Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Unapologetic Bitchin'

Today, you have the pleasure of being my therapist.  Hope you've got a big notebook.  I am having an attitude problem, some stay-at-home-mommy angst, if you will.  You see, my house if full of sick puppies; two little ones to be exact.  They are adorable, perfectly lovely a lot of the time, but they are actually quite toxic.  I scrub them clean, sanitize them, dunk them, Clorox the places where little hands like to roam, all to no avail.  Because five days a week, they hang out all day long with other sick puppies who pick their noses, put their grubby little fingers in their mouths and swap germs.  

And they bring those grubby little germs home to share with Mom and Dad. Their cuteness has grown on me over the years so I think I will keep them (the children, that is).  But something really must be done about our wretched illnesses.  Friends, I am a Georgia girl, through and through.  Chicago was a but a roadblock to my career as a southerner.  I'm one of those "American by birth, southerner by the grace of God" people.  Alas, as much as I love the red clay under my feet, Georgia does not seem to love me back.  

Here is a catalog of the various illnesses we have experienced since moving here:
Mono for Hubby and I (and no, we did not have any fun getting it).
Strep for the whole family (the family that suffers together, stays together??)
Recurrence of mono for me+ my poor mother-in-law
Pink eye (too many times to count) 
Flu that we generously passed on to my in-laws on their first visit
Too many drippy, disgusting colds to count
Unexplained high fevers for three or four days at a time
Numerous ear infections (now Nana has tubes)
Stomach virus for the whole family

Now lets just go over the last two weeks:
Stomach virus for Nana and Hubby
Cold for Nana and I
Strep for Lulu

At the risk of sounding crude.  What the f#@%?! 

I really do get that we are fundamentally blessed, in spite of all the germy crud floating around our home.  Truly.  But, lemme just say again what I've said before: this was not the plan I had for my fall.  At. All. I keep trying to tell God that I have some great ideas for my life, but He has yet to agree with me.  Rude. 

My day to day life is defined by who happens to be sick on any given day, and what they need from me.  This fall has taught me the true meaning of the phrase "good and faithful servant."  I do not feel so "good" or "faithful" when someone is screaming, "Why?! Why?! Do you do this to me?! I toooooold you that I want the red Popsicles because the green ones are DISGUSTING.  Gross!!"  


"Moooooommy!  I did a big poo poo and it's REALLY messy! Come clean me up!" 

Today, for instance, is day 5 of nursing Lulu through her strep throat.  You would think it was Scarlet Fever...more like Scarlett O'Hara fever. But, what can I say?  She comes by that honest (from her father, of course).  Truthfully, as crazy as she is making me (having nightmares about tiny serial killers and falling buildings), I am grateful that my little one is even well enough to be an asshole to her mother.  The two days when my listless child hovered around 104 degrees were just terrifying.  

A dear friend who is also a doctor, had some sage words of comfort for me.  She explained that we are not actually freak shows that need to be quarantined.  In reality, this can all be explained by our children's total lack of exposure to germs before we moved here.  My eldest daughter was in a preschool class with only eight other students and the youngest spent all of her time with Grandma and Grandpa while I was at work.  It is as if they are babies building their immune systems for the first time.  

Another friend gave me her two cents, as well:

Me: So...I am starting to feel a little bit crazy with all of this sickness.  I sit at home some days contemplating forming a band on Craigslist or turning my "I'm twenty!" tattoo into something much larger and more colorful... maybe my husband's face?  Do you think that's normal?"

Friend: Oh, Lord, yes.  If I had to sit around nursing people back to health every week, I'd probably shoot my face off!

Me: Oh, thank you!! That makes me feel better.  It's not just me!

*No one in this conversation is actually going to shoot her face off.  Relax.

So there you have it.  It is what it is.  It's not glorious or even particularly rewarding at the moment.  When you are a mother, there are no accolades to be had until much, much later in the game.  Only now do I constantly think of all that my own mother sacrificed to care for her little ingrates.  No one ever says, "Boy! Is she ever a wonderful mother!" 

But there are those moments during the day when you watch your children laugh and play, bursting with confidence and self assurance and know that they are that way because of your love.  And late at night, in the wee, small hours, there is the awe and overwhelming gratitude for the tiny, warm body that lies next to you, breathing softly on your cheek.  

And you know what?  It is more than enough.  


  1. Girl...I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! Throw in some lice and you've got my Fall. It sucks. A LOT.

    1. Oooooh that makes me squirm just thinking about it! Hang in there, my friend. This too shall pass!

  2. know I feel for you. I remember when my boys were little and it felt like we were ALWAYS at the Pediatrician. When you're "in it" you think you'll never be out of it, but honestly--I can't even remember that phase of life now. As my dad always said, "this too shall pass."