Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Things I Have Learned as a Parent: Illness Edition


For once, the size of my posterior hasn't been the main thing on my mind.

There are all kinds of things that you learn when you become a parent--things that you wish someone had warned you about in advance.  I find that I am still discovering these gems after three & a half years on the job.  In honor of one of the longest, most grueling weekends of my life:

The Things I Have Learned as a Parent: Illness Edition

  • Children don't care if you are on a toilet with a bucket in your lap, praying for the sweet embrace of death: when they want to hear "Knuffle Bunny Too" for the 80 millionth time, they mean now.
  • Children don't understand the phrases "highly contagious" or "communicable disease" so don't try to use them as a deterrent from cup sharing.  It also will not quell requests for bites of your toast.
  • Speaking of toast, children do not respect when their own bodies are too sick for food, so why would they understand when yours is?  There will be a riot if you try to sit at a table during meal time & don't consume an acceptable amount of food.
  • If you think that you'll be fine feeding your children chicken nuggets while you sip your broth, think again.  The smell of those cursed nuggets will waft all over the house & you'll feel just as sick as if you had eaten them yourself.
  • It takes a lifetime to raise a child that will choose active play over a "Super Why" DVD.  It takes exactly half a day to undo all of that prior effort & create a zombie for whom the only acceptable activities involve remote controls.
  • Children, like many animals, are highly attuned to the emotions of their captors & are adept at exploiting them.  When you've just gotten to sleep after a harrowing battle with your illness, your child will wake up & need something you wouldn't normally allow.  For this very reason, my son is now sleeping with a ziplock bag of dirt.
  • After lovingly & painstakingly preparing homemade meals for your children day after day, week after week, it only takes one day for kids to revert to drooling over Lunchables & Nutrigrain bars.
  • Children are adorable, but they are useless when it comes to doing laundry, making soup, or doling out drugs.  If you thought you could get your 1 year old to change your sheets for you, you would be wrong.
  • The phrase "please be quiet" triggers some sort of instant opposite-day scenario among young children.  When paired with the phrase "Mommy/Daddy has a headache," the results are likely to break noise ordinances in most neighborhood settings.
  • A child will be unable to find a "lost" toy that is laying at his feet...& yet somehow be able to find & try to eat the single Imodium capsule that you dropped in the middle of the night & left for dead in desperation.
  • "Lord of the Flies" isn't a work of fiction, no matter what the librarians might say.  It is real, very real.  When the kids are in charge, Piggy gets it & you just better hope that they don't think you're Piggy.
I am happy to say that Dave & I appear to have come out on the other side of intense intestinal trauma without being sacrificed for our glasses & sincerely wish that we are NEVER sick at the same time again.

Yesterday, I whined, "I wish we had a nanny & a housekeeper."  To which Dave replied: "Why, so they could be sick, too?"  Me, "I wish we were the Jetsons...Rosie never got sick."  So if anyone is looking for a gift to give me, I would like to be the Jetsons for one week, complete with the use of Rosie...this house is a disaster!


  1. Good observations. So sorry you had the circumstances to learn those lessons. Glad you are feeling better!

  2. We both had the stomach bug in December. It was AWFUL! Sorry you had to go through it, too.