Or maybe Deck The Halls With Disemboweled Husbands? I used to love Christmas. Then I moved to France, where I eventually married Grumpy McScrooge, Mr. Anti-Christmas himself.
Maybe Anti-Christmas is too harsh. Perhaps just Disconnected is a little more correct to describe his total lack of enthusiasm, interest, or desire to be giving at this time of year. Maybe he was just raised wrong (I’ll vote for that any day). Whatever the reason, the man has made me loathe the time of year I used to love most.
Giving gifts has never been his strong point. And to his credit, he pointed this out to me in the very earliest of days. He’d rather give his time than a gift. And that’s lovely, really, in theory, except the man has no time to give either. Hell, if I can’t have a nice, calm, family evening every now and then, I should at least have that lovely laptop I’ve been pining over for YEARS, right?
But it’s so not just about me anymore. I’ve gone through a Christmas without a single gift for me under the tree, and while it was possibly the single worst experience I have ever had to endure, I managed to make it through. The scars of that Holiday From Hell have, indeed, healed over, but it’s still a touchy subject. Very Touchy.
So now we have three kids tossed in the mix, two of whom are old enough to be completely interested in Christmas and one of whom (the oldest) is already antsy about whether or not Père Noël is going to bring him a race car. And Grumpy McScrooge, having possibly learned something from the nuclear fall-out that followed the last time the Christmas tree was left half-bare, has indeed decided that gifts will be purchased, and has even insisted on helping out in this area.
Which is the problem.
Had things been left entirely up to me (as they should have been, right?), the nightmare of Christmas Shopping For Small Children in France would have been completed. I do not do crowds, and for those of you not in the know, in France the crowds at Christmas are incredible. Their ingenious system of allowing stores to be open only a certain number of hours means that everyone is forced to go at the same time. There are no lovely, spacious, clean 24/7 Walmarts here. And the fact that these stores are able, for a few short weeks, to open on Sunday, only increases the panic in the aisles.
Scroogey doesn’t do crowds either, nor does he do shopping. So taking him in to the fray at this point will be akin to pulling off his fingernails, with pliers, while applying an electric probe to his nether regions. WHY? Why his he insisting it be done This Way?
It’s certainly not because he has any ideas of what to get the monkeys. He’s as useless as tits on a bull in that department. He does have ideas about what not to get them, but we’re pretty much on the same page as far as that goes. In addition to being limited on funds, we’re extremely limited on space, patience, and lots of other things we’d like to have in large supply. All of this means we should have started looking, searching for ideas, and exploring the possibilities long ago, back when we’d have had time to plan, purchase, wrap and hide things that the Fat Guy will be sliding down the chimney.
Should’a Could’a Would’a. So here we are, just over a week before that happy day and nothing has been done, no plans made, not the first gift purchased, not even a tree put up, because honestly, ten minutes with this man could even kill Kris Kringle’s Christmas cheer. Supposedly we’re going to make a day of it tomorrow, but the prospect of that terrifies me. Just mentioning the words Christmas and gift in any combination around that man is enough to put me in such a horrible mood that I’m afraid the possibility of a public shouting match is very real. His passive-aggressive way of not dealing with any of this drives me apeshit. And having to deal with rude salespeople and obnoxious crowds will only increase my need for certain calming medications.
Fortunately, Monkey-1, just when I was at the point of despair, made me very happy that some of my genes have made it through. He asked if I could take him to a toy store so he could get a gift for each of his sisters. I could have cried.
In the last episode, our local psychopath (i.e. ME) was complaining about how cruel and hard life was because everything seemed to be turning up roses. HA! Let’s all laugh at her.
That very evening Muppet came home from school grumpy. This isn’t too unusual considering the hours he puts in. I didn’t think much of it, really. However, as I was getting him ready for bed I noticed he was rather warmish. Rather warmish is the new way of saying I had to run cold water on my hand for half an hour after touching him. Great, another fever. Then I stripped his shirt off of him.
And a pox fell over the land.
Folks, the kid brought home some herpes! Yes, his shoulders were covered in blisters, nice red juicy ones. Chicken Pox. Lovely.
Lovely? Well, yes. See, chicken pox are fun, right. And since he’s the eldest, he is the first to go through this childhood right of passage. Pooplette and MP3 have been spared…so far. But the great sage doctor was kind enough to point out that there is a two week incubation period, so we’re not necessarily done. Good news: MP3 is still in that age group where the pox are rather rare. Hope is given. Bad news: Mama is still in that age group where chicken pox is nasty. Yep, I am not immune. Hope?
If anyone out there can do that voodoo anti-chickenpox dance thing I’d be ever so grateful.
So, we’ve been doing the fun fever battle. And we’ve been doing the don’t scratch dance. And it seemed things were going fine. Monkey is covered from head to tall with incriminating pox marks, certain delicate bits having not been spared. It seems my brilliant plan of having all three kids pose for a Christmas Card Picture to send the friends and family will probably be scrapped—a face like his doesn’t seem very merry.
