Sunday, December 30, 2007

I bet I'm weirder.

“No cweam on my wip! I don’t wike spicy cweam it’s spicy.” The toddler yells as I gently rub Vick’s Baby Rub on his chest. Like almost everybody else in this house, he’s fighting a nasty post-holiday-let-down cold. All that excitement of constantly being told to unwrap another present just wears on a little person. Not to mention the 38 family members who want to give kisses, take pictures and not let you nap. We'll feel better with a few moments’ peace when nothing needs to be done. Today would’ve been a great day for doing nothing except we had to show the house (love cleaning, totally can’t get enough of it, in fact I’d rather clean than take a nap I love it that much). As for treating their colds? They refuse to breath in deeply all the warmth and sleepiness of a nice chest cream. It’s too spicy.

Child, you don’t know spicy.

Let me tell you a story about a little girl and her spicy poultice. And although spicy poultice might sound like a fancy recipe in a Martha Stewart cookbook, I assure you it’s not. I had so many colds as a child and I remember the days crying with my sister about it being too spicy, just as you do. Except instead of gently rubbing us with cream designed especially for babies and their undeveloped olfactory senses, my mother would bring us down to the kitchen and ladle a hot, caustic, mustard-yellow, gelatinous soup onto a square of old fabric – usually a piece of faded corduroy jumper circa 1973. She’d then hold up the soupy material and press it onto our bare chests for what seemed like an eternity for a few seconds, giving the searing liquid sufficient time to bond itself with our skin. I was always amazed that my n!pples never just fell off it hurt that badly. We’d have to wait patiently by the woodstove until the blob of musty old material and smelly goop dried and firmly adhered itself to our entire chest and mid-sections. (Yes, I said woodstove and sometimes I can’t even believe half the stuff my childhood was made of – I’m beginning to realize just how old-school my parents really were.) After it dried we were expected to get dressed and go on with our normal lives as if nothing at all weird was happening. Like walking around with a gluey thing stuck to my body was absolutely normal and not at all bizarre. I smelled like a joyfully malodorous blend of star anise and hippie. And on many levels, that was normal.

I suppose the most insufferable part of this whole cold remedy was the itching - because you could never get a really satisfying scratch. It was like wearing a snowsuit for days but only on your chest. Sometimes I’d try to dig a pencil under there just to get one good scratch, and I’d look up to see five of my classmates giving me the infamous fourth grade You’re Weird stare. I can’t really blame them because I was weird - very little pop-culture exposure and a lot of time spent outdoors. And made to wear a poultice to school for a week every time I caught a cold. I had no choice but to be weird.

And look where it got me?! Raising more weird people. I’m sure my sister would agree with me– the weirder the better.


Blogger mama said...

you're weirder.

good thing weirder is the new gooder.

happy new year. i promise i'm about to write something thought provoking and exciting, it's just right now i'm a little gassy.

8:25 AM  

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