Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursdays with Trixie

I think I have the plague. I’m a hacking, coughing, sniffling, sneezing, miserable, plague-infested mommy. I feel awful.

It happened in the usual way. My darling Monkey came home from preschool one day, and woke up the next with a fever. On a Tuesday. Why is it always early in the week that he gets sick? Never on a Friday, or the weekend, so that he can recover while we are already at home. Nope, each time, it’s early on in the week so that my husband, Egg, and I can do the “who needs to be at work more” dance as many days as possible.

Me: So.... Monkey’s got a pretty good fever. Should probably stay home today.
Egg: Huh. I think I have a meeting this morning.
Me: Oh, yeah? I think I have two meetings. And I have no leave left over after my maternity leave ended.
Egg: I have a meeting, and a court appearance. Justice dies if I’m not at work today.
Me: I gave you two children....
Egg: One of whom is sick right now, so not so good on that. Besides, he likes you better.
Me: Oh, fine. Fine. I’ll take the morning. You be home by lunch time. And he does like me better.

And so we stayed home. If your toddler is anything like my toddler then you know there are two truths about toddler sickness: (1) they get a fever with everything, all the time, for no good reason; and (2) fevers and wild horses could not slow them down. It takes a full-on 104.5 fever to get the Monkey to sit still for a while. Anything less, and it’s just something to keep him warm while he’s outside playing soccer.

Now that I have two kids, I like to try to prevent the cold from passing from one to the other. Similarly, I like to keep rain from falling, and to keep dogs from licking themselves. Can’t be done. In the beginning, I was a hand-washing crazy person. If a cold was suspected, I enforced an anti-virus martial law involving strict border controls, hand-washing, and baths of hand sanitizer. I made everyone wash everything several times over, until we were all very, very, very clean. And now rashy, from the dry skin. Do you know what difference it made? None. The cold would still pass from one kid to the next in a matter of days Every. Single. Time. Seriously. Now both kids were clean, rashy, AND sick. Great.

So, now I don’t try as hard. The cold is going to pass through sooner or later; I might as well not stress about it. And in fact, this time, a few days after we had patched up the Monkey, LambChop got a fever of her own, along with the cutest hacking cough. Poor thing. She also added in the baby special: double ear infections. She’s a trooper, though, just like her brother. And, just like her brother, it is now clear to me that her mission in life is to make sure that Mommy gets the cold, too (which, as an aside, is not exactly in her best self-interest, as she must be realizing now that every night, just as she is falling asleep gently, gently, gently as she nurses, I start uncontrollably coughing and hacking in a manner fit to wake the dead. Not good.). But if it’s a lost cause to stop the cold from going from one kid to the other, it is SERIOUSLY a lost cause to prevent me from getting it. And here’s what I don’t get. I get that Monkey and LambChop have clean slates in terms of the amount of immunity that they have built up to colds. I get that they will catch lots of germies at the day care. But what I can’t fathom is why I have ABSOLUTELY no immunity to any dang virus out there. I’m not a toddler. I’ve had colds before. I’ve been around the cold block a time or two. How is it that there is apparently not a single cold out there to which I have already become immune? Is there a lot of brand new viruses out there? Are the colds I caught from adults a few short years ago the flimsy half-breed cousins of these colds? Why must I catch everything they bring home? With gusto?

And, more importantly, how is it that Egg lives in his own little bubble of healthiness? How did he get so immune? Every time they bring something home, as night follows day, I catch the cold, and he does not. I find this remarkably unfair. It’s not like he eats healthily, or that he exercises, or takes care of himself in ANY recognizable way (“but honey, I NEEDED that egg mcmuffin....”). And he was very resistant to my hand sanitizer martial law, I must say. I don’t even think he really put it on. So why doesn’t he get sick? I have no idea. Frankly, even when he does get sick, it’s still not very satisfying because he just takes medicine and feels all better. Which is crap, because as a nursing mommy (for at least a little while longer), there is very little that I can take that really makes me feel better. I’m stuck with the humidifier, some tylenol, and a couple throat lozenges. Grr...

Egg: Man, that cold was awful.
Me: I know, I feel terrible. I can’t breathe. I didn’t sleep at all last night. You?
Egg: oh, I slept fine. I took some nyquil, and man, out like a light. Breathing good, too. Taking some daytime stuff now that’s dried me all up. Did the baby even wake up last night for a feeding?
Me: (mumbling to self: murder is wrong. Murder is wrong. Murder is wrong. )

Now, a few days later, Monkey is all better. LambChop is on the mend. Egg has narrowly escaped death once again, and is, as always, cold-free. And I am sitting here, sucking on a damn lozenge, blowing my nose, and wishing for the plague to end. My best bet: it will, approximately 3 days before Monkey brings home the next virus.

1 comments:

bernthis said...

don't kill me but I am like your husband. My ex got everything but then again he deserved. Karma is a bitch huh? I never did. Great, now I've jinxed myself.

Gotta go, I'm starting to feel a bit stuffy in the nose area

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