By Karen Gordon

@SayWhatScooter: Mommy, what are cuties?

Mommy: Cuties?

@SayWhatScooter  Yeah, cuties.

Mommy: They’re those cute little tangerines… really sweet, too.

@SayWhatScooter: NNOOO (with sarcasm)… cuties are something that people get on their skin.

Mommy: Say what?

@SayWhatScooter: Mom, I’m talking about the disease – that people have on their skin. If you touch it, you’ll catch it and get sick.


Mommy: Ohhhhh, you mean COOTIES!

@SayWahtScooter: Yeah, cuties.

Mommy: Ok.

For the past two weeks, I’ve had a pretty strong case of THE COOTIES. It was some kind of upper respiratory, sore throat, nasty cough-ish sort of thing. I’d expected it to just go away – considering it was a consequence of two nights of listening to live music in smoky rooms. (Note to self: Stop doing that!!) However, the cough persisted and then got worse.

So, I decided to do the most logical thing – treat it myself. Now, I didn’t say it was smart but I don’t like to take medicine so it made sense to me. The whole thing started out innocently enough. I called my friend Denise at Humanitree House Juice Joint, told her about my cooties, and she recommended my favorite – Sunshine Ginger-Aide. We’re off to a great start. Next, I made some kind of concoction with a eucalyptus plant that I bought from the Saturday Market. Inhaling the steam helped to clear all sorts of nastiness and satisfied my desire to have a ‘farm to table’ experience. The hot tea with lemon was helpful and I felt much better after the second one, but I’m sure that was because of the vodka.

The guys were great though. Bossman waited on me hand and foot and Scooter took good care of Georgia, only putting popcorn in her bowl once, again trying to convince us that he had been sleepwalking.

This thing-the cooties- lingered for nearly two weeks so I eventually went to see a doctor who prescribed a strong cough medicine and suggested that I get some rest. Apparently, rest is a significant component of wellness and I seem to have trouble with that. However, I vow to do a better job of self-care and I encourage all mothers to do the same.  Being superwoman seems great in theory and looks cool on television, but we cannot fix what ails our communities, families and relationships if we, ourselves, are sick.

Stop and smell the roses. Unplug. Get lots of hugs and let the kids bring you breakfast in bed. They have the best bedside manner…

“Mommy, if you have to throw up, just don’t throw up on my haircut or Daddy’s haircut, okay?”


Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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