Birthday Woes

Happy Year of the Tiger

This is actually a New Year’s card from a few years ago but I thought that it looked festive enough for any day–a bit like a house ready for a wintertime party like ours today!  The card above dates from the Year of the Tiger (2010).  Depending on when you were born, you are attributed one of twelve different animals including the rat, rabbit, pig, dragon, dog, tiger, snake, horse, ram, rooster, monkey and ox.  Each animal in the Chinese Zodiac has its own characteristics and predictions associated with it.  Elise was born in 2009, the Year of the Ox according to the Chinese lunar system.  Just like the Western Zodiac, I tend to take everything I read with a healthy dose of scepticism and amusement.  That said, according to what I’ve read on the Internet, Ox are associated with being “dependable, calm and modest. They are believed to be intelligent, but stubborn.”  I will second the bit about being stubborn….especially when she wants something that Laura has!  Of course, if you listen to anyone in France, being stubborn is also a trait associated with the Bretons!  Doubly cursed or doubly blessed?

We’re celebrating Elise’s second birthday with our family today and while the house looks festive, it feels like a sick ward here.  Laura has been sick for the past week and a half.  I didn’t think it was anything serious.  I think everyone I know has a child with a cold or a cough or the flu or some combination thereof.  Laura had all three but she didn’t strike me as being that sick.  I had to take her to a routine check-up on Saturday with our family doctor.  I went into his office with a grumpy child and came out with one suffering from pneumonia!  Lovely! (Yes, that was sarcasm!)  As a parent, you get used to judging your child’s health and playing Doctor Mom or Dad.  Most of the time your instinct works just fine…  That said, I’ve dragged both girls to the doctors more than once only to be told that “it’s nothing rest and fluids won’t cure.”  You leave the doctor’s office feeling like you’ve wasted his (and your) time.  I guess it was only time for me get it wrong the other way.  It doesn’t feel great but at least I know that she’s getting the treatment she needs now and should be back on her feet soon.

Elise has a cold and the flu too.  (After hearing that Laura was so sick, I had our doctor look at Elise too–it’s only the flu.)  Their cousins are healthy right now.  I hope they’ll still be healthy when they leave.  I need them to be healthy when they come back for Christmas!

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