the ick has come to our house. and it seems to want to stay.

it is not a welcome guest. it has brought snot and coughing, instead of a nice Shiraz. i am not a fan of snot and coughing, particularly my own…and i’m the one who’s worst flattened by this particular ick. green and nasal and drippy am i, o joy. but this ick is showing signs of encroaching on my child, which means war. i’ve broken out the Purell, people. and the slightly sticky Vitamin C chewables hiding in the back of the cupboard. SeaKing helicopters in the battle against germs, perhaps, but the best i’ve got on hand.

i suspected the ick was lying in wait outside our door all winter long, when we stayed preternaturally healthy while others succumbed to infections and illness. i told myself it was just biding its time…waiting until we were most vulnerable. now would be that time. Oscar’s first birthday is this coming weekend, for which we’ve planned a small orgy of family cake-eating and photo opportunities. no biggie. but three days after the birthday party, we fly to Europe. Europe, people. eight hours on a plane with a sick one-year-old who also just happens to be getting his molars. delightful. may i suggest you all stay the hell off our plane? i don’t think it’s going to be pretty.

(of course, a little voice inside my head says “you’re going to Europe, you ungrateful bovine. if you have to fly there yourself, flapping your wings with six sets of quintuplets hanging off your teats, suck it up! who cares if the other people on the plane skin you with shells and blunt airplane knives? who cares if you don’t sleep for twelve days straight? London! Prague! bring on the crumpets and the absinthe!” now, part of me sees the little voice’s point and feels terribly petty and guilty and frivolous about my dread. people would give their teeth to have my problems…travel is a privilege, and all that jazz. the other part of me is sure that if Oscar (and i) aren’t hale and hearty and ick-free by the time we board that first plane, the whole twelve-day trip will be as much fun as having our eyes pecked out by small lobsters, privilege or not.)

O isn’t himself…he’s a bit rattly when he breathes, and his nose is a small river merging with my own Mississippi anytime our heads come close…but the clearest symptom of his not feeling well is that he’s turned into a little Klingon, dissolving in puddles of tears and horror if ever i am so callous as to, say, walk in a direction that suggests i might be leaving the room without him. yesterday, i had to drop off a job application for a rather promising position. trying to get myself all gussied up for this event with a weeping, clinging Oscar in my arms was, erm…informative, at best. i did not realize how quickly snot adheres to dryclean-only fabrics. i eventually gave up on wearing tights with my skirt, despite the 0 degree temperatures, because everytime i tried to drag the damn things up over my childbirthing hips, the creature i birthed kept dragging ’em on back down in his attempts to climb me like a lemur. a forlorn, slightly sick little lemur.

so i am not enjoying the ick’s visit. and i hope desperately that it vacates before we travel next week. but just in case it isn’t so considerate as to do precisely what i ask of it, any tips out there from those of you who’ve travelled with little ones? especially sick, teething, semi-mobile little ones? especially on trips that involve an awful lot of moving thither and yon, on public transit and such? advice gratefully received.

ps. Oscar took his real, honest-to-goodness first steps on Sunday night. the intended post announcing this fine and noble event was precluded by the ick, but O’s parents are nonetheless rightly puffed up with pride and terror.

pps. i hear voting for someone in the Blogger’s Choice awards (see button on the right hand side of page) helps banish the ick from their system permanently. all healing will thus also be gratefully received. i have no hope of winning, but am entertained by the numbers crawling upward nonetheless. ;)