I’d been carefully asleep in my bed, sweating to my dreams like Richard Simmons had made me his personal bitch, defeating a gigantic Michelin man wearing a Bret Michaels wig who had a voice like the chick from The Nanny (Fran someone-or-other?), dreaming he was made of a delicious white frosting and enjoying every second of eating him alive when…

…tap, tap, tap.

Followed by…

…slap, slap, slap.

I cracked my eyes open a second to see what was going on when I realized my young daughter was playing the bongos on my ass cheeks. Just in time, too, since she was going for my eyes next. Apparently, it was time to wake the fuck up, Mama.

I’d spent the week prior on the couch, bemoaning a scad of diagnoses that ran like the who’s who in the gossip mags of bad viruses, or the amuse bouche menu at the infectious disease cafe, wondering if I’d instead been afflicted by some ancient Mayan voodoo curse, occasionally typing out blog posts in my head:

Day 1: The work of some cruel master is afoot. Perhaps I’ve done something so severe, so unforgivable, that I must now pay for my sins with my life. GOD, I hate it when the voice in my head sounds like a bad Twilight chapter. ALAS, something must be done before I die at the hands of the hands of these cruel masters.

Then:

Day B: There is definitely tomfoolery and some of those other descriptive and bad-sounding things going on. It’s probably the bubonic plague. I hope that people come to my funeral and don’t bring filler flowers. Those are bullshit.

Still later:

Day Too Many To Count: I don’t much care any longer if I sound like a particularity bad romance novel, so long as I don’t have to have passionate sex with a hunky, well-groomed grounds-keeper or some shit. My vagina, like the rest of me, is broken. Death, too good for me, would be welcomed with open arms. Too bad my cat would be the only witness and probably eat my face before anyone found me.

That was until Friday, when my daughter had made up her mind that she would be having our night together WHETHER I WAS DYING OR NOT. Someone had to allow her to eat Pringles and play with makeup, dammit. I knew that if I didn’t just say, “okay, cool,” to her demands, she’d FIND her way to my apartment and lord knows what she’d do to me when she got there.

So Saturday morning I awoke to her playing bongos on my ass cheeks.

When she realized I was awake, she squealed, “Hi MAMA! Let’s go play!” Because she, too, is sick, it came out all Thelma from The Simpsons, “Hi *hack, wheeze* Mama, *blurt, glurt* LET’S PLAY.”

“Mimi,” I asked, trying to squeeze out a few blessed more moments of sleep before I had to get up do her bidding, “Did you take up smoking?”

“Nah,” she giggled, then burst into a coughing fit.

“Good,” I croaked. “No smoking ’til you’re twelve.”

She looked at me all serious-like, eyes watering, before blurping a goo of mucous onto my pillow. She looked at it as I levitated out of the bed to get a towel, and laughed.

“At least it didn’t go on your head, Mama,” she giggled.

I looked at the child-sized thing of goo lying right where my head had been and nodded.

“Could always be worse,” I replied.

“Now go get some pants on.”

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