I hate it when the kids are sick.
I always find myself in that limbo wondering when the next shoe will drop. I find myself looking up average incubation periods for various gastrointestinal viruses (Is it Noro? Rota? Some other nasty bit) and counting off the hours on my fingers and wondering, “Will I get sick? Are the other kids next? When will we be in the clear? Friday? Saturday? A week from now?”
That one year when I mused about a hazmat suit? Yeah, totally only half-joking (and no, I have no idea where you can get one for children – you wouldn’t believe the number of hits that posts gets with people looking for hazmat suits for children). And let’s not even talk about that inevitable embarrassment and regret where you take your allegedly healthy child out to something and expose bystanders to their germs.
I get paranoid as I try to diagnose every twinge. Is that a fever or is it just the fleece pajamas? Nerves or the signs of impending gastrointestinal doom. I’ve already gone through this once this fall…do we really need to go through this again? And that cough…is that just a cough, cough or should I be running for the kid’s bedroom?
You know that I want? A button or some sort of display screen that reads “Healthy” or “Not going to vomit in the next 24 hours” or “Get this child to the bathroom ASAP!” Sadly, no such thing will ever happen, but my job as a mother would be a whole lot simpler if I could check my children’s health status regularly like blog statistics or online banking. We’d know when to stay home, when to keep a child under close watch, and when we can go about enjoying our winter merrily enjoying all that the season has to offer.
Lately, I fantasize about moving to Florida or somewhere in the Caribbean where I can set up my beach chair, open up a good book, and not return home until spring. I could pretend I had no sick children and let the husband take care of it all. Sure, I get that folks in warmer climates still get sick. I’m not entirely irrational here. Try not to ruin my fantasy, though, ok? It’s the only thing that’s getting me through all this laundry.