It’s official. I have The Plague. And that’s a bit funny, because I was very determined not to catch it this holiday season. I’ve been proactive with the essential oils and the heavily-laden-with-all-the-Vitamin-C juice mixes that taste like citrus-flavored Alka Seltzer… but… what with every four-year-old in my pre-kindergarten PE class coughing this week, my gym has sounded like an infirmary for that last PE session of the day. As much as my mind willed it not to happen, the spreading of the germs by four-year-olds was very effective, because WHAT? I’M SUPPOSED TO COVER MY MOUTH WHEN I COUGH?
Well… I woke up coughing at precisely 12:10 yesterday morning…
… and I never went back to sleep.
Not at all. Not even for five minutes.
People, WHO does that sort of thing? It’s neither normal nor healthy, but there I was, wide awake and coughing hysterically, and blaming every pre-k kid I knew. So, in order to just put some mileage between Hubs and all the noise, so that he could keep on sleeping, I migrated to the sofa in the living room with my blanket and fourteen pillows (I am a nighttime nest builder. Don’t judge me.). And then I just laid there on the sofa, alternating coughing with a mental list of things that had to be done, while I wasted time doing SLEEP MATH.
Sleep Math involves me saying to myself, “If I fall asleep right now, at 3:12 in the morning, and if Thing 2 somehow magically sleeps until 5:20, and if the wind blows out of the East at fourteen miles an hour, then I could get X amount of sleep yet.”
Of course, by the time I’d worked the logistics out on that one, carried the one and determined the value for X, it was already 3:27, and that changed the answer by a lot.
And??? Do you know how much fun it is to teach back-to-back PE classes all day long when you’ve been awake since midnight? My Wednesday was full of THIS IS OUR SLUGGISH PE TEACHER WHO IS POURING CAFFEINE INSIDE OF HER SYSTEM AT ALARMING RATES.
Also, I plum dadgum FORGOT the names of THREE. OF. MY. STUDENTS. yesterday. I stared at one little, blonde-headed kindergarten kiddo, and FOR THE LOVE OF HOLY ROASTING CHESTNUTS, I could not even come up with his name. Jacob? No. That wasn’t it. Spencer? No. It’s not an S-name. I was at a loss and seriously wondering if I needed to have the school secretary drive me over to the nursing home for admittance into the Dementia Ward, where I would be safe from the dangers of myself and my non-working brain.
Thankfully, I did remember the little fellow’s name, AGES after I was trying to call out to him from across the gym to THROW THE BALL THE OTHER WAY! YOU’RE THROWING IT THE WRONG DIRECTION, BUDDY!
(In a pinch, BUDDY works when you’ve forgotten the name of a six-year-old.)
And then, the same thing happened to me in 4th grade PE and pre-k PE. I blanked out on the names of two more students who have been with me forever. I can’t even explain in words the level of discomfort and concern this brought me, until I remembered, “I have been awake since 12:10 this morning,” and then I was all, “Riiiiiight. That’ll do it.”
And that is why I was in bed at 5:40 last night.
This morning, my chest still felt like it was being squeezed by weight-lifting elephants, and my cough continued to sound like I was a little old lady from Pasadena, who speed-smokes thirty-seven Camels a day.
The beauty of MOM sick days, though, is that they can’t happen very effectively.
When Hubs is sick and needs to be in bed… Hubs is sick and needs to be in bed. He puts his pajama pants on and crawls beneath the covers, and Mama loads up the toddler in the Suburban to head to the indoor playland, so that the house can be quiet for Hubs, while he’s trying to rest and recover and not cough his lungs onto the floor for Mama to have to clean up with Bounty paper towels and bleach.
When Mama is sick and needs to be in bed… she is sick and needs to be in bed. HOWEVER, the boy goes to school and Hubs goes to work, and I end up under all of my blankets, with a two-year-old sitting on top of me, watching videos about farm tractors being stuck in the mud on the iPad. And then I have to get out of bed, because that same toddler eventually needs a healthy snack of artificially-colored Goldfish Crackers, and if Mama doesn’t intervene with their exit from the pantry shelves, orange goldfish will be gasping their last breaths out all over the hardwood floor, right before they are stomped by pudgy feet into orange powder.
