For the last two weeks we've been ever so sick. It was just a very bad cold. One child gets it, then generously passes it to the other via slobbering and coughing or sneezing or the ever popular and effective, sippy cup swap.
They have also been so generous to share their wretched cold shenanigans with their tired and adoring parents. It makes for really great parenting - to feel like crap and take care of other crappy-feeling children.
Often times when I see a cold is a-brewin' in one of the kids, I take extra measures to have them cover their face when they cough and sneeze and always wash their hands after blowing their noses. I will sometimes tell them not to hug or kiss their siblings (because they inevitably sneeze every time they go in for a big bear hug), which by the way sounds horrible doesn't it? But to be quite honest, all I can see when they are hugging or kissing is a good week and a half to two weeks of no sleep or very poor sleep in my future, hence the kibosh on affection.
All that being said, by the time I'm sure we are all well-infected, my rules and preventative measures go straight the window. I stop caring and finally realize, it's better if they all get sick at once instead of staggering it, because it shortens the window of sick.
How does one know that they truly are infected? I'll tell you, it's when you are buckling any one of your mucus-y cherubs into their car seats and get a big juicy sneeze right between the eyes. That is the moment when you realize, it is now my time to keep a box of Kleenex in my mommy (or daddy) tool belt, that imaginably resides around my waist, along with herbal tea and ibuprofen. Ah, joy.
Yes, you guessed it. That's a hair clip holding a Kleenex box to my hip. The only problem is that I thought of this after every one started feeling better.
Each child has a different nose-blowing style. Care to see the rundown? Of course you do.
She was weirdly reluctant about taking this picture (hence, the lack-luster approach to fake nose-blowing), but it's still fairly accurate.
Boo is a great nose blower. Forceful, thorough and completely unaware that she must cup the danging Kleenex up under her nose to catch the waterfall of newly expressed snot. Effective but very, very messy. Especially when she does this in the car and then hands you the soggy tissue while you are driving. To make matters more interesting, a quick look in the rear-view mirror reveals the dangling string of snot hanging from her top lip and her talking something like this, "Uh, Mommy? Uh...Uh...Ewww!!!" all while sitting very still as if she has a killer bee on the end of her nose. To which I respond with a fresh tissue wipage of the dangler, while driving in snow. Life on the edge.
This is not a very realistic re-enactment of the previous weeks activities. This was much more enthusiastic. Maybe I should try breaking out the camera the next time I ask him to blow his nose.
Bubba is the reluctant nose-blower. You know, with all your mommy intuition, that he has a ridiculous amount of snot in his head but no matter how many times you ask if he needs to blow his nose, the answer is "no". He will, only if told, give a dainty, useless blow, just enough to rattle things around a bit and convince me that there is still SO much more to be expelled. But he just plain refuses. So I let him go on, talking like his head is in a bucket and someone shoved two cottonballs up his nose. How can one walk around with so much snot in their head, by choice? Does he not know the satisfying feeling of a momentarily clear head? I love blowing my nose.
And then there is Tiny. Well, he's only 18 months old and is sort of understanding the concept. He only blows his nose when there is not a Kleenex within an 80 mile radius and it's usually into his hand AND it's usually when he's practicing blowing kisses, not sneezes. Pretty cute, really. But to get any real relief for him, I have to use the dreaded "snot sucker". Out of all my kids, he's the one that has done the best with it. He actually tolerates it. He doesn't enjoy it, but he will sit still for the duration. The best part is when he tells it "bye-bye" (which really sounds like "kye-kye") when it's all done. What amazes me is how small his head is and the enormity of his snot! Where does it come from?
The cold accouterments.
I find that my once hyper-vigilant disease control has now been lowered to a simple snot inspection of the hands. If they don't have visible snot it's back to the sick pit (also known as the play room), if they do then a shoddy squirt of hand sanitizer and a cautionary warning "do NOT to eat it!" is issued, along with a quick wipe of a damp paper towel. Where have my principles gone?
Other sick-time activities include (like a bad Time Life compilation C.D.):
-Cleaning things I wouldn't normally think to clean, like under Tiny's booster seat. The horror of dried bits of food from weeks ago and pacifiers? I don't even know how they got under there, for the space is so minimal I find it nearly a great work of art, on his part. It took a chisel and the better part of my afternoon to pry all disgusting food particles from the chair.
-You do really bad-mommy things, like, take your kids to the mall to play in the children's play area while they are sick. You are so insane with being trapped inside your house, with nothing but noses to blow and butts to wipe, that you exit the house, in frigid weather, cart them to the mall and dump them into the play pit. The whole time, you are thinking (or at least I am) what a horrible thing I am doing. I'm infecting all these other kids. Then I see that nearly half the moms there are wiping their kids snot faucets just as much as I am. So suddenly I don't shudder as much or hop up as quick, when Lily sneezes on the little girl with a puffy pink hairbow and Isaiah slides his sleeve across his slippery nose-snot.
-Lose track of the last day everyone had a bath.
-You cancel your son's birthday party twice...ugh.
-You do a lot of art projects that require painting with NyQuil and cough syrup. (Just kidding...we use paint, most of the time.)
-You find yourself daydreaming about a Mexican beach and shrimp cocktail...and cocktails.
-Then you cry because you realize a vacation won't happen for years.
Do you see all the deep thoughts that occur when one is sick alongside their children? I'm sure you have some of your own. By all means, do share...
I hope this post finds you and your loved ones feeling healthy and ready for Spring.
Love ya, Foodies!