FILED IN: Parenting

One Mother’s Comfort Is Another Child’s Misfortune

It’s been a rather warm winter — we fired up the barbecue more in December, than we did all summer, it seems — and now they’re calling for an unusually cold spring, here in Jersey. What is up with the weather, lately? Yeah, you too? I know! It’s taken a toll on my children’s respiratory systems, too – my youngest being hit the hardest a few short weeks ago – but, life goes on and we are steadily getting through another school year, sick.

On a different day (as Mini-me is so fond of saying) when the children were much younger, staying home made very little difference to our schedules, other than racing to the Pediatrician’s office (once a week, it seemed) and then choosing between taking a nap, watching a video or doing laundry. Either way, with sick babies at home, I was afforded very little time (or energy) for anything else, besides making my children as comfortable, as possible.

A self-imposed pajama day, sort of.

These days, I’ve gone back to appreciating the true meaning behind the most beloved of all acronyms (TGIF!) as my family and I — along with eleventy million other people — prepare ourselves for yet ANOTHER work week.

“I don’t feel very well.”

And those ARE the five words that perhaps all parents dread the most – the ones we know, anyway.

“Okay – no fever, no cough, no puke – you’ll be fine.”

These days, I find myself gauging my children’s level of illness — I’m sorry, but there ARE so many — not only by the weather, but by taking into consideration the amount of patience and/or the length of that last nerve, I’ve got left.

Especially, in the spring — if it’s nice out, then the fresh air and sunshine will do them good, yes?

I am a bit embarrassed to admit, however, that I very rarely manage to get outdoors (or, out of my pajamas) myself. The trouble with being a SAHM is that keeping up with my housewifely duties becomes a big pain in the drawstrings; especially, when there is a sick kid in the house.

“Hello, Mrs. Thompson, Mini-me says she’s not feeling well and wants to come home.”

Ugh.

“Did she puke…is she feverish…I mean, how sick IS she?”

I know that sounds terrible, but there are plenty of times when other parents have knowingly sent their children into school sick and that child is probably the one who’s coughed into my kid’s face, all day!

“Uh…no…but, she really doesn’t look good at all.”

Really?  If only the nurse could see her mother’s face, there would be no question; it’s much healthier if the child stayed in school.

“Sure – I’m home, anyway – I mean, what the hell!”

Fortunately, I hung up before saying that out loud and no one was home to hear the terrible tirade that followed — except, for the cats and killer dust bunnies — and I’m pretty sure the dog won’t be talking, anytime soon, if he knows what’s good for him.

The big Doofus!

[breathes in deep]

But, the house smells GREAT!

Now, I seek comfort in mundane things.  Like, getting down with Mr. Dyson and disinfecting This Full House of the wets and mildews, as if it were a Friday night and company were coming — a dirty dance of metaphorical proportions.

“Thing Two woke up feeling dizzy and says she has a headache.”

Swell.

“Go give her some orange juice and tell her to go back to bed.”

You know, this far into the school year, I’ve about had it with my kids in believing that they could stay home from school anytime they’re not feeling “quite right.”

What about Mommy; what if I don’t feel as if I won’t be able to make anyone feel better, right now; when was the last time anyone asked how I felt; does anyone care?

Yes, it’s a self-imposed pity party and — especially, if you’re a mom — consider yourself invited!

Besides, Thing Two was not very happy with me, already and please don’t hate me when I tell you that the feeling was mutual and my first thought was my 12-year-old was simply suffering from right-back-at-you-mommyitis!

Guess that’s why she woke her daddy.

"I’m sure she’ll be fine."

[heavy sigh]

Still.

I quietly entered the girls’ room, pushed through the wet towels and leaned in closer, so I could place a hand on her neck and check Thing Two’s…holy crap!

"Sweetie, wake up…you’re burning up!"

You know, it’s funny.

"Garth (not his real name) quick, I need the thermometer!"

Sometimes, it takes less than a minute and I feel sick (and tired) about everything and find myself believing that, YES, the whole world is out to get me!

"That’s okay, Sweetie."

Then, my kids get sick…

"Oh, please don’t cry!"

…the mommy kicks in…

"Don’t worry, Mommy’s here!"

…and all is right with the world, again.

"DANG, girlfriend…103.7!"

[eyes go wide]

"WHAT…didn’t think mommy could count that high, DID-CHUH!?!"

Being a grown up, sucks — although, I do remember the times when growing up didn’t seem that much fun, either — sometimes, it takes a child to raise a parent and that thought is enough to soothe the soul, really.

"Gotta go to work, now…feel better, sweetie…I’m sure mommy will take good care of you, today."

Yeah, me too.