Being A Nurse May Not Be My Spiritual Gift


I set up my base camp on the sofa last night, in a place where I believed the germs weren’t completely clogging the air.  Hubs took over our bedroom and bathroom, much like an unruly house guest, if unruly house guests are the type that drop their laptop, their coffee mug from the morning, their Tupperware lunch container, their coat, their car keys, their office keys, and a flash drive on the floor, between the bedroom door and the bathroom toilet.  Clearly, this was a sign that things were about to explode like Mount Vesuvius, when Hubs sprinted through our front door last night, because he normally treats his laptop with a little more gentleness and love.  After all, if that screen cracks, there will be no more late-night Hulu and Netflix marathons of Parks and Recreation.

I had no desire to go into the land of the contaminated, so I put Thing 2 to bed, checked to make sure the boy was at least knee-deep in his chest-deep pile of homework, and I fluffed up the sofa pillows and threw down a fuzzy blanket, while I tried to figure out a way that I could mist Germ-X out of the essential oils diffuser all night long.

Come, thou blessed sanitizers.

But, I believe the verse is in the book of Psalms that says, “Puking may endure for the night, but joy and health come in the morning.”  Hubs was up at 7:00 this morning, claiming, “I blame you for my last vicious attack of barfing, when you told me that I’d missed out on smothered pork chops and gravy for supper.  My guts couldn’t take any food talk last night.”

And that was the exact moment when I quit checking on him, to see if he needed anything, in my best impression of a nurse who gags any time she sees someone’s snot.  Hubs went back to sleep after that announcement this morning, as I stood up and frantically applauded all single parents who are doing this parenting gig alone.  (Dear Single Parents, I applaud you!  You are undervalued, and you all need a beach vacation, where someone fluffs your towels and makes your bed every day for a week!)  Suddenly, the tasks that Hubs and I divide and conquer every morning ALL fell upon me, and what I forgot — WHAT!!  I COMPLETELY!!  FORGOT!! — was that I would be taking Thing 2 to school, because Hubs was out for the count, as he lost to the stomach flu.

I don’t do the kindergarten drop off, because Hubs takes that job on his way to work.  So, imagine my surprise when it dawned on me at 7:40 this morning… WHO SHALL BE GETTING THIS CHILD TO HIS CLASSROOM?!  This same child who hasn’t even eaten breakfast yet, because when I told him to go get his clothes on, he misunderstood me and thought I told him to sit on his bedroom floor and build a barge out of Legos, while wearing nothing but a pair of Batman undies.  THAT was the one who needed to eat breakfast at 7:40 and then have his mother (who was sporting the unwashed hair that wasn’t going to get washed, and which was going to just be called TUESDAY’S ALL-DAY HAIR) still pack him a lunch, so that he wasn’t poisoned with gluten or dairy in the school’s cafeteria.

I am happy to report that we made it, and that we made it at 7:56.  A bowl of oatmeal basically requires very little chewing which translates into very little time.  Being a two-minute drive away from the school also helps on rushed mornings.


And then… I took myself to work, because I had seven elementary PE classes on my immediate horizon, so it was an absolute delight when the school nurse called me at 11:30 today to announce that Thing 2 was coughing like a seal, and what would I like her to do for him?

And so it begins.

It does seem like all the yuck is hitting us extremely early this year, especially when one considers that the temperature today was a balmy 79.

But… the little Catholic school where I teach PE sent four kids home today.   Four kids, from four different grades, and all four puked on the school premises. One of them walked into my PE class, and… instead of changing her shoes from sandals to sneakers… ran through the gym doors and disappeared.  She raced by me in a streak, and I ended up finding her in the girls’ bathroom, clutching the side of a toilet and throwing up her breakfast, as she cried for her mom.

And then Thing 2 sneezed on my arm, in the most glorious sneeze to erupt since the early 1400s.

In other words, my germ free base camp is probably not even necessary again tonight, because I have been exposed.

But… one day last week… when everyone was still healthy and there was nary a cough or a barf to be heard in our home… Thing 2 went on a field trip to the fire station.  Sister went with him, because that field trip shook down on a Tuesday, when I was stuck in a soccer unit in PE.  Thankfully, Sister sent me snapshots, because Sister is kind and good.

She let me know that Thing 2 was picked to be the fellow who pretends he has a broken leg, so that the paramedics can show the class exactly what they do in the back of that ambulance.  Naturally, our five-year-old came home and announced that he was going to be a fire fighter when he grows up.  He let us know that he’ll spend his days sliding down the pole, putting fires out, and using those “giant car scissors to cut people out of cars when they wreck.”

I imagine he’ll also be a better nurse than I am.

If he doesn’t gag when he sees snot, he’s already way ahead of his mama.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.   Happy Tuesday.

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