What They Don’t Tell You About Having Kids Who Have The Flu

This blog entry is going to have to come with a disclaimer: if you are eating, have eaten within the last hour, have plans to eat in the very near future, or have a weak stomach, stop here.  Just close the page, and move on to looking at Kim Kardashian’s greasy ass.  Although, that is pretty vomit-inducing in and of itself, so maybe you shouldn’t do that.

I have a very real bone to pick with companies that manufacture diapers, baby needs, and any companies that feature babies and small children in their commercials. In all of these commercials, the children are sweet, smiling, and clean.  Even in commercials for children’s Tylenol, the child may be sick, but he or she generally just looks a little downtrodden and gloomy.  This sets parents up for a seriously rude awakening after being thrown headfirst into the sea of parenthood, wishing someone would throw them a damn floatie.

For those of you who do not know, 2/3 of my kids have caught the flu in the last week. Mallory caught it first, most likely from spending most of the afternoon last Monday at the cesspool we like to call our pediatrician’s office, and Leland ended up catching it from Mallory a few days later.  Needless to say, this week has just been incredible.  And by “incredible,” I mean, “fucking awful.”

I spent most of my days this week sitting in waiting rooms, sitting in exam rooms, filling prescriptions, dispensing medicine to screaming mouths, holding people in a headlock in order to effectively take their temperature, and crying into my coffee.

So, I’m here to tell you what nobody tells you about having kids who have the flu. Buckle up.

  1. If you have more than one child, if one gets sick, you’re pretty much screwed. One child is pretty manageable, because if they get sick, you just have to take them to the doctor, give them their medicine, and wait for the sickness to run its course.  Granted, one sick child is still a lot of work, but it’s easy to contain, because there are fewer potential hosts running around with their hands in their mouths, drinking from each other’s cups, and licking each other like wild savages.  When you add one or more children to that mix, it turns into a free-for-all.  What once was containable turns into a virtual pandemic.  Like a domino effect, each child gets down with the sickness, and I’m not talking about Disturbed.  Then, you find yourself visiting your pediatrician three times in one week, on a first name basis with the pharmacy tech at your pharmacy and the cashier at your local liquor store.
  2. You will catch vomit with your bare hands. And as soon as you catch said vomit with your bare hands, you will break into a full-on run to the nearest toilet/sink/trash can with it, trying not to slosh it everywhere, leaving a trail of drops in your wake, as your child wails inconsolably in the background and wipes his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt.  Not that I have any experience whatsoever with that.  I think my hands still kind of smell.
  3. You will scarf a value meal from a fast food place with the pungent odor of puke permeating your car. After spending close to 7 hours in a hospital, you will leave the hospital with your stomach growling like a dog that just caught a glimpse of Michael Vick.  You will load into your car with your sick child, who vomited that morning in the car, and despite the fact that you scrubbed the everloving shit out of the seat and carpet, the car will still smell like a bar bathroom.  You will make a beeline to the closest fast food place, and you will eat the entire burger in three bites, because you are that hungry.  The smell will not bother you, because at this point, this is a test in survival.  These people on Naked & Afraid don’t have anything on you.
  4. You will look like you belong on Monday Night RAW when it’s time to give the kids their medicine. If your kids are anything like mine, they don’t mind taking medicine.  My kids are usually extremely cooperative when it comes to taking medicine, so I knew when I attempted to give them their Tamiflu, and they spit it out all over my shoes, that it must’ve tasted like hot turd stew.  I smelled the medicine, and it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  Therefore, I did the only reasonable thing:  I grabbed the kid like I was The Big Show, and I held him down while he flailed, screamed, and thrashed, effectively administering the medicine.  Unfortunately, there was no big, glittery belt for me to wear after I successfully gave him his medicine.  I was really looking forward to that.
  5. You will be woken up out of a dead sleep by the smell of what can only be described as a gastrointestinal explosion. Last night, I had the distinct privilege of cleaning a sloppy deuce that could’ve woken the dead.  As a matter of fact, I was so close to looking and acting like a zombie last night, that it actually did wake the dead.  I wasn’t sure where I’d placed my hazmat suit and gas mask, but I fought the good fight and did the job without any protective materials.  However, I’m pretty sure I’ll probably be growing a third arm, because that shit was radioactive.  No doubt.
  6. Your kid will, at some point, throw up in your purse in a crowded waiting room. No way could I make this up.  In a crowded waiting room, sitting elbow to elbow with people, my kid yakked into my purse.  Needless to say, taking my wallet out to show the clerk my insurance card was particularly interesting that day.  Anyone got a wet wipe?
  7. You will feel so bad for them, and feel so sorry that they’re so sick, that you’ll wish it was you. You will look at your poor kids, puking, running fevers, miserable and inconsolable, and you will wish you could switch places, and that it was you instead of them going through all of that, ten times over, if it meant they didn’t have to.

I mean, at least then, you wouldn’t be the one catching the vomit with your bare hands.


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