Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You *thought* you trained them well...

Being sick tends to greatly exaggerate people's traits and tendencies. Typically an impatient person does not develop the patience of Mother Theresa when they're running a fever but rather they want a cold, wet cloth for their forehead NOW. If you're juggling their drink, the TV remote, a crossword puzzle and their meds and just happen spill a solitary drop of tea on the nightstand you're likely to hear quite a bit of ha-rumphing or exasperated sighs. The clumsy sickie often pukes on the floor, stubs their toe and knocks over chairs on their way to their porcelain throne and forgets to close the bathroom door when Mother Nature leaves them spouting like Old Faithful every fifteen minutes. The messie leaves a trail of tissues everywhere and will have you wiping up Gatorade they've splattered all over the counter. If Mother Nature happened to touch this poor soul too then you're likely to find skid marks on the back of the toilet seat when you follow them with a can of Lysol... if you're lucky you won't find a crumpled piece of stained toilet paper kicking around next to the can but let's face it, how often are we mom's ever really THAT lucky?

Over the past two weeks my kiddos came down with, of all things, the dreaded flu. Now, up to this point, I thought I'd done a decent job of teaching my children to mind their manners. Granted, they do interrupt me fairly frequently when I'm chatting with another adult, they're prone to childing bickering and if you know them at all I'm sure that you could rattle off a list of their other childish, impetuous ways. On the whole though, they say their pleases and thank yous. Pipe in with an "excuse-me" here and there. Cough into their elbow... grab a tissue for a sneeze. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Any illusion that I'd had of having taught my children proper etiquette has been shattered. Yeah, they went flying out the window at 2 am when my daughter was *screaming* "MOMMMMMMAAAAAY!!!" at the top of her lungs. Of course I thought she was vomiting or had fallen out of bed on her way to the bathroom or something. Nope. When I got to her my heart was racing, I was light-headed from jumping out of bed so fast, out of breath from hurtling myself down the stairs at warp factor 7 and was groping around to find her since 1--I didn't have my glasses on and 2--it was darker than a pimp's heart. "What is it honey? Are you ok? Mommy's here..." And as I reached out in compassion, trying to console my obviously distressed daughter she liftede her head from the pillow and demanded with a certifiable screech in her voice, "Get me a drink, NOW!!!!!" Sadly, this was only the beginning. That girl is the crabbiest, nastiest, most demanding sick person I've ever dealt with. Nothing was addressed calmly, everything was needed urgently and all demands were made VERY LOUDLY. Yeah... that didn't fly too well. She soon learned that she could refill her own cup with water if she was going to yell at me. But rather than ask calmly she marched her independent little butt to the sink time after time. Great, now that I've said that, this is stuck in my head:

Then we have sick child #2. This one was very polite, very docile and actually fairly cheery. She just coughed in your face and sneezed all over you. I think that one of the things she did repeatedly that I was particularly fond of was when I'd hold the thermometer in her mouth she would cough all over my hand. EVERY SINGLE TIME. She would be absolutely fine, no cough, perfectly calm and as soon as that thermometer hit her lips she turned into a fire-breathing dragon; her hot breath would make my fingertips curl back against the tip of the thermometer, inching away from her mouth. Her chest would start to rise in preparation for the heaving coughs that would soon send her into fits of coughing and spewing abundant showers of micro-sputum up my arm, across my chest and even in my face. Ooh, ooh--another thing she kept doing was walking up to you and just letting those queer little pre-vomit burps out. You know what I'm talking about, oh yes. Those little froggy, demon seed burps that you try to swallow down just moments before the big hurl. Yeah, she didn't try to swallow those. No keepin' those suckers down. But she never puked. And it seemed like she derived some sick little bit of amusement from watching your reaction. The more reviled you were by the belch the more satisfied she was.

I could go on but I think you get the picture. I won't exactly be sending them to Mo'Nique's Charm School (GAH!) but I guess we're starting back at square one. And I've made a mental note to keep kleenex in every single room of the house. We just stocked back up on lysol so I hope we're set for the next big disaster to rock my humble abode.

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