Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I deserve immunity.

Yesterday I wasn't feeling quite 100%.

Normally, someone in this position would think, "Hm. Maybe I'm coming down with something. Good thing I've been rationing my sick days." But you see, I'm not one of those people. I'm a Mom. Moms don't qualify for sick days (or salaries, or Social Security contributions, or bathroom breaks, for that matter). When Mom is sick, the entire axis of the planet is turned topsy-turvy because as I've come to learn during these past 6 years of Mom-dom, it is physically impossible for a family of two boys-and-a-dad to take care of themselves. Can't be done.

In his defense, I married a man who tries. Hard. He's a great partner-in-crime and will come to my aid whenever summoned. But that doesn't mean he is an acceptable stand-in for Mom, because apparently when I gave birth the first time, aliens implanted my brain with a measure of knowledge and ability that far surpasses anything a man can muster. I mean, really -- I know where the can opener is. Doesn't that just blow your mind???

So as I laid in bed last night, unable to sleep, with inevitable doom on my mind because it was obvious that the area between my chest and hips was going into full, internal revolt, I started to take immediate stock of my resources: How will I get Jonah to school? Do we have enough food storage to get us through the next 24 hours? How many movies can I safely let my children watch before their brain actually turns to mush? Does popcorn count as breakfast? Should I write down all the bank account numbers for Tyler in case I don't make it? When was the last time I cleaned the toilet??? (the latter being the most important question in my current condition!) And sure enough, it hit me. The stomach flu. The worst day-to-day illness a mother can endure. Because as much as she tries, a Mom simply cannot power through the stomach flu.

I was awaken from my groggy stupor this morning by the cheery calls of, "Mo-ooom. I po-oooped!" And so it began. Diapers still had to be changed, breakfast still had to be made, clean underwear still had to be retrieved from the dryer, children still had to be bathed, kindergartners still had to be driven to school, the dentist still had to be phoned, and clients still had to be dealt with. I couldn't help but consider the injustice of it all -- how no medical researcher has found a way to immunize a woman from basic physical ailments so that we may continue to carry on our quest to save the world, one runny nose at a time. As one friend put it, "Moms should be exempt from all illnesses when they still have children in the home..." Amen to that.

For now, I'll pretend not to hear the gasp that will surely depart Tyler's lips when he walks through the door tonight to find the remains of what used to be a functioning household (I didn't clean up the spilled Raisin Bran on purpose! What if Sam got hungry? Can't you see I'm sick???). And I'm just going to hope that they all figure out that the can of soup on the counter is indeed their dinner...and that they can effectively locate the can opener without my assistance.

I suppose I'll have to worry about all that later, though. I've been ignoring the desperate requests to read "Peek-a-boo Puppy" (for the 42nd time today) for long enough.

Back to work, sissy.

art by Andy Warhol

1 comment:

  1. Love it Liz! You had me laughing so hard at "Mommy, I pooped!" Priceless!

    Whenever I get the stomach flu, there's only one thought that runs through my mind. That a woman shouldn't have to endure the flu if she's been pregnant and had morning sickness! I've officially been nauseas night and day for 42 weeks of my life. Any more throwing up that has to happen in my life must be the work of the devil. It's just not fair! It is the one sickness that I seriously dread!