Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It strikes again, and then some

I am sitting on my bathroom floor smearing pantene on my head and combing my hair with a fine tooth comb. Lice, it turns out, is a hearty creature, and is not actually gone from my house yet.

Silas and I went glamping in California for the weekend with a bunch of old friends, which meant heated cabins to sleep in and campfires to cook on -- perfect -- an easy walk to the beach for sunsets and moss covered boulders for the kids to climb on, and handfuls of smooth stones to skip into the silvering water.

Somewhere along the path through the woods from the beach to the campsite, Silas's towel must have brushed (and brushed and brushed against) poison oak, the towel he then used to dry off after a shower.  Our first morning back in DC found his trunk covered, and face and arms blotched with angry rash. For a couple of days and nights Silas spent most of his waking (some nocturnal) hours in a hot roaring shower or oatmeal/baking soda bath.  

In the meantime, Maeve struck up a case of conjunctivitis, and this morning we found Eden's head had been harboring a handful of (now poisoned) bugs. Disgusting.  And it of course raises the question of where else might these bugs be hiding... 

They do not appear to be anywhere but on her head, but have we missed one? one teeny little egg that will hatch to wreak further havoc and make us begin again at square one, meticulously combing each morning and daily loading the dryer with sheets and blankets?

So here I am, combing out my own hair on the bathroom floor (because there's a heat vent here and our house is drafty), guessing that one day we will be free of lice again.  Because we will, won't we  And poison oak?  And conjunctivitis?  And.......  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

a tiny poem about a sleepless night

There was nothing unusual, I just hadn't done it before,
pressed "Clean Oven" on the control panel and watched
digital scrolling letters tell me the door was now locked.

The smoke came up through the heating vents
until my eyes watered in my bed, and I kept dragging
downstairs to make sure the wall wasn't on fire,

which it never was, though the kitchen was all smoke.
I opened a small window and let flurries dampen
the sill all night while upstairs the heater roared at us.

The son woke with a throat raw, with pain in the head,
woke and cried each time he coughed.  The daughter
murmured from sleep, stuttering questions to herself

as I lay beside her on the other side of the wall watching
the clock move, listening to the baby cry phantom cries.
Somewhere in the night that felt too bright with moon

and street lights coming off the snow, we all stilled
and finally slept, and then it was morning, the smell of smoke
thinned, kitchen floor like stone, and the oven surprisingly clean.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

A Saturday Afternoon as January Begins

It is Saturday afternoon. 40° and raining, raining. I am still battling sinusitis – wrapped in a blanket on the couch with my face pounding, reading Amy Poehler's new book Yes Please

Upstairs Maeve and Eden are taking a bath and playing some game which involves an insanely loud and long splashing and then Eden's voice, "are you okay honey?" over and over and over again. And every once in a while she breaks into the 1980's commercial jingle for "water pets water pets" that was on some cartoon Ben's dad taped in the 80's and recently burned onto a DVD.

In the basement, Ben and Silas are building legos while they listen to an audio rendition of the first Harry Potter book. This last month, Silas and I have devoured the first three books together, so when we found out Ben and his work cohorts would be going to Harry Potter Land this month on a business trip, we gave him the first book to read to earn such a trip.  Somewhere over this weekend, reading turned into listening, and Silas joined in.

Rain falls from the white sky. Winter is sprawled across the scene through the living room window – skinny bare branches and the few exposed shaggy squirrel nests high up. It is January, awash with water.  We begin again.