Up on the rooftop!
Down thru the chimney with good Saint Nick!
Who wouldn't believe in Santa Claus if you met him in a log cabin atop a snowy hill in Connecticut? Fire blazing beside him, teenage elves busy with paintbrushes, and a grim Mrs. Claus serving warmish cocoa. Lucy told him she really wanted a puppy, but she got something else that pees on the floor.
The babies got a horse!
Let's see... Not that we approve of marine mammals in captivity, but we did enjoy the beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium. (Look! They're smiling! They're saying... Oh! They're saying they'd rather entertain children in an appropriately sized pool that meets all accreditation standards than roam the lonely Arctic Ocean!) And the flock of penguins reminded us of preschoolers with full diapers. Waddle, waddle. Hop, hop, as they poked their beaks into a trainer's fish bucket. "I wanna a fish! I wanna fish! Feeesh! Oh! Hiieeee! I wanna fish!"
A baby cow sucked on Lulu's shoe.
My cousin got out of Pakistan before the assassination.
No murderers showed up at the house (although I did see that the troubled family two doors down is displaying a highly lit nativity on their front yard. Perhaps they have found Christ?)
Sounds idyllic, no? Well, it wasn't bad -- until my Bermuda brother violated all the accepted rules of parenting and brought an actively vomiting toddler into the house on the morning of Christmas Eve. What a gift! And yes, he knew it was a virus, not a bad reaction to airplane food. And yes, he also knows (or should) that eenie-weenie Josephinie does not need to lose her dinner -- and then her appetite for a week, turning up her little nose (mine, I think, gratefully) at everything but pink-sugared Christmas cookies.
We were at my cousin's much-anticipated annual fete. (Hooray! My film-making cousin got a job at the BBC in Wales! Look out, Ciaran! Here we come! In a five-berth canal boat, I'm hoping.) David was showing off Josephine, over by the fire and my aunt's elderly mother, when my little peanut puked all over him and my cousin's brocade couch. ("You know this means we have to go home," he hissed. Reluctantly I put down my Miller Lite. "Maybe you could borrow a shirt?" I asked hopefully.)
Then she threw up in the car. In the kitchen sink. And on the white towel that I spread across our bed. Around midnight, sometime after she'd vomited for the sixth time, Margaret started to cry. "Oh hush, Margaret," I said, lifting her from her crib. "Josephine is sick!" Margaret opened her mouth, "Aaa..." and puked all over my pajama pants. Meanwhile, I hear Lucy crying in the other room, "Josephine made me throw up!"
Here is my handy diagram on the disease's progression:
In all, 13 people were exposed. Nine caught the bug. (Oops! I forgot to put my sister Sharon onto the graph.) But I did not! Which just goes to show you that a diet of fried veal and Italian lemon cookies is much better for you than such things as "Vitamin C" and exercise.