There’s a virus inside us

Yesterday, the kids and I woke up with slight fevers and sore throats.  We stayed inside and did chores in the effort to bore the virus to death.

In retrospect, this might have been the wrong strategy.

By evening, Jane—who is given to bouts of bronchitis—was doing her dreaded seal impression, I was trying to cough the tickle out of my throat, and Sunny, who is normally a coloratura soprano, was clearing her throat like Isaac Hayes.

I was caught up in edits  and e-mails and went to bed a little later than was wise, only to be woken  at 1:30am by Sunny, who wanted a drink of water.  Since my husband had abandoned the various tweets, hoots whistles, and bear calls of my slumbering respiratory system for the couch, I did my motherly duty and stumbled into the kitchen to run cold water over my empty hand because I’d forgotten to pick up a cup.

After a hydrated Sunny was retucked into bed, I went back to my own pillow and wrapped myself and the cat into the quilt and the comforter.  It was pure bliss.

Until 3:45am, when Jane pulled off my covers and, in a way that let me know she’d been trying to get my attention for several minutes, said, “Mom, I can’t sleep.”

In one of those masterful strokes of Perfect Parenting for which I am so well known, I whined, “That doesn’t mean can’t—go back to bed.”

Oddly enough, this worked.

Two hours after that, my husband came back to bed and snuggled close, like my own personal heating pad . . . and my alarm went off.

I got up, stuck the thermometer in my ear,* looked at the readout and called in sick.  Then I went back to bed, asked my husband to take the kids to school, and slept until ten.

When I woke up, both kids were in their footie pajamas watching old Hanna Barbara cartoons in the living room.   I made peppermint tea, commandeered a corner of the sofa, and was soon enmeshed in the ongoing Perils of Penelope Pitstop, who is, in our family’s considered opinion, dumber than hair but fun to watch.

Jane is breathing with her entire body when she’s not trying to expel a lung, refused cheese toast and cocoa.  and is taking a voluntary nap.  Our parental alarms went off, and she has a pediatrician appointment in an hour.

Sunny has a fever and a cough, but no perceptible loss of energy—naturally.  She’s drawing pictures and bouncing around  to show them to everyone.

I myself am not entirely present on this plane of existence, but am holding down the fort, more or less—with the help of my MIL, who is in her element, with sick children to cater to, and Watson, who spent an hour trying to track down a copy of George of the Jungle though libraries, bookstores, and the four Best Buys within reasonable driving distance, because we all agreed that it was the perfect thing for a houseful of sick people to watch and none of us own it—while my husband takes a deserved pre-pediatrician nap

Five minutes after he’s awake, I won’t be.  So I thought I’d write this up and tell you why there won’t be a post today.

How’d I do?


*I don’t know who invented the ear thermometer, but may great bucketfuls of good karma fall upon them for gifting us with something that has two buttons, a big digital readout, takes all of two seconds, and can be easily used by someone laboring under minimal sleep and coordination, even on the squirmiest kid, without risking physical or psychological trauma.  I salute you, ma’am or sir.


26 thoughts on “There’s a virus inside us

    • No kidding?

      Probably comes from listening to the Russell novels in the car. I’m still trying to find Monstrous Regiment, but the library doesn’t have it in audio, darn it!

  1. I’d say you did well, too. We had a similar night in our house. My three children have asthma, and the coughing overnight is rough on all of us. I’m bracing myself for cold and flu season.

    • Oh, dear—three with asthma? My hat is off to you!

      ‘Flu season is bad around here because my kids hate shots, so we have to bypass the convenient school-provided ones and take ’em in for the nasal stuff. Sigh . . .

  2. Worth a standing ovation, Mrs. Wesson. You were terribly coherent for someone who has been stumbling in the midst of a clear outbreak of the nasty rhino. Get better soon. The blogging world needs you. ❤

  3. You done GREAT. Oh dear, my children were sick ALL THE TIME. This,too, shall pass. (Jane has me worried — glad you’re taking her in. I well remember the time my little boy had a fever, but just seemed SO SICK. My physician husband said he was fine, but I knew. When we finally called the doc, they said, “BRING HIM IN NOW.” He had pneumonia, of course. Let us know about Jane, okay?)

  4. Oh my, to have two kids down and then for you to get sick as well. And that moment of dread when you finally get one to sleep, your whole body aches and you hear from a great distance the other one telling you to wake up…rest well, dear friend. May the bug pass quickly. Keep a notebook by your bed just in case your reward for such fantastic mothering is a fever-induced fully encapsulated new novel.

    • Sunny should have been in her element, poor kid—she was allowed to do almost anything she wanted because we were so worried about Janie, but she was worried, too, and wanted reassurance and attention. Long day for everyone.

      From your comment to the rotovirus’ receptors, Lyra. I have to go back to work tomorrow.

  5. Aw, man! Hoping this finds you (and your brood) feeling better today. I’m amazed you found the energy to write anything. You’re amazing.

  6. I always hated the feel of the cold glass thermometer under my tongue. Still remember when, as a kid, our family doctor got the ear kind. I was amazed and obviously wished we could get one ourselves, but that was way too much of a luxury back then. But now I don’t mind the memory of my mother shake-shake-skaking that mercury thermometer and putting it in a narrow cup of alcohol to disinfect it.

    • I imitated my mother, once, shaking that thermometer, and ended up with broken glass and mercury on the bathroom floor . . .

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