Right now, I’m lying in bed musing the fact that I don’t have to do the school run today. I’m not entirely glad about it, given the reasons why it’s not happening today. everyone in this house is ILL.
The Mr has barely recovered from his cough, I’ve just developed my own cough, sore throat and stuffy nose, and The Smalls…well. They are on fine form. Isaac has so much Facial Orifice Fluid, he cant keep up with it and it drips off his chin. I’m not even kidding. I’m talking actual dripping off his chin. And he’s just developed The Cough.
Noah is old hand to The Cough, and has had his cough for maybe four weeks now, and has been on an inhaler for over two of those weeks. Same thing happens, every single winter, every single year. He develops The Cough, and we spend every night willing him to sleep, while he spends every day too tired to do anything (but not too tired to whine a lot.).
Now, obviously, if someone is ill, I can offer some sympathy. But not much. I grew up in an environment where to be honest, I only told my mom if I thought I was reeeeeeaally ill. Like, “up-chucking my guts” ill, “coughing so much I can’t breathe” ill, or “2 of my fingers have been hurting and swollen after that basketball game and I caught the ball funny, they could possibly be broken oh it seems they are oh well” ill. (Turns out they were only fractured, but the biggest clue had been trying to play my cello and realising my left hand was kinda useless. I felt I could suddenly justify why my scales and studies sounded quite shit.)
So pretty much, I’m of the STFU and GTFOWI* camp.
One of the dangers with this is I can often seem like a cold hearted bitch. I’m really not! I’m just not good with pity; I don’t always get it. And so the trouble (and frustration and – oh of course – good old Mom Guilt) begins when my own to kiddos are poorly.
When they’re ill, they become restless. When they’re restless, they don’t sleep at night. When they don’t sleep, I don’t sleep. When I don’t sleep, I make Satan look like a pussy. Now normally, they both sleep through with no fucking about at all. They’re really good! But when they want to play up, omfg they are pains in the ass. Isaac insists on playing with everything: the light switch in the bathroom, the night light on the stairs, the toilet roll, his bedroom door, his bed, talking loudly to himself, laughing loudly to himself – you name it, he’s probably done it.
Tie that in with his (natural) feeling of not wanting to be left out (which means he forces his cough every time Noah naturally coughs), means, in short, dude ain’t sleeping.
Noah is the opposite. He doesn’t get out of bed, because I have made it perfectly clear what will happen if he keeps doing so (the world will explode, everyone will die, and he’ll be the only person left behind on his own forever. And then after forever, a shark will eat him). (…I’m kidding, but in short, I’m still pretty strict.)
So he has a different tactic. He flips and flops around in his bed, generally fussing, but not quite enough to land himself in trouble. And then when he’s done that for 30 minutes, he tries his next tactic. He calls and calls and calls (“Dad-dyyyyyyyyyyyyy…”) until he’s worked himself up into a frenzy. Which happens impressively fast. Needless to say, I’m a cynic and refuse to be baited, “Noah calm down and go to sleep” is all he’ll get from me. The Mr will fuss, have a chat, and respond in person to every whine and call.
You can see why Noah is smart enough to call “Daddy” and not “Mommy”, eh?
So last night they were both in full force. Isaac was horribly unsettled and Noah spent most of it crying complaining of stomach ache and ear ache. Both of those I can understand. My view is “go to sleep so you can feel better in the morning”, which of course they always do (though still coughing, obvs). This morning they aren’t going to school because, while they may have coughs and runny noses etc, I think they’re at the point where actually they do need to rest properly if they’re going to get over this shit.
Weirdly, I think one of the reasons I hate keeping them home is knowing they won’t get a perfect attendance record. It pisses me off that kids get penalised because of their immune system. Which sucks. I also hate them coming to the idea that being ill gets the, a day off school which means staying home to play; I’ve seen Noah pull this stunt a couple of times before. (Again, cynic? Me? Why yes, thanks.)
I just wish I could show a little more sympathy. Instead of feeling like I’m raising them in The School of Hard Knocks, I’d like to think I could cuddle them easily and say “there there, don’t worry, you’ll grow another hand, I know it hurts that it fell off, but I promise, my baby, you’ll be ok” instead of “you have another hand don’t you? Stop bloody whining and go do your homework.” maybe one day it will come. Maybe one day I’ll soften up a bit.
Until then, ignoring the Mom Guilt and will be feeding them breakfast and packing them off to their grandparents as usual.
Mamma gotta work, innit?
*Get The Fuck On With It