Things I learned while I was deathly ill last week:
9. I’m a very patient person.
Stop laughing and listen.
I didn’t think so either. I thought I was fair-to-middling in the patient parent category. But during the first 6 hours of the fever-and-puke-and-sore-throat-fest I like to call The Painful Beginning to Losing the Baby Fat, every time my kids balked about, whined about, or snapped at one of my requests, I burst into tears. It was eye-opening for all of us. And I have a new way to make them do stuff. Ask once, wait not at all, then fall down whimpering softly.
Try it. It works.
8. Hot showers were created for people with fevers. (Sorry, developing world. I’m sure blankets and herbal treatments are nice, too?) I used to think, thanks to an ex-boyfriend, that showers were invented for people in Boston who just couldn’t get warm in the winter. (Sorry, again, developing world and residents of steppes and deserts; we really do suck as a culture.) And hot showers are really, really good for restoring warm bloodedness to the chilled, it’s true. But those with multi-day fevers get stiff necks and headaches from muscle tension, and showers are muy bueno for melting muscle tension.
7. The false hope of recovery given by a shower lasts exactly 7 minutes when you have the early-October public school creeping crud.
6. Old people stay sick way longer than young people. Peanut had a one-day fever and a half-day recovery. I got the four-day version. He kept telling me it was a different germ. I kept looking at him, loopy with pain and disorientation, not caring whether I ever regained my will to form speech sounds but thinking something like, “Nuh-uh.”
5. Children are loud.
4. October in Northern California, with its 80 degree weeks, really sucks when you’re sick. Briiiiiiight. Hhhhhhhhhhot. Dryyyyyyy.
3. Children move very, very quickly. Like hyena.
2. Spouses who can leave work after their really important meetings and blow off their kind-of-important meetings to take over 100% for ailing parenting-partners are worth their weight in chocolate, syrah, or Ricola (pick your fever-poison). Spouses who do not even once ask you what to cook for the children or where to take the children while you writhe and whimper on the couch are worth their weight in quiet, solo vacation time.
1. And yet somehow I know this four days of decrepitude is going to count as a vacation in later debates when I trot out the old, “when was the last time I got a break?!”
That’s okay, I guess. He can win every debate for the next month at least.
Hope you’re all well, readers!