I hate it when my kids are really sick.
I hate the feeling of powerlessness, the anxiety, the lost sleep, the what-ifs, the second guessing. During the flu season it’s tempting to just stock the larder, gather bushels of root vegetables and simply close your family indoors from October to April. If you know me, you understand that this is SO NOT AN EXAGGERATION. I am a worry wart, dipped in hypochondria, deep-fried in panic and served with a side of hysteria. I am a party, no?
But my kids are social creatures, and so isolation would work for exactly 2.4 hours. I wouldn’t even have a chance to slice the first potato for soup. This past few weeks, flu season has hit my area – hard. Be it Type A, Type B, H1N1, Hong Kong Chicken, whatever, among the first in its line of sight was my 10-year-old.
Poor Dog Lover has been home for a week. It seems like the worst of it has passed for her, but despite getting 12-14 hours of sleep a night, she remains just exhausted and looks so sad. She is missing her first dance this Friday and I am afraid I am going to have to hide the calendar, unplug the cable TV and attempt to convince her that she has NOT missed Halloween, even though she will likely sleep through it. We’ll simply have to do it another day. The neighbours won’t be surprised to see my kids in costume on a regular Wednesday night, but the asking for candy may seem a little weird. I guess I could go myself and tell homeowners I am collecting candy for “my sick child.” But, that didn’t work the last 3 times I tried it, so I am holding out little hope this year.
Dingly Butter Nuts seems fine. He moves too quickly for anything microscopic to take hold. Plus he has that protective peanut butter and jam coating.
There is a wreath of garlic hanging from my front door, and in typical protectionist fashion, I have consumed enough of it to frighten any vampires out of the tri-county area. I’ve incorporated every old wives tale for fighting flu that I’m aware of. And there are plenty suggestions floating around out there right now. I just about had her ready to submit to a mustard chest plaster by promising her a dog for Christmas, but she saw my fingers crossed behind my back in the window reflection. If I get an email today saying that painting all the rooms in your house bright orange zigzag stripes will actually scare flu viruses away, I am heading for Home Depot for drop cloths and masking tape.
All of our windows are fogged with vaporizer steam, and our house smells like an Italian kitchen with all of the fresh garlic and Oil of Oregano I am doling out. I bought the 6 pack Jumbo size Kleenex boxes, made a big batch of homemade chicken soup, and a military size drum of antiseptic wipes. We have Astragalus, Elderberry, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Oscillococcinum, and Toe of Newt at the ready. We are armed for battle.
But she seems on the mend, and is mostly tired and bored now. I have played countless games of sick bed Scrabble, participated in pre-teen magazine quizzes, and watched so much Teletoon that I am now dreaming in animation. We were without internet access for a few days, and when I told her that when I was sick as a child, all I got was 3 channels on a black and white television, she said, “But that was back in the medieval times!”
I think she’ll be getting that mustard chest plaster after all.