Thursday, September 19, 2013
When A Mom Is Sick
Having just experienced what may classify as the most horrendous stomach flu, I now believe there is a series of unfortunate events that occur when a mom gets sick. Things spiral over the course of time, albeit no one in the household quite understands what really happens when Mom takes a bucket, cold washcloth and Tylenol to her room. The flu. As mom tries her best to sleep off the hideous headache that keeps pounding at the backs of her eyelids, NO ONE is pounding on the very-out-of-tune piano in the next room over. Mom is said to be hallucinating during this time of duress as she lie in her chambers, and coming out of her room to correct the children who are possibly swinging from the livingroom light fixture probably are not really misbehaving nearly as much as mom supposes. Mom just has the flu. Just as mom falls asleep it is a sure thing SOMEONE needs to know just which vegetable would be perfect for dinner, even though, #1 - no one usually cares what vegetable is cooked because, no one will eat it, and #2- mother is sick and does not really care if anyone eats a vegetable this night or not. All mother wants is to go back to sleep and not hear the banshees In the next room practicing their tribal calls. Mom is not available, when she is sick unto death, to squeeze the toothpaste tube back Into shape, return the cap and place it back in the drawer, and further more, when Mom is this sick, she really doesn't even think about the children brushing their teeth. At this profound stage of illness, mother could care less if their teeth all fell out. Or if they miss the bus, join a traveling circus or marry a biker. Mom is too sick to care. If mom is sick, no one keeps the cats away from the fishbowl. It's every fish for himself when mamma has the flu. No one realizes how many times the rolls of toilet paper are taken away from fish-bowl-tormenting-cats either. Apparently mom will clean up the shreds of tissue all around the house once she crawls out of her stupor. No one dares bother mom when she is this sick. Except to borrow her cell phone, get the code for the Internet, or tattle on someone who is doing something that can not possibly, at all ,be worked out by dad. Moms sickness also seems to slow down the laundry schedule. Although dad is great at sorting and keeping it clean, he really has no clue how to sort it correctly, thus creating yet ANOTHER reason at least one or nine children must wake mother up to ask where their tights/favorite shirt/ undies/ pet snake are. Although the teens have been washing/drying/ putting away their own laundry on the same weekly schedule for the last three years, apparently mom is the only one who knows what that schedule is. So being sick, mom has to yell out of her illness to said teenagers to do their laundry on the scheduled night, or be woken up in the morning after a sleepless/sick night to borrow MY clothes/sweater/belt/ earrings. Obviously teenagers really miss mom when she is sick in her room for two days, because they can't seem to stay away. Especially if they were told to do the dishes/clear the table/pick up livingroom/ watch your baby brothers til dad gets home without making sure the other teens are getting just as many chores as they are. A very sick mom can not usually ignore what is going on in other rooms. Partly because the noise level is so intense it can not be ignored even if mom was asleep outside in the van down the road at a nearby park and also because a mom knows there may be something that she will have to jump out of bed and deal with (as she is holding wet cloth to aching head, and kicking bucket along in front of her so as to not make a mess on the carpet as she screams at no one in particular ). Meals will be cooked loudly when mom is sick, because her quiet room is directly off the kitchen. That way, she can tell no one is left in the kitchen when she smells the food burning and she knows immediately all the children are once again in front of the television and can not hear neither the smoke alarm or timer going off to alert them its time to call dad and have him pick up pizza for dinner. Of course the nine children decide to play Dreidle on the night mom is sick, LOUDLY so she doesn't feel as if she is missing out on family game night. When mom is sick, she really doesn't care about Dreidle, hopscotch or making moonshine, as long as the nine children (or 17 or 31) are playing quietly. Mom tries her hardest to get well. She prays, sips weak tea, and eats nothing for two days. The teenagers, however, decide to come talk to mom as she lies dying in her dark room whereas they had not spoken directly to mom two weeks prior to her illness except to ask for money and a ride to the game. When a mom gets sick, she usually gets back into action sooner than anyone else who gets sick. A two day illness can last a week to a kid who wants to skip school, until the neighbor shows up to play and the kid who threw up his gizzards all night long insists he was never really sick, just didn't want to take a shower. Moms really can't get sick gracefully. It's hard work to stay down and get enough rest to get well. It's harder yet to spend so much quality time with all the kids parading through your room to ask questions every 10 minutes when you are nauseous and just want to sleep. I have learned if I can plan my next bout with the flu, I am checking In at the local hotel and maybe, just maybe, a good nights sleep with no distractions will put me back on my feet much sooner! Mommas must stay well! They just can't live without us!