‘Twas the Night Before Sickmas…

How I imagine Christmas Eve will play out…

* * *

‘Twas the night before Christmas, the third at this house
but my parents weren’t here, just my own spouse.
The stockings were laid by the TV with care,
because to hang them meant holders impaled in kid’s hair.

My children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while the cats begged for petting on top of their heads.
CG lost in blankets from his head to his feet,
While I in my T-shirt with one little sheet.

When out of the silence arose such a sputter
“It’s your turn my dear,” CG groaned with a mutter.
Away to my daughter I flew like a flash,
While praying she’d quiet, on her own she would crash.

The light from the monitor painted a glow
Of a path to the crib as I walked very slow
When what to my exhausted eyes should appear
But a wheezing Lil Diva, shedding a tear.

With a deep barking cough, so like a seal,
I knew in a moment croup must be the deal.
More rapid than eagles, her coughs sounded and came,
And I cursed effing Murphy, and called him by name.

“Now listen you frakker,
I’ve had quite enough!
You plague me! You bully!
You think you’re so tough!
Each Christmas you visit
With illness galore
You love the flu! Or the cough
Sometimes more!”

As the cough rumbled and echoed, wheezed until raw
My daughter’s eyes opened up wide, it was me she saw
So up to my arms with a small beg she flew
With a whine and sniffle and a little sneeze too.

And then, in a twinkling, her cries faded away
The cuddles and snuggling, the cough staying at bay.
As I nuzzled her head and inhaled baby smell
Her forehead felt cooler – a Mother can tell.

She was dressed in fleece, from her head to her feet
And her Pjs were all covered with penguins and treats.
A snug-gle-y bunny was hugged in her arms
Looking ragged with wear because of its charms.

Her eyes – how they twinkled! Not now, when merry.
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like cherry.
Her sweet little mouth was pouty with drool
And I noticed my shoulder was wet like a pool.
My mind it wandered as I cuddled her tight,
Déjà vu of last year, of this very night.
And the year before it, how we were actually well
No planes, no travel, no cough to quell.

It was nighttime and day, the flip of this year
All since my family drove very far to be near
But three years ago my boys were abed,
Travel at Christmas was something to dread.

I spoke not a word, my son next door quiet
As I recalled last week I was ready to riot.
And laying my daughter down in her crib,
I was thankful to be home, I cannot fib.

For last week was awesome – how I do love to ski!
But ten people in a cabin, no bedroom found free?
It’s good to be home, just us four and cats in sight
“Happy Sickmas Christmas to all, may you sleep through the night!”

* * *

Here’s to beginning new traditions – the first Christmas I have ever spent away from my family – and praying this is the last year any of us spend sick.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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14 Responses to ‘Twas the Night Before Sickmas…

  1. Liz McLennan says:

    This is AWE.SOME. Happy Christmas to you, my talented, funny and oh-so-right friend! xoxox

    • It is something I’ve discovered many parents can relate to. I don’t remember ever being sick at Christmas growing up, but since my children have been born, there has been one year we were all healthy – the year my family came to visit me instead of vice versa. Via car.

      Airplanes never bode well for toddlers and germs…

      Good luck with your Sickmas and love to you and the Reds.

  2. Hope Diva sleeps through the night and that your Christmas will be a delight!

  3. Katie says:

    Hope she’s feeling better soon! I’m a big fan of the prescription oral steroid for that croup cough!

    Have a very merry Christmas!

    • We’ve bought the steroids before, but never used it. A friend of mine warned me they can make the child even more difficult, and by the time we went to see a doctor and had it, the stridor breathing didn’t return.

      It’s so scary though.

  4. mairedubhtx says:

    A clever parody. Merry Christmas. Enjoy the day.

  5. Holy awesome Kelly! I, too, was abed during Hanukkah/Christmas. And my family ditched me. It was lonely. But I was positively virulent. One more day on the Z-pack should do it. Hopefully all will be copesetic for New Years in Cleveland!

    I love when you write your poems!

  6. hanelene says:

    Our very first year in our own home since I’ve been married (almost 9 years) and only because I’m very pregnant and can’t travel. While I was initially sad, it was wonderful to be home instead of sitting in a car for 16 hours there and 16 hours back. (with a almost-2 year old.)

  7. John says:

    I love the picture . . . and the poem, though I’m really, really hoping none of that actually came true.

  8. It was true, just the week prior instead of Christmas Eve. Lil Diva had a horrible croupy cough and I spent half the night sitting up with her in a chair in our bedroom, because someone was sleeping in every room and on the couch and it was the only place to be. It was exhausting.

    But The Tackler avoided it or was so mild they slept fine for Christmas. For once.

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