Our big, family Thanksgiving meal is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. This leaves our actual Thanksgiving day open to do different things. We’vehad dinner with friends before, watched the parade in downtown Detroit, and even spent it at Denny’s. But this year, we were going to host friends at our house for the first time. I was going to make the whole deal. Turkey (I decided on a chicken because it was just us four adults), stuffing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, etc. I even tested dessert recipes so everything would be fantastic. It was going to be my crowning achievement and induction into the ‘club.’ But little did I know, the cards were stacked against me.
The week before Thanksgiving, both kids got sick with a stomach bug. Like, scooping up vomit off the stairs with a ladle sick. Luckily, Ellie unloaded just as Aya walked through the front door coming home from work. Vomit is my weakness. And what Ellie was doing out of the front end, Chloe was doing out the back end. Our house smelled like puke, poop, and carpet cleaner. Not a pleasant smell when hosting guests, but I still had a good week until Thanksgiving. Everyone would be better by then for sure, I thought. And it actually started to look that way until the next week. The week of Thanksgiving.
Chloe got a fever. A major fever. And on the same night, Ellie got a fever. Oh yeah, and Aya too. But it was only Tuesday, we could still do this. We had to. I already braved the mad house of a grocery store before Thanksgiving with two kids to buy all my ingredients. I was going to make this dinner!
However, with three people in the house getting sick, Wednesday was not looking much better. All their fevers persisted and Aya had now developed a cough. Chloe’s fever got so bad our doctor sent us to the ER at the Children’s hospital. After that, Aya was ready to pull the plug on Thanksgiving, but I didn’t want to hear it. “Ellie’s better. Chloe just has a mild ear infection and she’s on antibiotics now. Plus, the chicken is brining already, I have to cook it. They might as well come.”
But after yet another rough night of sleep(or the lack thereof) with high fevers, coughing and hacking, it really wasn’t looking good. Thursday morning Aya looked like a zombie, Chloe looked absolutely miserable, and I was holding on just by a thread. The only person rested in the house was Ellie. “HAPPY THANKSGIVING! When are our friends coming over?” she asked excitedly.
Finally, I gave in. We called it. Thanksgiving was officially canceled. Ellie and I went to Denny’s with my parents for dinner to make sure it wasn’t a total loss. Nothing says “happy Thanksgiving” like a Grand Slam.
I still vowed to make the big dinner for us on Friday though. Which I did. And so with a cranky toddler who wasn’t hungry and a sick baby who wouldn’t eat, we sat and pretended to enjoy our meal while I ignored the beginnings of a sore throat.
By Saturday morning, I definitely wasn’t feeling the greatest. I had a full-fledged sore throat and a headache that I refused to openly acknowledge. It’s just dry in here I claimed. I just kept washing hands and gargling with warm salt water with hopes it wouldn’t get worse.
Despite the plague of sickness sweeping through our house, we still enjoyed our big family Thanksgiving on Saturday. Ellie and Chloe were mostly back to normal and Aya was getting better. It looked like we were going to have at least one day of the long weekend for us to enjoy together. That was until Aya woke up Sunday morning with double pink eye. Yep, DOUBLE pink eye. Top it off with a middle-of-the-night bloody nose with Ellie Sunday night and Chloe not wanting to stay asleep. I was never more ready for a Monday before.
Now that it’s finally over I’m just starting to regain my sense of humor. This will forever be the “Remember that Thanksgiving when Chloe went to the ER, Aya had double pink eye, Ellie had a bloody nose and a high fever, and then Matt got sick?” year.
One thing is for sure though; I made some kick ass pumpkin pie.
Cheers to a healthy December (clink)