My husband travels occasionally for work. I hate it, but it’s part of his job so I deal with it. Every time he leaves, one or all of our kids gets sick. Every time. No one has been sick in our house since the last time he left three months ago. He left today. Everyone is sick. Even me. What are the odds?
I made the call to let my girls stay home from school today because one of them was up all night coughing and the other one’s face was unrecognizable when I pulled back the covers this morning. Crusted snot everywhere with a steady stream of fresh stuff flowing freely into her mouth. Breakfast is served. Ugh. She was still sleeping, so I did what any mother would do. I returned the covers and slowly tip-toed out of her room. I can’t deal with this right now. It’s clearly not bothering her and/or interfering with her sleep. In addition, I feel like crap too and quite frankly have my own snot to deal with.
My children handle being sick very differently. All of them equally obnoxious. One of them is a hypochondriac and a complete drama queen. The moaning and groaning reaches prize worthy levels. In the most pathetic voice you can imagine she proclaims, “Mom, I think I have strept.” She declares this on a weekly basis. I have informed her that it is pronounced “strep” and not “strept” at least a hundred times, but to no avail. I don’t know why I care. It’s not that big of a deal, yet when it comes up in daily conversation, I am just unable to let it go. I also hide our thermometer because she is obsessed with checking her temperature every six minutes. “Ugh! It’s STILL normal Mom. I just FEEL like I don’t LOOK well.”
I catch myself rolling my eyes behind her back more than I would care to admit. Maybe I’m missing a sensitivity chip, but come on. The response she has to a hangnail is the same response she has when she has coexisting explosive diarrhea and profuse vomiting. Clearly these events if jotted down on a continuum should produce a different response. It’s about perspective and the kids out there that have legitimate problems worthy of epic whining.
My middle child is the exact opposite when she is sick. She will go to extreme lengths to convince me that she is not sick. She doesn’t want to be sick, she doesn’t want attention for being sick, and she certainly doesn’t want me to tell her that she is sick. “Can Mommy check your temperature honey?” Immediate tears form as she runs away from me screaming, “Nooooooooooooooooo, I am NOT sick!”
She is the one in the family that would move to a nudist colony tomorrow if allowed. The minimum amount of clothing and the more skin showing the better. I fully expect to unexpectedly run into her on stage in Vegas some day. When she appears out of nowhere wearing her snowsuit, 7 layers of clothing underneath, and 2 stocking hats, this is generally a good indication that she might not be feeling well.
My youngest child just runs around like a germ infested Tasmanian devil when he is sick. Fluids pouring out of every orifice on his face using anything and everything to wipe it away with. “Come on! The decorative throw pillows? Really? You are a disgusting human being.”
My heart truly breaks for my children when they are legitimately sick. However, when I am sick at the same time that they are sick, all bets are off. I want MY mommy too! Guess what, I’m 38 years old and I don’t get her. I don’t get a sick day either. Gone are the days that I could call in sick to work, bring my kids to daycare and slip into a coma for the day, waking only to pee and roll over to prevent bed sores.
I felt like shit today. I didn’t want to do anything. I thought my kids felt like shit too, which is why I let them stay home from school.
True story. Five minutes after I called the school this morning, my oldest daughter (a.k.a. drama queen) started jumping enthusiastically on our mini trampoline as if she had just won the lottery.
I had been played, yet I had no energy to deal with it. I should’ve made her go to school, but then I would’ve had to shower, get dressed, and walk her into the school and see real people. No thank you.
The day unfolded as such…
Them: “Mom, can we go outside and play?”
Them: “Why not Mom? It’s really nice out.”
Me: “Because you’re suppose to be sick, that’s why. This is not a vacation day. This is a sick day. You don’t get to do anything fun on a sick day. You get to act like me. Sick.”
The day proceeded as follows, all three of them fighting, screaming, throwing snot at each other, acting the exact opposite of sick, all the while having absolutely no regard for their mother who was lying lifeless on the couch hiding under a pile of blankets because she is too full of snot to give a shit.
Here’s the irony of the situation. I spent the entire day wishing I could crawl into my bed and not have to deal with my children. Yet here I sit, kids sound asleep in their beds, half a bottle of wine gone, and writing a story about how all I wanted to do today was go to bed.
I am an idiot.