Bear, who has complained of a headache on and off throughout the afternoon (which I initially chalk up to a lame ploy to convince me she should lay around and watch unlimited TV), suddenly announces, "I feel AWFUL." A sharp glance at her shows me that she is unnaturally pale and listless-looking. A hand to her forehead confirms. Fever. Super.
The day before Thanksgiving...
Our hardwood floor is being installed, to an accompanying soundtrack of nail guns and a massive air compressor machine thing-y. On a scale of "loud", I rank it somewhere between being inside one of those compactors that squeeze old cars into tidy little squares of metal and a sonic boom, except nonstop all-day. The kids have the TV volume in my room turned up to 40 in order to hear it. It is exactly as nerve-wracking as it sounds. My cats are both having a psychotic break under my bed. I'm pretty sure they'll both have some level of PTSD by the time this home renovation s over.
Bear is full-on sick, with a chesty cough, sore throat, and low-grade but persistent fever. Bug mentions a "scratchy throat." I call the friend whose house we always go to for Thanksgiving dinner. Shouting over the nail gun's KA-POW, I tell her we're a no-go this year due the kids impersonating crop-dusters, except with viruses instead of pesticides. She understands and sounds fairly grateful that I'm not exposing her kids to whatever mine have.
I hang up and realize that I have nothing in my pantry that resembles Thanksgiving dinner. I flirt with the idea of a Chinese food Thanksgiving. Are Chinese restaurants even open on Thanksgiving? Mild panic.
The guys who are installing our hardwood floor are certainly handy with a nail gun and seem nice enough, with a level of charm you might characterize as being somewhat "rough around the edges." They are, however, most certainly not the kind of strange guys with whom I would leave my sick daughters while I go to the grocery store. (And, no, there actually aren't ANY strange guys with whom I would leave my sick daughters. Or healthy daughters, for that matter).
I call Tom and persuade him to come home for lunch, while I hit the grocery store.
I pull into a packed-full grocery store lot and realize that I have just become one of the people I enjoy mocking every year: the moron who buys their Thanksgiving dinner groceries the day before Thanksgiving. Freaking karma.
Before I go to bed, I manage to paint the stairwell in preparation for tomorrow's stairway carpet installation, make homemade rolls, cranberry sauce, and a big bowl of chocolate mousse for my non-pumpkin-pie-eating crew. I go to bed feeling like I'm ahead of the game.
I awaken to Bug coughing like a seal with tuberculosis. Fabulous.
After breakfast, I install both kids in my bed watching The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the basement, I put the final coat of polyurethane on our dining room table, which I've been refinishing. In between checking on the kids and forcing them to sip liquids, I begin sanding and priming the dining room chairs. (Because the table looked so good refinished, I decided it would make the chairs look like crap. And I certainly don't need chairs with an inferiority complex).
At 2:30, I put the chickens in to roast. Did I mention that my non-pumpkin-pie-eating family also hates turkey? Because God forbid we be normal about anything.
I return to the basement and put a coat of paint on the chairs. I silently curse the person who invented spindle-backed chairs.
At 4:30, I pull the chickens out and make the side dishes. We eat:
Roasted, Spiced New and Sweet Potatoes
Homemade Cranberry-Orange Compote
Jellied Cranberry Crap from a Can for the Picky People
Mousse au Chocolat, with whipped cream
Twenty minutes after dinner, I return to the basement and put the final coat of paint on the dining room chairs while the kids watch "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in my room.
Around 9:30, exhausted and liberally covered in paint, but feeling not unlike a rock star, I hobble into my bedroom to take a shower.
"Hey, Mom!" Bug greets me brightly albeit croakily, nestled snugly under my quilt with her head on my pillow, "Are we putting up the Christmas tree tonight...?"