Dang, that was fast. We made it to day six of school before someone was home with the flu. I don’t know how she does it, but we’ve got a daughter (hereafter known as “the carrier”) who catches every single strain of bug that comes through the public school system. I strongly believe that she just licks the doorknob on her way into class in the mornings. And of course now I have it. It’s only September, for gosh sakes; I hadn’t even had time to begin my daily “I shall not get sick…I shall not get sick…” mantra.

Not that it matters if I’m sick or not, to be perfectly frank. I forget from year to year that momma sick is way different than kid sick or husband sick. When I felt the muscle aches coming on, I was all “Hooray! Nap time!” I know that it’s warped, but the flu is about the closest I get to a real, honest to God vacation. And I did get to lie down, for an hour. But then, hubby had to take our eldest to the orthodontist and there were snacks to be made (by me) and fights to break up (by me.) He had a meeting tonight, but supper needed to be cooked (me) and reluctant children strong-armed into doing homework and practicing their instruments (go on, guess.) Sick or no, I am the resident chef, tutor and law enforcement official in this house.

Some of you are saying, “That’s crazy. Stop being a martyr and go lie down, already.” Well, you know what you are? Men. Yeah, I said it. If life really did imitate art, the classic film Camille should have been called Carl and instead of Greta Garbo as the doomed tubercular courtesan, Ben Afflect could have been a plumber with a head cold. Instead of a young nobleman sorrowfully kissing her fevered brow, Carl would have Betty, his wife. Betty would be in the background, folding laundry, kids hanging off her sweatshirt and she would be saying “For God’s sake, Carl, snap out of it! I need some help around here.” Betty would be sick, too, but too damn busy to lie down and sleep it off. Carl’s a big baby.

Back in the real world, I just need to hold on one more hour and then -hooray!- blessed sleep. I can cut that down to a half an hour, if just one kid sasses me at all. (“That’s it! Early bedtime for you ALL!”) I’ve been waiting for the opportunity all night but, dang it, they’re being pretty sweet and docile at the moment…

…it figures.

The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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