1. Kids will share their nasty brought-home-from-school germs with everyone in the whole house. Don’t even bother trying to quarantine your kid from his siblings when he comes home sick. It might be the next day, or three days from now, but he will give it to all of his siblings, his dad (hello world ending), and probably the dog, too.
2. Just when everyone is getting better (see above), you will get sick. It’s inevitable. It’s also too damn bad. You will continue to cook, clean, nurture, and entertain your family who doesn’t give a shit how sick you are. Because moms are not allowed sick days.
3. You child will get sick at the most inconvenient time possible. Sitting with your head under the dryer at the salon, getting the first highlights you’ve had in eleven years? Your phone is ringing and it’s the school, telling you that your baby just puked all over the kid next to her during Show-and-Tell. Sitting in the dean’s office, working on finally getting re-admitted into college? That’s your phone and it’s the school nurse, informing you that your son is running a fever and you need to come get him right now. Third day back in the workforce and in a meeting with a new client? Yep. That’s the receptionist paging you with the daycare administrator on the line to let you know that there’s been a lice outbreak, and you need to come get your princess right now and stop by the pharmacy on the way home. Your kid will never get sick when you’re sitting around in your pjs folding laundry and watching Netflix.
4. You will always make the wrong judgement call. Though your precious cherub is acting as if she’s dying when it’s time to make the decision to either go to school or stay home, an hour later she will exhibit a miraculous recovery and bounce all over the house like a possessed jumping bean.
5. Some kids do not mind taking medication. Those kids are just as real as unicorns and the chupacabra. You do not have one of those kids. Your little angel will probably flail, wail, kick, and scream, while you attempt to manhandle her into a position that will allow you to squirt the poisoned medicine into the back of her throat. Even if this move is successful, (and it will be .001 times out of 10), it will probably be less than a second before it’ll be spit back out–all over herself, and you, and the floor. You can try to hide the medicine in her favorite drink, yogurt, or pudding, but you’re only fooling yourself if you think you will get away with that more than once.
6. 99 times out of 100, a visit to the doctor is pointless. It’s almost always a virus, or a common cold, and there’s nothing much you can do except try to keep him hydrated. This, you are told after you have sat with your child’s cranky and demonic evil twin in the waiting room with thirty other cranky and demonic sick kids for three hours. This, you are told after you and two nurses struggled to hold your child in a twisted version of a human straight-jacket while a third nurse tries to swab your child’s nasal cavity and throat with a Q-tip the size of a Sharpie marker.
7. You will take your child to the doctor, regardless of how many times #6 is repeated. And you will go through the entire process over and over, so that you don’t feel like a monster who doesn’t care that her child is sick. And then you will go home and coddle her the rest of the day, and send her to school the next day or the day after, while you yourself are stuck nursing the illness you picked up in the doctor’s office waiting room.
© 2014 MyLove Barnett, as first published on Scary Mommy