Yeah, yeah, Disneyland. It's coming. Last night's tale of epic toy bug-slaying adventure takes precedence, though, because it is humorous. (To me. Ian found it somewhat less funny, even going so far as to accuse me of a lack of respect for the severity of the situation, but his sense of humor goes to bed earlier than the rest of him.)
Yesterday, Maggie had to have a round of vaccinations, and being fresh off of vacation, Ian was unable to take time off to accompany me to the doctor. Gallantly, but with a sense of dread weighing down my heart, I rounded up the offspring, took them to the doctor, and presented Maggie's chubby dimpled thighs for needling. I was anticipating all hell breaking loose -- Maggie crying about being poked, Max crying because he witnessed the poking, me crying because my life has somehow escaped the boundaries of my control, and then all of us spending the rest of the day crying because once you've gotten started down that path, you might as well keep walking. Much to my surprise, however, the appointment actually went off without a hitch. Maggie cried during the actual shots, but was quickly and easily comforted. Max was fine with Maggie getting shots, once he had reassured himself and everyone around him that he was not next in line for a needling. Maggie slept more than usual throughout the day, but she never developed a fever or soreness. I sent a breezy, self-congratulatory email to Ian, expressing my surprised delight at the smoothness of it all. Ian came home, we ate dinner, we got ready for bed. I cheerfully reminded myself not to be so pessimistic in future endeavours.
Here is where you should insert the ominous music into the movie of my life, the music that means that a sinister shadow is stalking our oblivious heroine.
Maggie developed a slight fever just before bed, which was quickly squelched by a dose of Tylenol. She went to sleep peacefully, slept angelically for about three hours, and then began fussing. I attempted the usual soothing techniques. Fussing escalated to squawking. Squawking quickly became yowling, at which point it occurred to me that Maggie was hot like the sun. I took her out to the living room, gave her more Tylenol, and watched the Muppet show with her while we waited for the fever to subside. It took a very long time. We staggered back to bed at a million o' clock, a.m., I closed my eyes, and that is when, from somewhere in the vicinity of the living room, I began hearing a very strange sound.
"What the hell is that noise?" I asked loudly. Ian muttered something about how the only thing he could hear was me. But then it came again, "YYYYYYYEEEEEeeeeeeeeaaaaaaa". A sort of high pitched, mechanical-sounding whine, just loud enough to make it difficult to ignore. Ian thought it was the air conditioner. I didn't think so. Ian thought he could go back to sleep in spite of it. I didn't think so. Ian thought I was keeping him awake unnecessarily. I disagreed. Finally, after much lively discussion, I remembered that I had accidentally thrown a stuffed bug, the kind that makes a sound when you squeeze it, into the washing machine with a load of laundry that afternoon. I further remembered that the bug had been known to make a sound very similar to the one we were now hearing. Unfortunately, I did not remember exactly where I had chucked the bug after discovering its presence in the load of laundry. Even more unfortunately, Maggie was sleeping nestled against me, so Bug Battle '08 had to be delegated to Ian. It took Ian a long and grumbling while to find the bug, which continued to let out increasingly warped and forlorn buzzing sounds at irregular intervals. And then, of course, there was the question of what to do with the Godforsaken thing once it was found. From the comfort of the bedroom, I heard Ian swearing in a low and heartfelt monotone. I heard several gruesome ripping and scraping sounds. The mechanical buzzing increased in volume and urgency until it was a veritable chorus of the damned. Then it petered out into silence. There was a thud from the vicinity of the kitchen. Ian got back into bed.
"So, you found it then?" I queried timidly.
"Oh, its dead now", said Ian grimly. I laughed. Ian did not.
In the morning, when I had made my decidedly unrested way into the kitchen, I beheld the aftermath of the massacre, which I have now shared with you all. I would have included the voice box, which Ian apparently ripped out of its downy innards, but it was too crushed and grisly, and this is a family blog. RIP, Small Plush Bug. Via con dios.