What A Man

Before I leave my sick days behind us, I have a word of praise (or two) for my husband.

Dan was a good man — nay, a Good Man — throughout the bug’s dread hold on our household.

He stayed up with the puking Flora Monday into Tuesday. He helped me (as much as he was able) in my time of extreme stomach distress very early on Thursday morning.

He tended me — or at least checked to make sure I was breathing and brought me ice chips — on Thursday. At my request we “watched” some Lost together for a bit in the afternoon in a very darkened room. I say “watched” because both of us dozed off during the three or four episodes we tried to get through. He gave me the couch, and stretched out on the floor. That evening, he warmed up some vegetable soup for me, and gave me ginger ale (generously provided by my MIL).

He took care of the children Thursday night with absolutely no input from me. They could have had chocolate cake for dinner for all I know.

Over the weekend, he did a lot of cleaning. The Christmas tree finally got disposed of, and he vacuumed the needles up. He moved the furniture back to its non-holiday positions.

He broke down all the cardboard boxes for recycling, and fended off a raccoon in our back yard.

Sunday, he stayed home with Kate while I took Flora to a birthday party at a bowling alley. (As an aside: I love the birthday-party-at-a-bowling-alley in theory. Built-in entertainment, someone else doing the muss & fuss, beer if you want it. But bowling alleys are LOUD. Loud, loud, loud. And when you have a Flora and a Laura at the same party… well, some things are bound to get mixed up. Like whose turn it is to bowl, for example.)

He helped with baths and bedtimes without me even asking! And he let me veg with a book (almost) as much as I wanted to.

Of course, now that I’m feeling better, I’m probably going to have to make this all up to him. Somehow.

Sick Days Are for Morons*

Heads up, moms. I have discovered another facet of “mothers don’t get sick days”.

If, through some mixture of mercy and good husbanding, you do get a sick day, be warned: Your children will take this as a sign of your weakness, and stop listening to you. Full stop.

I was down for the count on Thursday. Dan, fortunately or unfortunately, was stricken by the same bug that I had, only it took a less taxing (and, arguably, more disgusting) form. He didn’t run a fever; he was able to eat. Whether or not eating was advisable is up for debate as well.

So Dan and I stayed home from our respective jobs on Thursday, with me in and out of consciousness, and Dan left to his own devices. He took on the children when they came home from daycare; I was so out of it, I couldn’t actually tell you if he picked them up or had his mother do it for us. I vaguely recall interacting with the children, although the level of that interaction escapes me. I did not provide caregiving; I think that’s safe to say.

While back on my feet Friday, I was in no way recovered. The fever held on; I wore pajamas all day long; eating was at a minimum. Fortunately, after my FIL (who had also been stricken by the dread bug) picked up the children (he was recovered), my brother grabbed them for a sleep-over at his house. (Have I mentioned that Dr. Bro’s wife, mother of four boys ages 8 years to 9 months, is a saint? Well, she’s a saint.)

I dragged myself (that fever was a bitch) to work on Saturday for various and sundry reasons we won’t get into here. At least I wasn’t in danger of directly infecting anyone.

Sunday, my temperature finally dipped back into the normal range. Unfortunately, by this time, my children had decided I was no longer queen of the castle.

Kate threw two epic tantrums on Saturday (one brought on by me requesting her to say “please” for a sip of ginger ale, and the other one brought on by my denying her requests for Cheetos immediately after she was “done” with dinner). Flora simply ceased to hear me. She didn’t hear my requests to pick up her toys; she didn’t hear my requests to help me make her bed; she didn’t hear diddly-squat (except for the phrase, “if you don’t, you can’t go sleep over Dr. Bro’s”, which only worked Friday night).

They also told me “no” quite a bit and yelled at me. This is a cardinal sin in my house. By Sunday night, I was convinced I had a full-scale up-rising on my hands, and wasn’t sure what reinforcements I had at my disposal.

This will not stand.

Now, it is also true that due to my weakened condition (and I am not being melodramatic), that perchance my patience was non-existant, and I did a little more yelling (if I had the energy) than usual. I asked them to ask Daddy more often. Heck, Thursday I didn’t even sit up in bed to talk to them.

Also, I cried.

I am hoping that reports of my abdication of the throne have been realized to be exaggerations, and I have no intention of giving up the “mommy is the boss” mantra that has been mine since Flora was born. This week will be quite a test.

Just in case, anyone know where I can get reinforcements?

*Irony alert.