And while The Pox are fun, and they’ve added enough seasoning to make life just miserable enough, we’re not quite done. Both girls are having a terrible time getting rid of the colds that started a couple of weeks back. MP3 is on antibiotics, and Pooplette has been pooping something that I surely could sell as some type of biological weapon when she hasn’t been spewing from the other end.
And, of course, Mr. Manthing has had Places To Be and Important Shit To Do. Isn’t that typical. No, to be fare, I did kind of guilt him into staying at home on Sunday. But isn’t that something I shouldn’t have to do, especially considering he’d told me just two days before that if we couldn’t all go out to this Sunday Shindig as a family he’d rather stay home? I just don’t understand his logic sometimes. And he doesn’t understand why I get SO PISSED OFF at shit like that. Men!
In my next life, I swear, I’ll have nothing to do with them.
So everyone is sick. And that should have me stacking up enough complaints to get me through even the best of holiday seasons, right?
But we’re not done yet.
Last night, while washing Monkey with some super-duper antiseptic foaming wash stuff (to keep his pox from infecting and help keep them from itching as much—really works...or worked as the case may be), I noticed his eyelids looked kinda swollen. Mr. Thing noticed this as well, and we figured we’d just keep an eye on it. This morning, his eyes were really swollen, eyelids, under his eyes, the bridge between his eyes. He looked as though he’d gone 12 rounds with Foreman, only without the pretty multicolored bruises. So, tonight we’ve been back to the Dr., who suspects either an allergy to the foamy wash stuff, or a food allergy, or maybe a possible allergy to the anti-alergy medication that keeps him from itching too terribly much—although that’s like unheard of, ya know, or maybe it’s just part of the whole pox thing. Who knows. We’re certainly not about to go another round of allergy tests for this. Not tonight.
No, tonight is reserved for bloody noses, legs stuck in pajamas and all other minor catastrophes that the monkeys find to put me through.
I’m here, no really I am…well sort of, at least. I haven’t had too much to complain about lately, and that’s made life ever so boring. What is a poor girl to do?
I know, I know, I should revel in my new-found happiness. And I would, really, if only it didn’t make me so damn miserable. I thrive on complaining. Bitching is my favorite pastime, and now, I’m coming up with absolutely nothing.
There’s still the bullshit with the house, but that’s a never ending story and it’s gone stale now. I’m hoping the next round of battles with the courts will maybe put some life back in that old complaint, but considering the massive pile of shit we’ll need to dig through to move forward, I seriously doubt I’ll be bubbling over with bile any time soon.
And there’s always the spouse. Who goes through life without complaints about their spouse? And we all know that I’ve had a deluge of things to piss and moan about in that department, a seemingly endless supply of gripes. But even that source has dried up… mostly.
The kids? MP3 is still a perfect angel, now with two teeth—teeth that just showed up one day (yes, the pair) without so much as a diaper rash to announce their arrival. Even the Pooplette Klingon Child is wonderful these days—something that is so gloriously nice words cannot begin to describe. And Monkey-1? There’s NOTHING to complain about.
I think the end of the world must be near.
Mr. ManThing has hired someone to help out on the farm. He’s supposed to ‘help out’, meaning he gets all the odds and ends jobs that Mr. ManThing doesn’t have time for or that he’s an extra pair of hands for bigger things, like changing a tire on a tractor for example, that Marc just doesn’t have enough limbs to handle. Ha! If only. This kid (and he is a kid, really—19 hardly qualifies one as much more now that I’m 29 years old with a few years of experience) is fucking awesome! He knows how to do almost everything. If something breaks, he takes care of fixing it, including calling and ordering the parts. Hubs tells him what he needs done in the morning, and The Kid goes and does it—without constant supervision, without someone having to explain every minute detail of every step of the process. His Stinginess doesn’t even complain when writing out the paycheck at the end of the month. I guess he feels he’s getting his money’s worth.
And since The Kid eats with us I’m kept busy. Forcing me to cook is such torture, especially when I have to cook for someone who has such a good appetite that nary a crumb need be packed away in the fridge afterwards. The pain…
Oh, I could complain about having been left alone, yet again, with three small, very sick children while the Hubs rubbed elbows in the north of France and I died several times over with a rhino-pharange-sinus-laryngitis thing (that still is hanging on) complicated by a suspected, yet short lived gastro. But I was compensated shortly thereafter with a Child-Free Weekend, a treat most unheard of in these parts, and honestly the horror of the whole experience has been dulled by the drunken hue that’s clouding the past weekend’s memories. I do remember being…happy (that’s a good word, right) enough to have actually stepped foot on the teeny-tiny dance floor with my husband and his charming childhood friend—although not at the same time—truly not that kinky. (Sorry Antipo, dearest, the rest of the raunchy details escape me, not that you’d want those details of course. I couldn’t stand to make you blush yet again.)
So boredom reigns supreme here. Shit, someone pick a fight, please!