Once your kids start going to school, a flurry of illnesses walk in and out of the home regularly. Maybe we should all live in bubbles so no one would bring home anything. Just put on your bubble suit before heading out the door to school or the grocery store. It’s like an extra body jacket. Wear it in public and go thru a decontamination process before removing the bubble suit upon returning home, and no one would get sick any more, right? Well, until that futuristic day arrives, the kids will bring home all kinds of nasties and it will run through each and every being in your home, sometimes twice!
This year, our youngest, C, started kindergarten and I honestly felt like we had this whole sick thing under control. After all, our little C had spent time in preschool bringing colds home and our Mr. E had already done his time in public school. We should be mostly immune to all the crud that that living petri dish called “school” stirs up. We were so wrong.
Yesterday our Mr. C returned to school after a two-week bout of walking pneumonia which lead to severe asthma, at a time when the first real cold temperatures of the season showed up and everyone turned to wood stoves for heat. A perfect storm. So basically he’s been sick for a while. The walking pneumonia was a result of a cold he had two weeks before that never quite cleared up. The cold from his cousin, who spent one unplanned day at our house while sick (ah, the joys of being the at-home mom in the family!) The poor girl had just got over pneumonia too! So she spent one day at the house, and despite my best efforts, C came down with the cold. Probably exposed from the same location: The School. (Cue ominous music.)
A week into his cold, Dad starts feeling a bit sick too but, of course, we adults just take medicines and keep going. Especially those who have jobs to go to. Dad gets by, not really coming down with anything. Phew! Then E starts feeling sick. Has one morning of nausea and a low fever. He’s down for the count. C keeps coughing and coughing. We head to the doctor and each of these poor boys have a different crud making them feel sick. One, the glorious walking pneumonia and the other, a nasty stomach bug that’s also floating around town. Nurse Mom to the rescue!
I normally love taking care of people, but these kids tried each and every last nerve and bit of patience I have! They can’t go to school— they are too sick; but they refused to rest! Little C is hopping and jumping and playing and talking his heart out only to crash in the evening with spasms of coughing. I seriously considered Duct Tape for keeping him quiet and down! E is a bit better but that’s just his nature. He prefers to lay around doing nothing anyway so, keeping him down just required a bit of extra TV and tablet time.
Next in line is the dog. He vomits and needs to be let out more than normal. He hardly eats for a few days and is lethargic. (Just like a real kid!) So he receives extra attention and care.
By the end of the week, I’m feeling exhausted and run down. Guess who’s next in line? ME. I come down with the “low-grade fever” and exhaustion. I seriously couldn’t get myself to do anything. I’m just dragging, but moms don’t get sick days! We’re the grease that keep the family running smooth. So I push thru for a day or two and then my hubby is home for a few days in a row due to the holiday. He spoiled me. He actually gave me “Sick Days!” It was amazing. He cooked, cleaned and cared for the kids so that I could lounge around in my comfy clothes in bed and read or rest any way I wanted. It was amazing. Granted, kids don’t get it that a parent is sick. They still barge in, asking millions of questions or wanting to be with you. So even on a “sick” day, you still end up being busy.
So, I start feeling more rested— not better mind you, but rested. Then Dad has to head back to work. By the time the day ends, he’s come down with the slight fever and malaise. It’s not enough to keep you down, but enough to make you feel off and you just know you’re sick. So it goes. The crud has run its course through our house. Mom and Dad are still getting thru the day, but just barely, and the kids are back to their normal full-on selves.
Mr. C is back to the petri dish of a school. I added up the days that he’s missed, and he’s been absent about 15 days of school so far this year due to being sick. It’s a good thing he’s a smart kid so that I don’t worry about him falling behind.
I am seriously considering how to bring about those futuristic bubble suits to avoid any other illnesses in our house.