Getting Down with the Sickness

Posted on October 05 2016

This is, in my opinion, the best time of year. I love the cold weather and the beautiful colors of fall. I love buying new flannel sheets and cozy sweaters. I love being able to have a hot cup of coffee and not immediately sweat it out. I love it all. Well, all except for one thing - The Grand Cycle of Sickness. 

I'm guessing right about now you're thinking, "the Grand Cycle of Sickness? What in the world is that?!" Well, my friends, you may actually be more familiar with the GCS than you think. Here's how it works:

You wake up one morning to find exponentially more snot coming out of your toddler's nose than is per the norm. He's got a perpetually sleepy look in his eyes and has betrayed his typically hyperactive and destructive tendencies to, I kid you not, snuggle. The tone of his voice is soft and sweet, with the hint of a rasp somewhere. This is the beginning of the GCS.

After two or three days of coughing and a consistent out pour of mucous, your toddler will be on the mend. "All is well," you may think to yourself, until you round the corner to the living room and find your significant other in a semi-vegetative state on the couch. Have you heard of the man-fever? It's a real thing. It is essentially when your husband's temperature raises even just half a degree and he is rendered completely incoherent and incapable of basic human functions. Like feeding himself. Or sitting up. Or putting on a different movie on Netflix. So while you're children are suddenly filled with new life and energy, you must tend to your beloved as he waits for the icy hand of death to close around him. Or until the Tylenol kicks in.  Thankfully, from my own personal experience, it seems that man-fevers only last a day or two.

So the kids are better. The husband is better. You're now insanely behind on housework. Nobody has any clothes that could even kind of pass for clean on account of all the dried snot on every hem and sleeve. The dishes have been neglected for so long that you just know there's going to be at least one really huge, really gnarly bug hiding in the stacks somewhere. All that's left in the fridge and pantry are some moldy strawberries, enough milk for 1/8 a bowl of cereal, and whats left of the wrong brand of top ramen you accidentally got that one time. You can actually see all the dog hair sitting on top of your carpet, and you don't have to worry about the kids slipping on the hardwood when they wear socks because of the amount of dirt there to create sufficient traction. Oh yeah, and now you are insanely ill.

I don't know the exact science behind it all, but I know there has to be some. The kids get sick. The dads get sick. And you, mamas, you get SUPER SICK. It's almost like we somehow absorb every single last germ associated with the ailment that's been affecting our family and then compound it all into some sort of freak super germ that hits us harder than anyone else. And your family miraculously forgets all about the past week of nose wiping and pillow fluffing and spoon feeding you just put in. There's no empathy there for you, with your puffy eyes and congested chest and the barely audible squeak that is now your voice. It's times like this that I think about getting into politics, just so I can have a bill passed implementing paid leave for all mothers to go tend to their grown up daughters when they're sick. Let's all be honest right now, the number one best thing you can have in your house whenever you're sick is a mom. 

I digress. The sickness has now worked it's way through the entire family. your house is in shambles. You're pretty certain whatever bug was residing in your dishes has somehow taken off with what was left of that top ramen. So you pull yourself together, get the house cleaned up and the kitchen restocked. You get the laundry as close to done as it may ever get. Everyone is clean and fed and you're all feeling human again. You did it. You survived the. The GCS has run it's course and you, mama, you came out triumphant.

My suggestion to you before you're hit again, or before you're hit at all, is to stock up on soothing bath salts, or bubble bath for the kids, peppermint tea, and have someone on speed dial who can snag you some potato soup in a bread bowl from Panera when the time comes.

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