Eventually, Mama will settle onto the sofa with a blanket and a pillow and the Cough Heard ‘Round the World, and that is when the toddler will begin grunting during his televised Spanish class, and his teacher, Dora, will suggest that he leave for a moment to have his britches changed, because she can no longer teach the conjugation of Spanish verbs with the aroma that has filled the air. And since there is no other adult on the premises, Mama is off the sofa again to get the wipes out.
And… as long as she’s up and she’s washed her hands with soap and water and also strong bleach, she might as well put some chicken into the crockpot, because she knows her peeps will come home hungry this evening. Never mind that all her coughing and congestion has robbed her of her own appetite.
And… as long as she’s up, adding corn and black beans to the crockpot chicken, she might as well wash a load of darks, because the boy has declared that the only jeans left in his closet are the jeans that he hates.
And… as long as she’s up, adding Tide to the Whirlpool, she might as well do something about the forty-two Thomas the Train engines that have been involved in a massive wreck and car pileup on the living room coffee table. Once the police tape has been removed from the area and the insurance companies and blue-jacket-wearing FBI guys have walked around with coffee and donuts in their hands, the cleanup of train debris can happen.
When Hubs is home sick in bed… Hubs is home sick in bed. And he sleeps. And he sleeps some more. And then he sleeps some more, because he has no idea that the boy needs clean jeans and that there’s raw chicken breasts in the refrigerator and cans of corn and jars of beans in the pantry that could all be dumped into the slow cooker for dinner, and he never even HEARD the giant train crash, because MAMA HAD TAKEN THE TODDLER TO THE PARK TO PLAY, to give Hubs some peace and quiet.
Goodness, I’m completely full of Christmas cheer today, aren’t I?
In all honesty, the Good Lord created women to just need less sleep than their male counterparts, when it comes to recuperating from The Plague. And the really good news is that Thing 2 was amazingly well-behaved today, and he was perfectly content to eat his way through an entire bag of Goldfish Crackers, while he watched five hours’ worth of television and threw train cars off the sofa, as he staged STILL MORE crashes.
Don’t tell the parenting experts. Thing 2 is none the worse for wear.
(I can’t say the same thing about Thomas the Train, though. Thomas is in need of some counseling for his poor driving abilities and a good body shop.)
But look! I had THE CUTEST nap buddy today:
Thing 2 and I pulled off a good-sized nap this afternoon… together… on the sofa. And I wasn’t so sick that I couldn’t grab my camera for a minute, because THAT LITTLE FACE!! Oh, my! It does things to my heart!
At any rate, my cough and I are going to wrap things up here at Jedi Mama, Inc. tonight and wish y’all a very merry weekend. May your drinks all be infused with the germ-fighting Vitamin C juice, and may they boost your own immune systems to enormous heights today, because this chest cold is a doozy, y’all.
(PS. If you’d like our dinner recipe from tonight, it’s right-smack-here. It’s quite tasty, it’s one of the easiest meals you can make [You can even make it when you’re home, SICK IN BED!], and your kids will eat it up over rice, unless you happen to have a Rice Hater, like we have. Although the boy could eat a five-gallon bucket of white rice in a single sitting, Thing 2 fakes his own death when he sees that rice is on the dinner menu. He wouldn’t touch the stuff if there were solid gold Thomas the Train engines hidden in the bottom of his bowl.)
(Also, as a side note, I put the brick of cream cheese into the crockpot about 20 minutes before we ate dinner, because I wasn’t sure about cream cheese simmering all day long in the slow cooker. I’m sure the cooking experts know far more than I do, since I consider microwavable Hot Pockets to be one of my specialty lunches, but I waited until the last 20 minutes… threw in that brick of cream cheese… melted it up good and proper… stirred it all around… shredded the chicken… and dumped it all over a big plate of rice, even though that is NOT how the recipe read. The end, and you’re welcome.)