over the last eight months, Iíve come to miss a lot of things. Sleeping in seems to top the list very frequently, but I also miss date nights on a whim, showering daily (and putting on make-up every time I go out), watching my favorite shows with the rest of the world and being able to travel easily.
This week I found something else that I miss dearlyÖ
I donít know about you, but I enjoy being a huge baby when I get really sick. Iím not talking about having the sniffles, Iím talking about a stomach flu that takes you back to your college days where you slept on the bathroom floor without hesitation or a headache so bad that opening your curtains actually seems like it could bring on Armageddon. That kind of sick.
With your average job, you can call your boss and state that you feel like death before proceeding to spend the rest of the day lying in bed, watching reruns of 80ís sitcoms, enjoying the comforts foods of your youth and maybe even revelling in some pampering from your significant other if youíre so lucky. And not TOO whiney.
These last couple weeks have proven that a sick day is just not an option for people with kids. Myself, I have experience a strange storm of debilitating ailments ranging from an average cold to a stomach flu that felt a lot like the End of the World to a severe muscle spasm that required muscle relaxants so strong my husband stayed home from work out of fear for how I could care for our daughter when I was loopy, drowsy and completely weird.
My husband also had his ticket on the sick train, along with pretty much every single one of my mommy friends.
Every single one of those days, when a cry sounded on our baby monitor, I dragged my self-pitying butt out of bed and got on with life. Unfortunately, Baby K just doesnít care that I want to wrap myself in a blanket and lay down on the couch until somebody can bring me soup. Nope. She wants to be entertained.
She needs help as she pushes forward in her effort to learn to walk and crawl. She needs someone to make her breakfast, make sure she doesnít choke and feed her a nice warm bottle before her naps. She wants stories read, raspberries blown and songs sang. And, despite the wave of nausea in me, those diapers have to be changed.
Thatís not to say that sheís not aware things are different. In fact, she was so painfully aware that on top of being ill, I felt horribly guilty every day that she didnít have a full-functioning mommy and had to participate in extra self-entertainment and enough television watching that she actually became bored with it.
Kids are great at sensing whatís going on. She knew I was sick. But she also gave me a look that seemed to say, ďHey, why are you being such a big baby?Ē.
Because in case you havenít figured it out yet, when Iím sick, chances are good she is as well.
I donít really know how she feels, but I do know sheís had a stuffy nose, an awful cough, on-and-off fever, an ear infection and some diapers that turned my stomach. And while Iím calling my mom and wishing that she was closer so sick days of the past were an option, Baby K is essentially shaking her head at me and not doing the self-pity thing we love to do as adults.
If I had to guess, she probably feels just as gross as I do. But instead of stopping her life to revel in that, she moves on. She jumps like there is no tomorrow in her jolly jumper, she laps up any kind of food you put on her tray because she loves it and she laughs at all the funny things the world has to offer. She might be the baby, but she sure doesnít act like one when sheís sick.
Is this something we lose on our way to adulthood?
Iím beginning to wonder if being a parent might just be lifeís way of telling us to give up the man-cold mentality and get on with life. Sick days might be a practice in enjoying all of lifeís comforts, but having a kid is teaching me both the hard way and the thought-provoking way that life is too short to focus on the awful things.
Itís a big world out there, and exploring it is apparently too much fun to waste any time being sick. So instead of missing my sick days, I need to figure out how to ignore the churning in my stomach so I can take my place in a tickle war or head shaking competition.
Because nobody likes a whiner. Not even babies.