For four days I have been sick. Nothing crazy; just the usual sore throat in the morning, coughing, fatigue kind of thing. Yet, in those four days, the world miraculously kept spinning. My children’s schedules did not disappear, nor did mine. They made it to camp, and to baseball, and the Doctor. They did not suffer from starvation because I decided to forgo grocery shopping, or making them breakfast, or packing their lunches; so that I could lie around and do something trivial, like recuperate.
Last night, I happily turned out the lights at 11PM, hoping to make up for that 4 hour “nap” I had the night before. At midnight my dog Buddy, pacing and panting like a sex caller, sent me out like a shot for his first pee break of the evening. At 1AM my son ran in soaking wet, exclaiming, “I think I sweated too much.” Unable to peel myself up, I let his little naked tush into my bed where he continued to whine for about an hour straight. “Mommy, I neeeeeeeeeed pants.” “I’ll get you pants,” and let our heavy breather out for the 2nd time. “Mommy, I neeeed my favorite pillow.” “I’ll get your favorite pillow” and give our letchy dog a bowl of water. By 3AM Jack had tried 12 different positions. Including the one where you go all the way under the covers to the end of the bed and push until you fall to the floor taking the comforter with you. He complained about 20 different things, from being upset that I had to remake the bed after he fell out of it, to having an actual dislike for color of my sheets. “They’re white.”
In the midst of this chaos, my husband was completely oblivious during those last few hours. Some could argue that this has been the case for the last decade. He was sleeping with his body pillow, the one he stole from me in the 3rd trimester of my 1st pregnancy. It has been our small person sized bedmate ever since. A bedmate that he shoves in his crotch and smothers between his knees. Well, better the pillow than me. He had 2 more pillows over his head and was taking up 73% of the bed. He had built and Iron clad barricade which my son could not penetrate or budge. Jack and I were so snug I’d have to rebirth him to get him to camp. Finally , I gave up and wooed him back into his room by promising to make him a fort, “just like Daddy’s.” Of course I had to remake his bed first, as the sweat had an uncanny resemblance to pee. I got back into bed around 4 AM, after reading my dog a story and letting my son out. Wait, scratch that and reverse it.
By 4:45 my son was back in the womb. “Mom, can I be your snuggle bunny?” For how many years will I get to hear that? At 5AM my daughter was squeezing in on the other side of me. We laid there like a hermetically sealed package of sausages, my arm coyoteed under Ryleigh’s head. Then she started complaining. “Its too hot with this blanket. Mom my PJ’s hurt. Mom I hate the color of your sheets.” Somehow, 6:30 managed to roll around.
I banged on my husbands fort with the door knocker he installed. Bang…Bang…Bang. “Please get the kids ready for camp. I was up all night.” Mark is a morning person so I imagined it would be no big deal. “Grumble grumble… no.” “What do you mean you won’t help me?” “Grunt, I’m sick, my throat is killing me. Besides, I was up too.” “What kept you up? Was it the sound of your snoring? Or maybe the pillow over your head wasn’t soft enough.” “I just can’t I’m too sick.” My husband’s cold might as well be the plague, as the Earth has halted on it’s axis.
It would take a hemorrhaging artery to get him to the Doctor, excuse me the clinic, as he has never officially acquired a Doctor. But, why go? It’s easier to lay around and tease my children with his untouchable presence. He’ll spend his day creating an impressive mound of snotty tissues, large enough to pitch off of. Tissues which he is too sick to bend down and pick up, however he is not too sick to work or to make sure to keep up with his fantasy team.
He’ll refuse to use sanitizer, and sluggishly mosey around the house, putting his grubby, germy hands in every bag of chips, touching every door knob and remote, and talking on every phone. He may even lick the straws on the juice boxes for good measure. All in a effort to ensure that as soon as he gets better, both my children will surely contract his illness and I will have no shot at personal recovery.
Now, I should Mommy him, which in my bitter and sick state, I cannot even feign an attempt. Listen, if I wanted another child I would adopt one from Indonesia. If you need to be babied, call your Mom. Better yet, go stay with her. I don’t ask that my sickness or lack of sleep take precedence over yours. I just ask that you go to a hotel until yours passes.”