Friday, October 1, 2010

Humoring the Sick

It's been two weeks now that at least one person in the house has been sick.  We tend to go on long stretches like this, last year we had an 8 week run.  56 consecutive days where at least one of the six of us was sick.  The revolving door of crud.

It's part of the inevitability of having a big family, I suppose, particularly when most of the people in the family are kids.  And kids are just gross.

I warned my husband not to laugh at me earlier this week when I was spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom.  Just you wait, I said. Just you wait.  And yet he laughed.  He scoffed at my requests for him to stay home from work and help me.  It wasn't as bad as I was making it seem, or so he thought. 

He found out I wasn't kidding.

When he texted me to tell me he wasn't feeling well yesterday, I chuckled.  Then I texted back this message:

Welcome to the club!  We have saltines here!

He didn't think it was funny.  He got home a little while later, went upstairs and alternated between sleeping restlessly and going to the bathroom.  Then he came downstairs and told me that he's never had this high of a fever before in his life.  Ever.  I checked.  He was 101.6.  Ashley pretty routinely hits the 104-105 range.  But he was sure he was dying.

It was funny.

Don't get me wrong...I didn't try to get him sick.  It's not like I was licking his face while he slept or anything.  I just think it is a good lesson for him to learn since he usually manages to dodge the germs that float around here.  Now he'll know that when I ask him to stay home and help me, it's not without a damn good reason.

Plus, though it's not fun to be sick, and it's not terribly funny when someone is throwing up over and over again, if you loose your sense of humor it's easy to feel sorry for yourself.  It's easy to hate being a mom when you spend all day cleaning up vomit unless you can see the humor in it too. 

I have a friend who threw up in her son's backpack this week.  Oh come's funny!  It might not be funny right now, but it will be later.  For sure.

I took the kids to the doctor yesterday.  As I was pulling into the parking lot, I laughed.  I just wanted to expose us all to some new germs since we'd just about used these ones up.  We needed some new ones.  You see, the doctor's office is a giant petri dish, arguably even worse than school.  Ashley got the flu there two years ago.  And people let their babies crawl on the waiting room floor.  Blech. 

Yep, I took all four of the kids.  They were all either off school or home sick, and's just way more fun to take them all to the doctor.  AJ is now on antibiotics for double ear infections and a sinus infection. Aidan can't even start taking his medication until he stops throwing up.

Perhaps the funniest thing anyone said yesterday about our ongoing battle with being sick came from an unlikely source.  Someone who often shakes his head at me for finding humor in things he doesn't think are funny.  My brother. 

And I quote:

It's like you live on a cruise ship with one of those mystery illnesses...

He's right, all we are missing is the element of vacation.

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