Lowering Holiday Expectations: A Timeline of the Plague of Easter 2012

We got flooded at Thanksgiving last year and then we had bronchitis and other family disasters at Christmas time. We’ve endured a lot of complicated living situations and crud, so I figured a really fun Easter might turn things around. I was prepared; I had the eggs, the Easter baskets, enough chocolate to put us all in a diabetic coma, adorable Easter cards made and photos taken. I talked the kids into being excited about the Easter bunny, or at least remembering that there is something called an Easter bunny, which they only understood in a vague way. This was going to be the best motherfucking Easter ever. (just like the best motherfucking Christmas ever.. sigh, I should have known).

Everything looking promising

Then on Wednesday night just as I was drifting off to sleep, early for once after weeks of being an idiot watching episodes of Mad Men all night long (I heart me some Don Draper), I heard the sound that strikes fear in the heart of every parent; the violent hack of stomach contents being ejected all over a bed. If you ever wondered what sleep deprivation sounded like, it’s all summed up in that distinct cough. Immediately you know that you’re going to be tending to the poor soul who just heaved his supper all over the bed and producing laundry at an exponential rate for an unknown quantity of time. If you have multiple kids you might hold on to the faint hope that you can keep them quarantined but deep down you know it’s only a matter of time before the second one falls.

Things went downhill for us leading up to Easter weekend. I couldn’t force enough fluids into Patient Zero and the vomiting would not end. Stupidly, I maintained a high level of optimism that things would turn around and Easter would be resurrected (see what I just did there?).  It was not to be.

Good Friday

Expected: Trip to the farmer’s market for ingredients for gourmet Easter dinner! Loads of time with Daddy! Out with some friends for birthday drinks!

Reality: Good Friday started with the haunting memory of being in an ER waiting room with about a thousand other vomiting 3 year olds. It’s not something I will soon forget. Patient Zero spent about 11 minutes awake all day and had to be force-fed pedialyte. I did make it to the farmer’s market where I was served chilaquiles heaping with salsa verde that resembled the impending mess that I was about to discover in my children’s diapers for the next several days. I never want to go to the farmer’s market again. We had now spent 3 days trapped in the bedroom in the vain attempt to ensure that the second kid remains healthy and Easter is saved.  I have watched Monsters Inc. eleven thousand times.

Chilaquiles: A visceral foreshadowing of impending doom

Saturday

Expected: Easter egg decorating! Basket hiding! Getting hot cross buns! Idyllic walks in the park talking about bunnies!

Reality: All is looking good on our quarantine attempts in the AM. Patient Zero is starting to turn around, and the second child is careening  around being a flying dragon with no volume control. And then just like that the second child morphs into Patient A by vomiting all over Grandma and Grandpa. Chaos ensues where I force Daddy half rinsed out of the shower to bathe vomity Patient A and myself for good measure. Daddy is mildly resentful for the rest of the day.

Patient Zero (in green shirt) maintained this exact pose for the next 5 hours

I experience the classic control freak dilemma; allow Daddy to do the shopping for Easter dinner or take care of ailing children? I send Daddy off for Easter lilies and ham, knowing that he has never purchased either and that all dreams of a gourmet meal will be dashed by whatever is cheapest at Safeway. Daddy returns with non-Easter lilies and a deli ham. Mommy decorates eggs on her own, resignedly dunking them in colours foregoing the sparkly gorgeous madness she envisioned. Patient Zero takes a mild interest in eggs and dictates colours to put the egg into for a few minutes, resulting in inevitable brown egg.  Eventually we all retreat to bed and wait for the vomiting to stop. It doesn’t.

The making of the brown egg

Easter Sunday

Expected: Brunch! Egg hunt! Thrilled laughs over Easter baskets, bubbles, chocolate for breakfast! Joyfully slaving over a gourmet dinner that my whole family will gather around and relish!

Reality: Bodily fluids, mess, laundry, pre-cooked ham, hot cross buns with that weird gummy dough on the top instead of glistening fresh farmer’s market ones, sleeping on the couch with a diaper perilously aimed at my lap, tears. Patient A curls himself around the bucket of Easter eggs and refuses to let go of his “DIYASAUR EGGS” without tears and flailing, so we let a whole bucket of hard boiled eggs spoil with the body heat of a fevered toddler.

Patient A and his diyasaur eggs

Patient Zero gets into the spirit of things and refuses to remove his bunny ears despite there being no evidence that Easter is happening. Neither child can summon up the effort to look for their Easter basket which is fine because I have now raided most of the candy from them. We all eat in front of the TV with half filled plates because the sheer amount of body fluids expelled has ruined everyone’s appetite. Watching a dude called Bubba win at golf, which was probably the worst part of the weekend.

Patient Zero refusing removal of bunny ears at any time

Easter Monday

Expectation: Kids in daycare! Daddy and Mommy having Ferris Bueller’s day off! Happy family reunion at the end of the day with two relaxed and happy parents and two happy and tired children!

Reality: We’ve given up. No one has been outside in days except to schlep over to the pharmacy and perhaps for emergency coffee. There is a mountain of laundry we may never recover from. As 11 am approaches we have a moment of silence for the spa treatments that were supposed to happen and finally resign any hope of adorable excited shrieking children. We eat all the leftover ham and cake. It doesn’t make anyone feel better.

Perilous lack of layers separating me and Patient A, but I give up

But you know, at least we endured our crap-tastic Easter as a family. And I managed it entirely booze free and without yelling at anyone except fate, which makes it a personal best for me on the holiday front. This is actually the best Easter I have ever achieved.

20 comments

  1. Hilariously written post! So sorry the boys were sick though. I guess, if you don’t laugh, you cry? *hugs*

    And boy did you hit this on the head: “I heard the sound that strikes fear in the heart of every parent; the violent hack of stomach contents being ejected all over a bed. If you ever wondered what sleep deprivation sounded like, it’s all summed up in that distinct cough.”

  2. hilarious, jen! pathetic, but hilarious… christmas is around the corner! i’m hoping for the grooviest one ever for your family–and, no bodily fluids except tears of joy!!

    1. BOOOOOO to Stomach Bugs so strong they require capitalization. I have also had to care for children while sick myself and it’s on my list of things that will happen in my own personal vision of hell. On the plus side, there’s no cooking to do.

  3. I hope Easter 2013 is so vomit-free you’re relaxing with a high octane beverage and some chocolate. Was this the year of the gourmet ham, too, or is that shooting for the stars?

    1. No gourmet ham, but I did slave over scalloped potatoes only to have everyone abandon the table halfway through dinner in search of chocolate. Glad to see you scored a day off, V!

    2. Making sure to wish all of my Facebook Friends & Family Luck O the Day & not being too Green with Envy because we all have so much more than oehrts affected by the current devistation around the world. All year long I dream about Country Mercantiles Mint Pattys Ofcourse!

      1. You can never ingest too much good stuff. And I guess the bad days just make us appreciate the great ones even more…we had a really nice day – a bunch of friends for a fun dinner party. Oh yes, Jen, Peter and I are headed to Colorado Springs for the Weekend of Jazz at the Broadmoor soon! Bob James, Earl Klew, Chris Botti and lots more. Can’t wait!

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s