Whippersnappers

Oh . . . hai der, Blog. Totally forgot about you for ages. How’s it going? 

I’ve been babysitting a couple of cute little kiddos for a friend of a friend since the beginning of December until the end of this week: A two-and-a-half-year-old girl and a (now) eight-week-old boy (he was six weeks when we started). They’re both awesome. The girl plays so well with my boys and naps as soon as you put her down (I MISS THOSE DAYS), and the baby is so tiny and pwecious and snuggly (I miss those days, too)! At first I wondered if I was a little insane by agreeing to take them on, but it’s been great. I love holding a baby all day, and four kids really are easier than two! In some ways. Only difference being that I do not have a car big enough to go out anywhere with all of them, so I don’t get the experience of taking a big brood to the supermarket, or anything.

Of course, kids are little germ factories, and these are no different. My own boys were getting over their colds at the beginning of December, and my new little charges came in with green boogers and coughs, which my boys shared immediately with them, even while resisting sharing their toys. Being around that much snot and bodily fluids, there could be no way that I would dodge the inevitable. Sure enough, it hit like a Peterbilt Dec 7th and 8th, idled for a day or two, then started to back up over me just before my choir concerts the following weekend (14th and 15th). Despite the ick, I had enough voice to sing out a bit in both performances — unlike our concert in October, when I had no voice at all. That was miserable, and I discovered I am very bad at lip synching.

My mom and dad had my kids Saturday night, since it was Sweetie’s drill weekend, and I had concert commitments that would probably go late. Saturday night we sang just before the Symphony, and then I stayed for most of the Symphony concert. I left at intermission, because it was getting to the point where I couldn’t breathe without coughing, and just wanted to go to bed. We had a concert the next day, too, so I knew I would need the rest. Sunday, I slept in (Sweetie had his Unit Christmas party, and my parents were taking the boys to church) and took my time getting ready for my concert. The concert didn’t go as late as I thought it might, so I went to my church Life Group afterward, where I thought Sweetie might meet me (he never showed up; too tired after drill). I talked too much, stayed there too late, and then finally went home to spend a little quiet, decompressing time with Sweetie before we both passed out from our exhausting weekend.

Monday I did not have my two little charges, because there was a scheduled eight-hour power outage for our street so the power company could replace some lines, and I knew it would be too cold to have little kids in the house. Since Mom still had the boys, Sweetie and I slept in a little (been getting up at 5-something in the morning lately, so 7am was late!), had some coffee, and left the house a little after 8:15, when they shut the power off for the day. We went out to breakfast and wandered around various stores until it was time to pick the boys up from my parents’ house to take them to their doctor appointments that afternoon. Then we went to Sweetie’s parents’ house so he and the kids could join them for dinner, but Sweetie had to take me to the mall a little while later so I could help out with a gift-wrapping fundraiser for my choir. I was supposed to be there from 4pm to 10pm, but was feeling pretty horrible by 5pm (the left side of my throat was becoming quite painful). It wasn’t too busy that evening, and there were enough hands without me, so I had my husband pick me up on his way home from his parents’ house instead of staying and riding home with my friend who was working till 10, too.

That brings us to yesterday (Tuesday)! It was a long, active weekend with no time to recuperate, followed by another day of babysitting (not hard, just not restful), and I didn’t get as much sleep Monday night as I should have. When I woke up, my throat didn’t hurt too badly, but as the morning progressed, I couldn’t chew, swallow, or open my mouth very wide because it hurt too much. It didn’t hurt talk, only to move my jaw and tongue. This bothered me enough that I figured it was finally time to go see a doctor. I do have a new-patient doctor appointment scheduled for the end of January, but we have Prompt Care! It’s a new and exciting development in civilian medicine! (Okay, it’s not, but it’s new to me after having to go to the Navy Hospital ER for everything not pre-scheduled). I made Sweetie come home early (he works late on Tuesdays) to watch the boys while I took myself to the Prompt Care, where up till yesterday I’d only been to for my kids.

Had to get the icky throat culture, but I kind of expected that. It’s not strep, thank goodness; probably just a mild throat infection and/or a touch of tonsillitis. I got out of there with an Rx for amoxicillin and Cepacol lozenges, which I needed to pick up at my pharmacy, on the other side of the highway. Oh, and I got my right ear irrigated, because it was too waxy to see its condition. I didn’t get dizzy, either. Go me. I’m just so glad they used water. The last time a doctor cleaned my ears out, he used a stick, which was the most horribly uncomfortable, icky thing I’ve ever had done to me and I never went back to have my ears cleaned. Strangely, the doctor I saw yesterday (who was quite young, probably her early- to mid-20s) seemed surprised when I told her how uncomfortable it was. My ear canals are sensitive, I guess.

I had a few other errands to run, since I was already out and about. First I got a Jamba Juice, because it was close to the doctor and I didn’t think I wanted to try to swallow anything harder than a smoothie for dinner. I’d totally forgotten about the crazy Christmas crowd, which made parking exciting and annoying. Despite that, I did manage to get some close parking spaces — which was helpful when I accidentally left my wallet in the car at Target and had to be That Person who has to suspend her purchase and run out to the car Just Real Quick. *sigh*

I’d also forgotten that I hadn’t put on any makeup (just some powder foundation) and probably looked a little harried and pale. Not my best face forward — but I didn’t care, because it had been a long day, and I was tired, sick, and just picking up a few things at some stores on my way home from the doctor. At least my hair was brushed. 🙂 So when I was at my last stop for the night, picking up some stuff at Costco, and I had to have the youngster (mid- to late-20s?) check my age for the case of beer I was picking up for my husband (mmm, winter beers . . . ) he did not choose to check my ID, but instead looked at my face and punched in — no lie — 01/01/1961.

NINETEEN SIXTY-ONE.

SIXTY. ONE.

I boggled for a second, but didn’t say anything. No, the thoughts going through my head were: Do I REALLY look that old? (I did the math later, and 1961 would make me 52 years old — eight years younger than my dad.) Is that guy just that bad at judging age? Could he not have had the decency of erring on the side of 1970? Might he have asked me, and given me the opportunity to lie (not that I would have), or just not risk it and asked for my ID? I know I have some grey hair and could stand to lose a few pounds, but SERIOUSLY? And why am I freaking out about this, anyway?

I know I’m only 35. I have as much grey in my hair as a 50-year-old, but I really didn’t think I could pass for anything older than 40. Maybe 45. I wasn’t insulted or offended — not really — just surprised. The guy couldn’t have been that much younger than me, but either he wasn’t good at math, he just picked the first year that popped into his head, or he really thought I looked like I was in my 50s. I mean, I remember when I was little and 35 was SO OLD, but I don’t think he can claim that excuse, since he didn’t look that far from it, himself.

Whippersnapper.

(Here’s my Gravatar photo — though I’m wearing makeup in it. How old would YOU say I am?)

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