I write this note through bloodshot eyes. My skin jaundiced with exhaustion, my hair (more) disheveled, my clothes (more) crumpled. Friends, I have passed through fire and I fear it’s the first of many. A pandemic has swept through my house like the ride of the apocalypse and now…I fear its inevitable return. What happened?
The whole family got sick, man. Every. Stinking Person. And one dog.
I have sneered at friends that went through this and said, “It can’t be that bad.”
I’ve derided family for canceling plans if anyone at my house had the slightest of sneezes and demanded, “What’s the big deal?”
Turns out I owe them all an apology. Whole-home sickness takes the stereo sound of life with small children and cranks the volume up to 15. There are only four of us – and one dog – but its been weeks of unhappy over here.
More crying? Much more. Less sleep? Oh yeah. More things to do…to wash…measure…check. More doctors visits, more moaning, and more misery.
I went first, and suffered the least. If anyone is keeping score that is two marks against me. I brought sickness into the house and then left it with everyone else.
The 2 year old
She went down next. It started with a bout of vomit and we thought it was over, because that only lasted the one night. A full week of fever, listless lying about and sleepless nights followed.
What sucks about her age getting sick?
- Well, that she was miserable of course. Have to say that.
- Missing three days of school is tough on the whole family. There, I said it, and if you have kids you know it’s true.
- She can tell you what’s wrong – but you can’t really do much. She’s miserable, you’re helpless.
One good thing.
There is a complete dispensation of all TV rules. ½ hour/day? Only downstairs? Not on a sick day my friend. Hop right in bed here.
The little guy
He’s only four months. No vomit thankfully. But a fever for days. And I still don’t know if it’s related but man that kid drools. The teeth, I know, but not for the fever this time. It’s been too high.
- Again, his misery, all right, fine.
- Constipation. Probably from dehydration, I don’t know. But he’s been going 2-3 days before letting go. That leads to some room-clearing shits. We are playing musical chairs with the nanny as I write this. Please don’t let that music stop before 8 AM.
- The rectal thermometer. Every 30 minutes. I actually remember hating this when I was a kid – so I feel particularly guilty about it. (Incidentally…how old must I have been for me to still remember that? Mom – we’re going to talk about this.)
- Just fear. He’s so young; he can’t be that durable yet. That fever climbs to 103-104…that fear starts to grip you in the middle.
This is an earthshattering event for us. You can hear gears grinding to a halt throughout the house, throughout our very lives, when my wife gets sick.
The worst part
The shattering realization that she’s not my better half – she’s my better 80%.
It is now very obvious that I only get the kids dirty, accidentally teach them curse words and make pasta for dinner.
The only good part
Temporary hero status as I “step up” and prevent things from completely falling to shambles.
I don’t keep everything running right, but they don’t totally stop, either. Accolades roll in.
The dog didn’t really get sick. I was just being dramatic. He’s old though, and that’s a pain.
And if we have plans, and my house is healthy and yours is not, I’m cancelling, even last minute. Sorry about that.
I drive a minivan and ride a motorcycle.
Enjoying the piss out of parenting - 2 kids, a girl born in 2013 and a boy in 2015.