Wednesday, March 30, 2011

smelling comfort

Okay, so there's a virus going 'round. This is new? I have kids, they spend time with other, kid-shaped persons, therefore we live in a petrie dish. There is always, always something going around, solemnly heralded as 'a really nasty one.'

Because if your kid gets it, and the carpool crumbles and the work thing stops dead in its delicately, fragilely balanced tracks, well. It done stopped. And catching up is something that people do in lieu of sleep, insofar as I can tell.


Last night, the short one came into bed with us. I was already tossing and turning a bit - had an odd sore throat, bit of a stuffy nose. So, the little fellow climbs in, rotates to a finely judged 45 degree angle, and this time I do not wait for the feet to hook themselves, delicately, around my throat. I get out, hoist my pillow, and go find the empty bed that the kid has left for me. Done.

Tonight, he returns. Chattier this time, wanting to tell me about how he can feel his tummy when he breathes, and he's not sure that is a good thing. Water? oh, yes please, he says, politely. Blow your nose? Oh, that helps! he says, and is delighted by the discovery.

Forget minutes later, he is drinking determinedly, trying to keep things going down - rather than up. But nope, up they come, while the Man and I are still coming to grips with the situation, and splash! go many unmentionable things across the floor. On the bed. On, of course, the child.

Bathe the child. Shoo the sib and his father down the hall. Strip the bed. Splash vinegar cleanser liberally. Mop. Remake the bed, tuck the little in, and breathe. But you know what? The place still smells like sick, now overlaid with a heavy aroma of vinegar.

Mop again. And again. Realize that vinegar now had an association of sick. Pause.

One splash of tea tree oil on a rag, and now the room smells like a warm garden, with an almond tree growing in it. Most of the almonds are still green and fuzzy, and a tiny lady with a narrow, unlovely face is calling me for some mashed bananas, warm and sprinkled with carob. Somehow, this flavor is exotic and delicious, and sitting in here kitchen, I am content.

My Babcia always smelled of tea tree oil, which she swore was antibacterial - good for cleaning, she told me. That she was proven right is almost incidental tonight, when the scent carries comfort as much as it does hygiene.

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