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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse




Home sick

You know what they say: the family that gets sick together, gets to stay home and be sick together.

It is about as much fun as it sounds. That is how our week started. A mystery illness wafted into our home Sunday and knocked the kids and I down, one by one, ensuring we all spent Monday together.

The Carpenter, as I write, is the last man standing. If he falls down, he will have to stay alone and make his own tea, because one weekday at home and I already can’t wait to get back to work. That’s sick, right?

Selfishly, I was annoyed that my kids had the audacity to come down with a bug at the same time as I did. Do you have any idea how rare it is that I get to be alone in my own home for even an hour? A whole day to myself sounds so, well, healthy. I don’t like to take sick days, so when I finally cave in and invest in one, I should get to ride the wave of sickness without having to share the glory, the bathroom or the kettle. Sheesh.

I fondly remember childhood sick days, when staying home from school was fun; hours of reruns of Gilligan’s Island, the Price is Right, General Hospital (in the Luke and Laura days) and thinking I was awesome because I could master a can opener and heat up Alphaghetti on the stove all by myself.

There was no social media, so you couldn’t talk to anyone. You were isolated on the island of cooties, where nobody wanted your germs and you snuggled with a blanket and the barf bucket nearby and hoped the Alphaghetti stayed down. And if it didn’t? You had people to clean that nasty business up and a graphically gross story to tell your friends at school the next day.

Adulthood sick days aren’t as much fun. I am just plain grumpy. Daytime television is awful. And while you could say I didn’t watch Netflix because I could not figure out how to connect the Xbox to the TV (and you’d be right), I refuse to watch movies because if I am home, I have to at least try and do something productive - you know, between naps. My sick day included changing the beds, washing laundry, disinfecting surfaces, making dinner and doing the online banking. Boy, nothing heaves up the guilt of missing work like seeing your credit card debt in real time just one month before Christmas. Cough.

I shouldn’t have taken medicine to help me sleep either because I had a dream where I was being chased around my home by a giant, cheerful hand-knit spider, about the size of my cat. He was made of black yarn and had glued-on wobbly eyes. The spider ran behind me while I did mundane tasks. I scolded him repeatedly for getting too close. I kid you not, this is where my sick mind goes on over-the-counter medication. To be clear, I don’t like yarn spiders any better than real ones. I can’t even enjoy a good medication buzz without paranoia.

Sick days are not fun. Am I whining? Absolutely. Am I still grumpy? You bet. Sleep deprived? Uh-huh. Am I grateful for a warm bed, hot tea and two awesome kids who, like me, will rebound from this bug soon?  Definitely. 

And the next day I was back to work and grateful for that too.

 

Vol 51 Issue 47

 
 

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