I always say that I never get sick. And then this winter I got sick, and stayed sick, for about 2 months. Nothing relieved the coughing, dripping, hacking and sore throat. The doctors were stumped. And then, it went away.
So I learned not to take for granted any “well period” I may have, especially because children have zero tolerance for a dip in their parents’ fortitude. I also learned what kind of chaos ensues if my senses are compromised when I’m down for the count.
1. Nose stuffed: Can’t smell that stinkbomb that the baby dropped in his diaper just before he went to bed. The odor permeates the house throughout the night and the deposit chafes the little guy’s rump. Diaper cream and fumigation techniques are tested to their limits.
2. Eyes watery. It’s all a blur. Trying to order more diaper cream online. But may have selected Ben-Gay instead. A 3-pack. That COULD be an amazing chocolate cake the kids just baked in the middle of the living room. If only I could smell it to be sure…
3. Ears clogged. The tea kettle boils over and the water evaporates. The crash of the precariously designed Lego tower goes unnoticed, as do the wails of its architect (and the cackles of its demolition expert). The diapers delivery is missed because the doorbell wasn’t heard. Household now at dangerously low diaper cream levels.
4. Throat sore. Can’t call for more tissues. Can’t ask for a cough drop. Can’t yell at anyone to stop drawing on the walls. Popcorn for dinner? I literally have no say.
5. Body achy. Hugs hurt. Lap’s off limits. A nursing child suddenly weighs a ton. Can’t hold a toothbrush. Kids’ hygiene habits are suspended until I bounce back. I teach the kids to air kiss goodnight.
Another lesson learned – ask for help. If you pretend you can still do it all, people won’t ask if you need them to pitch in. You do. Because you’re probably terrible at microwaving popcorn.
How do YOU deal as a parent when you’re sick?