The day before we moved into the house in San Jose, while we were staying at a nearby hotel, Lana broke out in a horrific rash. It covered her entire body, from her earlobes to her toes. She was itchy and swollen and soon bloody and scabby from scratching. Her first day of kindergarten, three days later, was not her prettiest day. She took it well for a girl who's as vain as her mother.
Two months and twenty-five doctors later, we still didn't have a firm diagnosis. The closest guess we got was extreme (and sudden) sun sensitivity. And so we lather her in Aquafor (to quell the rash) and sunblock (to keep it at bay) and largely, the rash remains dormant. There are often small eruptions on her chin or neck or arms, but nothing like when it first reared it's ugly, pimpled head.
We do, as a family, have a secret theory that Lana's actually allergic to San Jose. That her skin will clear miraculously as soon as we cross the Marin county line on our move home. That, bear with me here, her skin issues are due to our "rash" decision to move to San Jose in the first place. These are the jokes, folks.
Beyond the skin rash, Lana has, for as long as I can remember, had some kind of allergy that manifests in nasal congestion. The girl most always has a runny nose and her speech sounds like she has a perpetual cold. I've promised her that when we return to Marin in June, I'll take her to an allergist and we'll get to the bottom of the situation.
This morning, she wondered aloud if she was allergic to cats. Ben and I, having been awakened, as usual, at five a.m. to our lemon of a cat scratching and howling at the door to our bedroom, smiled furtively at each other. Wouldn't that be convenient, we thought. An excellent excuse to find a home for Daphne, or as we privately refer to her, Fuck-Ass (a name generated in a flustered moment of pique as she was clawing our new couch) . She's problematic. She sent me to urgent care with a flayed hand a couple months ago because I made the mistake of trying to move her while she was dreaming. She pees in the house. And she's just, frankly, not too bright. A big, dumb, fat cat. I apologize to any animal rights activists out there for so demeaning this creature publicly but man, she drives me crazy. Having to choose the well-being of my child over my commitment to this pudgy feline would be a relief.
Next, with a small smile, Lana suggested that maybe she was allergic to Mihiretu. I watched the same train of thought I'd had about Daphne waft through Lana's brain. That would truly be the top prize in the endless sibling rivalry. I quickly assured her that she was stuffed up long before he came on the scene. She returned to her toast with a look of dismay.