If you were driving down the Post Road today and saw a box of Arcuri’s pizza somewhere between Cos Cob and Byram, it was probably ours. And I would have gone back for it had I not been hysterically crying in my driveway over the lost pizza while my daughter wailed along with me from the back seat. There was a perfectly good explanation for how we arrived at such a low point. You see, we had tried to leave Camp Coxsackie – otherwise known as our home – and the universe punished us.
Let me back up a few days. My husband was going to New Hampshire and my daughter and I were going to have a girl’s weekend. Our plans went to hell when she woke up with a raging fever early the other morning, puked all over our bed and me (not that this was the first time in recent memory that I was covered in puke down to my underwear or anything), and cried and cried and cried. So, there was that.
Friday or “The Day Coxsackie Struck”
By the time her fever broke, the telltale blisters on her foot told me this wasn’t just any old fever… it was the dreaded coxsackie virus – also known as “hand, foot and mouth disease” – a nasty bug that usually brings with it blisters on the hands, feet and mouth. Later that day the doctor confirmed my diagnosis, reminded us how contagious it was, and wished us luck. Given that this was our last taste of freedom for a few days, we went into CVS to pick up some supplies for her – like infant Tylenol – and for me – like chocolate and Lysol.
It was supposed to be a quick trip, an easy one. Just grab and go. Except that I couldn’t find what I needed and was pretty desperate at that point. A woman waiting on line made a quip about how long she had been there – and voiced her frustration that the pharmacist had stepped aside to help me. Obviously she had no idea that in the blink of an eye, my daughter was going to go from tolerating this shopping trip to doing everything in her power to get the f*&! out of the stroller and wipe her highly contagious slobbery drool all over everything within reach (at which time I would point her in the direction of my “friend” on the check out line). By the time we got home, I was ready to pass out but Ellie had other plans – most of which included being up all night.
Saturday or “The Hottest Day of the Year” or “The Day that No One Was Kidding Me”
Daybreak the next morning brought with it a lot of excitement – like an unplanned trip to the vet for the dog to get probiotics for his belly – don’t even get me started. On top of his bellyache, Cooper was panting because it was so hot and I can’t imagine the heat felt good on the coxsackie blisters, so I cranked the A/C for both of “the kids.” Except it wasn’t working. Are. You. F*&*ing. Kidding. Me? Our A/C shits the bed on one of the hottest days of the year while our daughter is covered in blisters and my husband – an electrician and HVAC repairman – was in the middle of the New Hampshire woods with horrible cell service? Would it happen any other way, though?
By the time I got him on the phone I was sweating. A lot. I had opened the windows and turned on the fans and I think it went down approximately 1 degree upstairs in our attic-less Cape. He began to walk me through whatever he planned to walk me through which apparently brought along with it the risk of electrocution.
“Go outside and find that grey box next to the A/C unit.”
“The one that says ‘DANGER! High voltage!’?”
“Yup, that’s the one. Now open it up and pull the t-shaped lever.”
“You’ve got to be f*&^ing kidding me, right?”
Needless to say, it was beyond my skillset to repair the unit so we once again simply accepted our lot in life. (At this point, I feel like I should point out that this entire situation could have been WAY worse. WAY, WAY, worse.) Luckily, my father-in-law was able to come over and soon had cool air circulating throughout the house. I wish my story ended there, because that’s pretty upbeat.
Sunday or “The day we shouldn’t have tried to do anything, ever”
In the morning I was feeling ambitious. I thought if I kept Ellie confined to the stroller we could quickly cruise the mall – this was girl’s weekend dammit! And I was hoping to find a new dress. After 10 minutes of browsing with a screaming child and valiant but unsuccessful attempt to find a dressing room (and being told that the one I was trying to get into was “locked forever”), I tossed aside what I wanted to try on and we left. It just wasn’t worth it. And because I hadn’t learned anything at all, I thought it might be nice to walk around the beach instead – except that I realized I had the wrong pass on my car and we wouldn’t get in. Fail #2 of the day, all before noon. We really, really should have thrown in the towel at that point.
You’re probably wondering how the pizza comes into play – well here it is. We hunkered down at Camp for the rest of the afternoon, but around dinnertime I decided we should take a ride to pick up some takeout for a change of scenery. I put the pizza box on top of the car while I loaded Ellie into her carseat, making a mental note to put the box in the car, too.
Except I didn’t. I just drove off with a box of pizza on top of my car. And you know when I realized it? When we pulled into the driveway about ten minutes later and I put my car in park. At that point I was so delusional that I even looked on top of the car thinking that one day we would all joke about how absentminded mom was the time she left the pizza on the car; that somehow it had survived the ride home and would magically be sitting my the roof of my CR-V, intact.
Except it wasn’t. So, I did the only thing left to do: I laughed until I cried, and then I laughed some more. It was, by far, the funniest thing that had happened in days. DAYS.
Books for days.
Not a bad weekend after all?
And as much as this weekend wasn’t anything like I had planned – we canceled a trip to the beach, estate sale hopping, and playdates – it was full of silver linings. It gave us a great excuse to slow down a bit and bum around the house – something we don’t typically do… ever. Family members helped out in a pinch – my mom brought by groceries, my father-in-law fixed the A/C, everyone checked in on us. We played outside with the water table. Blew bubbles. Watched Cooper chase birds in the yard. And we snuggled and read books – lots, and lots and lots of books – into the wee hours of the morning. Now, that’s my kind of girl’s weekend.
Here’s to hoping that this week brings fewer doctor’s visits, cooler weather and what I should have ordered in the first place: delivery.
7/12/2014 – update: Bad news. Last Wednesday I told my coworker, “I feel great, there’s no way I’m getting coxsackie! Definitely would have gotten it by now!” As soon as those words left my mouth, the fever hit. Almost 48 hours of fever later… I’m on the mend. Next week will be better… next week!