i been one poor correspondent
and i been too too hard to find
but it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind
– ‘Sister Goldenhair’, America

dear self,

please take the following notes and file them under “Parenthood, week of September 19th-24th, 2007.”

1. it is a Law of Nature that any time you plan to go anywhere or do anything special, your dear offspring will, promptly, get sick.

2. if that something special happens to involve travel and/or a Very Big Occasion at work resting entirely on your shoulders, the onset of said sickness will be even more rapid and dire than is usual.  if you have the temerity to try to schedule a wedding in another province and two elephantastic work thingies all in one week, Bubonic Plague will erupt posthaste.

3. if the eruption of Bubonic Plague (or other, usually respiratory-based illness) makes you think you should take said offspring to the Emergency Room, just go.  stop second-guessing yourself, self.  you’ve been down the respiratory-based illness road enough times that you now actually CAN judge the state of your child’s oxygen sats by the sound of his breathing.  and you know shit about Bubonic Plague, so better safe than sorry.

4.  it actually is possible to have your child seen, treated and released by the local Emergency Room within a mere and almost pleasant ninety minutes, replete with xrays.  all without paying a dime, bless socialized medicine’s addled but generous – and sometimes even efficient – little heart.

5. it is NOT possible to stay home with treated and released – but still sick – child for two days the week before the two hugenormous work thingies and actually get any work done.  (or blogs read, alas.)

6. two missed days of work equals three non-existent but totally necessary days of playing catchup trying to get mammoth-rific conference thingies organized, during which out-of-province travel for debauched nuptial festivities is not recommended.  you will attempt to conjure these make-up days by calling on a latter-day miracle.  do not hold your breath.

7.  having had your child seen by the local Emergency room will make you giddy and cocky enough to think that you should, nonetheless, travel out of province for debauched nuptial festivities, as hotel has already been booked and presents have already been purchased, and the miracle of make-up days for work will not appear to be forthcoming.  some part of this reasoning is delusional – self, it would be helpful if you could figure out which part.

8.  if you do decide to leave the province with Bubonic Plague-riddled offspring and a crapload of unfinished emails (let alone poor neglected blogs gathering dustbunnies) trailing out behind you, it is unwise to drive directly into a construction zone traffic snarl in the heat of the afternoon in an un-air-conditioned vehicle during your child’s forty-minute spastic and relentless coughing fit.  this will be unpleasant for Child and will cause Stress between parental units.

9. it will be particularly unpleasant and stressful if you have a wee case of PMS, self.

10. next time you leave the house for a weekend that involves ten to eleven hours in an un-air-conditioned car with PMS and a sick child who does not particularly enjoy car travel in the first place, check and bring more than three CDs with you.  because AM radio sucks donkeys and neither you nor your partner can get past the fourth verse of an accapella “American Pie” without beginning to croak like a tone-deaf frog.

11. go anyway.  the grandparents will love seeing you all, and the offspring will love seeing the grandparents.  and will gradually shed most symptoms of Bubonic Plague and serious respiratory ailment.  and will discover the joys of the tambourine, showing more musicality than he has any genetic right to.


plus the kind grandparents will babysit overnight while you and partner go make spectacles of yourselves under the disco ball at a wedding dance with old, beloved friends.


it will all be worth it.  and the drive home will have moments of its own, like a hay field in September, somehow more weighty than those eleventy-billion things you need to do for work.


p.s. – get the $&*#^ back to work now, self.