I sit here clad in all the flannel I can put on next to a pile of soggy tissues. Around me is an assortment of juices and over-the-counter medications and herbal teas.
The medical establishment tells us that we have have a cold. I mourn for an education system that turns out healers that cannot diagnose the plague when it is presented to them so clearly. So . . . denied our rightful diagnosis we are left to fend for ourselves.
My wife pulled herself out of our sick bed and drug herself to work muttering, between snorts and coughs, something about appointments and hearings. I couldn’t hear everything as my attention was split between feeding the boys and praying to our coffee maker to bestow its life-giving brown elixir upon me.
Charlie is home from school for a second day. He is feeling better but still making ox noises in his sinuses and coughing a lot. After breakfast he flopped on the couch and watched a black TV screen until I turned it on. Eli is fine. He is running around and smiling and being irritatingly chipper. This is irritating mostly because he has brought this plague on our house.
Eli and his little apprentices cooked up this particular virus in that petry dish we call day care. They brew and mix and cook up nastinesses all day. I have a vision of Eli in a sorcerer’s hat stirring a bubbling pot. OK, maybe a bit dramatic but whatever the source our chubby-cheeked rider on a pale horse and his cohorts distribute the germs among themselves then bring their pestilence back to us in their sloppy kisses and poison snot.
Eli isn’t completely immune to his own nastiness. Like most three-year-olds he seems to have a perpetually runny nose. Late last week he even coughed a little and acted a little whiny. It is ironic that this was his reaction to the malaise that has pretty much throat-punched the rest of his family.
If I am being honest, I have to admit that I kind of resent the position I am in. I can’t even be properly guy-sick. I long to lay on this couch and moan pathetically as I force myself not to look into the light. I don’t get to try bravely to stand up and help my wife with some parenting chore or another as she implores me to lay back down. I am being robbed of the opportunity to be sick. Instead I have to face this more like my wife does . . . like a grown up.
I am a normally healthy person. The only time I have been susceptible to colds has been while I had children in day care . . . which means the last 8 years. I mean I used to get the occasional cold, but I wasn’t under the influence of a little necromancer and his poison snot. This is part of parenthood you don’t think about when you are holding your new little bundle of joy.
The boys are demanding attention now. They are being completely unreasonable. Apparently my illness doesn’t keep them from demanding extravagances like breakfast and clothes. Eli has a toddlers resistance to pestilance while Charlie is old enough to feel some effects but is still young enough to bounce back with a vengeance. They both seem to have kicked this. I am happy for them . . . really.
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