Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works a straight job and is just about finished writing her first novel.

Well, we've been sick, that's for sure

After watching Jack buckle under a horrible bronchial infection and flu last week it only served me right that after several days of sort of thinking he must exaggerating how bad it was (Really, an icepick? In your eardrum? Huh.), I would get it. That's some ancient Greek payback, right there. And a little extra for making him drive himself to the doctor. Granted, Jack's one of the tougher models of human being, he didn't even ask me to take him, he just walked out the door with his truck keys in his hand and a grim look on his face, but still.

The second time he went to the doctor (the first round of antibiotics was too WEAK) I was actually bundled up on the couch with Jackson, who'd come down with a fever, but I'm pretty sure at that point Jack got in his truck armed with nothing but a broken aspirin bottle and a steely gaze and the truck drove itself to Urgent Care.

Anyway, I shouldn't have been surprised when I woke up on the couch at 3:00 in the morning (Jackson gets super clingy when he's sick so I'd been sleeping on the couch with him and letting Jack bundle up and sweat it out in our bed) my first thought was, "Gee, I haven't felt this bad since I was in labor."

You need no more detail than that, gentle reader. I'm coming through it pretty quickly, which leads me to believe that I just got a half dose while Jack must have felt like someone had catapulted a hippo at him, and which led me to apologize (hoarsely, in a sweaty bath robe, with matted hair) for not having been as nice to him when he was sick as he was being to me. Sometimes I get so self-involved I want to shoot myself. Which, ironically, would only make matters worse.

When I was little my mom would put menthol rub on my chest when I was sick but without telling me exactly how that was going to help. (I think my constant childhood frustration with bad information is what turned me into such a relentless explainer.) Then a month ago Jackson's friend Sophie spent the night and I found that her mom, the brilliant Jennifer, had sent along a jar of vapor rub in Sophie's bag. She asked me to rub it on Sophie's feet and then put some socks on her before she went to sleep and that would keep her from coughing all night.

"You've got to be kidding me," I said, suspecting that with the act of anointing her daughter's feet with camphor and eucalyptus, Jennifer was secretly initiating me into her coven of Kentucky goblin witchcraft. "Her feet? This works?"

"I shit you not," said Jennifer.

So I risked my eternal soul and did her nefarious bidding, and it did work. Sophie didn't make a peep all night. A child sleeping through the night without being drowned in Triaminic? What madness this was!

No, I'd figured out a while back that rubbing that stuff on Jackson's chest was way easier than waking him up (how can sleeping children cough and yet also sleep?) and forcing a dose of candy-flavored syrup down his throat. But I liked the feet thing because it GAVE ME IDEAS.

I remembered I had a tube of lavender hand cream in my night stand left over from a birthday basket of l'Occitane samples my sister-in-law had sent me a couple of years ago. Instantly, the hamster that powers my cerebral cortex jumped on her little wheel and whiizzz! I had a plan. I put the lotion on its feet! Understand that I'm probably placeborifically sensitive to the calming effects of lavender, but what the hell, I thought, as my feet slowly turned into cloven hooves, maybe it will help me sleep? And it did. That shit works. I put it on my bony appendages every night now and I've had no insomnia ever since. Or rather, I should say that if I do wake up, it's really easy to drift back off to sleep. Unfortunately, once I ran out of my sample I discovered that l'Occitane likes to charge about $20 for a 2.6 oz tube of sweet dreams, but hell, it lasts longer than a bottle of Hornitos, though it's not nearly as delicious with chips and guacamole.