Oct 10 2007

Parents Can Be Sick People Too!

Published by at 12:47 am under Children,Health,Parenting

Filosofo came home with a persistent cough a few weeks ago and now everyone in the family is heavily stricken with the flu.

This is a real shame, because we’re now in the second week of school holidays and so far, the children’s school holiday activities have mostly consisted of barfing, coughing, wiping snot on their pajama sleeves, tossing phlegm-soaked tissue balls into waste baskets and profuse night-sweating.

Even Corporate Babe was so badly affected, she has taken a week off work to try and recover.

Which brings me to my rest and recovery plan.

I decided that, for me, the best way to focus on recovering from illness, was to go into my office, turn on my laptop and get some of my work done. Corporate Babe’s preferred method of recovery, however, was to sit next to me in the office and play games on our desktop PC. This kept us excluded from the kids, who had the run of the house outside my office door.

We both knew that our little “retreat” away from the real world wasn’t going to last. After all, the kids were not only very sick and needy, but they were also suffering from cabin fever, having been locked in the house for an entire week.

So, there we were, blissfully working and playing away to some oriental electronic game theme, when the first knock on the door came:

Exacto: Mommy … Destructo is teasing me. He’s calling me a baby!
Corporate Babe: Oh my poor little baby … come here and give me a cuddle! You’re not a little baby. You’re a big boy! Now … go back and play nicely with your brothers.
Destructo (enters the room crying): Mom … I hit my head on the hmfgrrrtbh … (I’ve already tuned out this next little drama. I don’t care and I don’t want to know. Corporate Babe is handling all emergencies today!)
Filosofo (enters the room about 11 seconds after both of his younger brothers exit my office): Mom … I’m hungry!
Corporate Babe (realizing it’s now 11:37 am and no one has had any breakfast yet): Ok honey. I’m almost finished level 4. As soon as I get through this level I’ll make you something to eat …
Destructo (opens the door and bursts into my office): “Mommy, I have a stinky poo-poo nappy!”
Me (starting to feel irritated by the constant interruptions): “Mommy had a big night yesterday night. C’mon, I’ll change your nappy!”
Destructo: “No … I want mommy to change it!”
Me: “Why not let Daddy do it?”
Destructo: “Because I want Mommy to do it!”
Corporate Babe: “Ok honey! I’m almost completed level 4. Just give me a few more minutes and I’ll change your nappy!”
Me (impatiently): “It’s getting pretty stinky in this office, babe! You really need to change his nappy now!”
Corporate Babe (pausing the game): “Ok! Honey, come lie down here on the floor and I’ll change your nappy!”

Corporate Babe changes our youngest son’s nappy, then spends the next hour or so making the boys something to eat and attending to every little whine, growl, crisis and outburst that I can hear coming from the boys outside my office door.

Hunched over my laptop, with my tiny little T-rex arms two-finger typing away at the keyboard and the oriental electronic game theme playing on the desktop PC in my room, I’m oblivious to everything. I’m not feeling well today, I’m very irritable and I just want to be looked after by Corporate Babe the same way my kids are being looked after by her.

So when she comes into my office again about an hour later, sits at the computer and resumes playing her game, I decide to try my luck …

Me (bringing my hands to my temples after several really well-timed, deep bronchial coughs that force me to reach deep down into my lungs to draw out the sputum): It’s almost one o’clock … I’m really hungry …
Corporate Babe: There’s some left-over chinese food in the fridge. Just heat some up in a pan.
Me (not the response I was looking for): Oooohhh …
Corporate Babe (oblivious to my pain and suffering): It won’t take you long to heat it up!
Me: Ooooooohhhhhhhhh …. cough … cough … wheeze … ooooohhhhhh …
Corporate Babe: I’m sure you’ll be fine!
Me (ok this isn’t working. I need to change my tactics): Have you eaten already?
Corporate Babe: I’m feeling too nauseous to eat anything right now.
Me (sounding like I’m about 11 years old): Will you come to the kitchen and keep me company while I heat up the food?
Corporate Babe: Sure! Why don’t you go and get started … I’ll be there as soon as I finished this level.
Me (sounding like I’m about 5 years old): No … come with me now! I really want you to be with me!
Corporate Babe (sounding totally resigned to the fact that I’m just like our kids and I’m not going to leave her alone … ever!): Oookaay!

We walk to the kitchen together.

Me (incensed and annoyed upon entering the kitchen): Just look at this kitchen … what a f@#$%&## mess! I’ll tell you what … you get the food going and I’ll get this kitchen cleaned up. Boys … come here … NOW!

And so, my rest and recovery plan worked beautifully. Instead of sitting at the computer flaking out playing computer games, Corporate Babe made me lunch. The boys put their idle time to good use and swept up the kitchen floor, picked up their toys, clothes and other rubbish from the floor and kitchen counters, and, after directing and overseeing the entire operation, I got to eat a nice, hot chinese meal in a fairly tidy kitchen.

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More fun and games at night …

After finally putting the kids to bed, Corporate Babe and I sat down in my office to watch a DVD (we don’t own a television, so we hire DVDs and watch them on our computers) and enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet, when I heard a knock on the door outside my office and some muffled yelping.

I got up feeling very irritable and made my way towards the door. As I opened the door, I found myself staring at a very sick-looking Filosofo, who was covering his mouth with both hands to stop the barf from flying out, while trying to alert us from behind the door that he was having a barf-fest.

My anger quickly evaporated. Unlike his two younger brothers, Filosofo wasn’t pulling a stunt to try and stay awake a little bit longer. I turned him around and marched him quickly into the toilet cubicle directly in front of my office, so he could continue being sick.

Corporate Babe and I finished up watching our movie at 4:00 am, since Filosofo had several more barfing and night-sweating episodes throughout the night.

Speaking of movies, Corporate Babe got a couple of movie tickets last week as a recognition award at work. So, hopefully, this weekend, we are all looking forward to going out and watching the animated Dysney movie “Ratatouille” (rat-a-too-ee), provided, of course, that we are not still feeling all “Rat-a-flooee”!

The Lazy Househusband

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