For four days I’ve been sick. Nothing crazy — just the usual sore throat, coughing, fatigue kind of thing, maybe a fever … but since not one of our thermometers says the same temperature I can only guesstimate that I’m somewhere between 97.1 and 108.2.
What’s most amazing is that 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, to the orthodontist. They didn’t 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 totally trivial, like recuperate. No, life as we know it, went on.
Last night, I gleefully turned out the lights at around 11PM, hoping to make up for the 4 hours of sleep I’d gotten 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,” I said, dragging myself up and letting our heavy breather out for the 2nd time, on the way. As soon as my babe was “pantsed” and I was cozily re-blanketed: “Mommy, I neeeed my favorite pillow.”
“I’ll get your favorite pillow and give our letchy dog a bowl of water.”
By 3AM J had tried to sleep in 15 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. Awesome! 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.
In the midst of this shuffling chaos, my husband was snoring away, completely oblivious. Some could argue that this has been the case for the last decade.
He had approximately three pillows under is head and 2 more over his head, 1 shoved between his legs (better the pillow than me) — and was taking up 73% of the bed. He lay soundly in hisIron clad barricade which my son could not penetrate or budge. Yes, J and I were so smooshed I had to rebirth him to get him out of the bed.
Finally, I gave up on trying to carve out room for us and wooed J 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 4AM and by 4:45 my son was back in the womb. “Mom, can I be your snuggle bunny?” How do you say no to that one? I mean in just a decade he’ll be asking me to drop him off two blocks from the mall.
At 5AM my daughter was squeezing in on the other side of me and we laid there like a hermetically sealed package of sausages. Just as I dozed off she started complaining (well, it was her turn). “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 had installed at some point during the night. Bang…Bang…Bang.
“I was up all night. PLEASSSSSSEE get the kids ready for camp.”
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 was mildly suffocating you.”
“I just can’t, I’m too sick.”
AND here is the difference between moms and dads: My husband’s cold might as well have been Anthrax … and the Earth literally halted on it’s axis.
Mind you, 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.
No, he will not seek help in fact, he’ll spend his day creating an impressive mound of snotty tissues, large enough to pitch off of.
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.
In what I think may be an 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, as a good wife am I supposed to “Mommy” him? Really? Frankly, in my bitter, exhausted, and sick state — I cannot even feign an attempt.
I know, I sound awful, “I don’t ask that my sickness or lack of sleep take precedence over yours. I just wish that you’d stay somewhere else until yours passes.”
Go Ahead Give it a Like it’s Applause for a Blogger
(Originally published in like 2008 or something like that… still one of my faves!)