In Sickness and In Health


I know…  It’s part of the wedding vows, not the parenting vows.  But I think it applies.  After all, aren’t we supposed to love our children in sickness and in health?  But surely there’s an exception to this, where maybe we don’t have to like them very much?  Particularly if one parent is out of town and the remaining parent is also sick with the same virus and the child is just as sick and tired of you after three days together?  Because if that’s the case, I’m right on track.

As soon as I saw that Justin would be out of town for two full weeks in a row (home on the weekend between, thank God!), I knew that we were destined for illness.  It seems obvious, doesn’t it?  So, it came as no surprise to get a text from Justin Tuesday afternoon that Robbie had a fever of 102.5 degrees.  I headed out of school, knowing that I would be gone for Tuesday and Wednesday.  I never imagined Thursday, too.  Nor did I imagine that I would have the same virus, knocking me out for a day and a half as well.

Robbie and I only left the bedroom to get food yesterday.  And, since neither of us was eating, that was rare.  It was constant together time.  We went to sleep last night planning on going to school today.  We were both ready, each of us over our respective virus.  Then Robbie’s fever shot up to 101 this morning and I was still horribly nauseous.  We headed back to the doctor, since Robbie complained about his chest and throat hurting.  Another nose swab and throat culture gave us no definitive answers; we just had different versions of the same virus.

Home we came, prepared for an afternoon of movies and cuddling.  At least that’s what I was prepared for.  Robbie was prepared for disaster.  We made it through The Cat in the Hat, which Robbie watched in his chair while I napped fitfully on the couch.  Then, determined to be somewhat productive, I went to the bedroom to put away the laundry my sister had generously folded yesterday when she came to bathe Robbie and got sucked into our laundry pile.  It was very quiet, so I asked Robbie what he was doing.  His response left me struggling for words.

“Breaking your glasses, Mom.”

And he had.  Into four pieces.  He had also spilled the entire box of oyster crackers onto the floor and done some sort of dance on them.  It was all I could do to maintain my composure.  OK.  I didn’t maintain my composure.  I yelled.  I cried.  Robbie cried.  But my glasses were still broken.

The night continued to improve…  Robbie dropped an entire pizza face-down on the floor – I have no idea how that happened.  And, as we finally cuddled up in bed (we ARE going to school tomorrow), the dog jumped up with us.  And puked all over my newly cleaned duvet cover.  And did I mention that Justin is out of town until tomorrow?


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