (for instance Ralph is going to contract pneumonia and die since he’s battling the virus as an adult). Another case in point my mother-in-law assured us Ralph had chicken pox not once, but twice in childhood so, you know, he wouldn’t get it from his own child. I really could go on about the alarmist or incorrect or silly stuff that I’ve seen regarding this particular flu-level yet icky-looking malady but I won’t, because I’m busy cooking and cleaning and laundering and loving up my family. Oh yeah, and blogging and stealing a smoke now and then – Mama’s gotta stay happy.
Well, it turns out at 4 AM an ill husband and a daughter who’s wet really require the same thing – a warm bath. They soaked in the tub together while I stripped and remade the bed and laid out warm clothes. Ralph returned to his bed on the couch with yet another (dry) blanket to supplant the ones he slept and sweated in. As late as last night he was saying, “Well, we’ll see how I look tomorrow.” while I’m thinking, “Pox-y as hell, mothafucka!” but keeping mum. I am on major laundry detail and running any and all errands with my now healthy daughter who feels sort of proud, I think, that she brought her Daddy low with the Pox. This morning our son shows just a tiny bit of nose snuffle and little innocuous spots and I know he’s in for it too, which is one day earlier than I thought we’d be seeing it (yes, I can do chicken pox math). Further awesomeness would include me coming down with it as well; only time will tell but I seem to have survived recent exposures unscathed and we can only hope for the best.
In the meantime I’m considering wrapping our entire family in cloth bandages and sunglasses and fedora ala The Invisible Man and limping down the street en masse, “Unclean! Unclean!”