1. Wake up. Realize that after a terrible night’s sleep with a stuffy nose and a sore throat, you are sick.
2. In your first few moments of consciousness, think irrational thoughts about beautiful, beautiful things like babysitters, sleeping in, and long, steamy showers.
3. Cough. A lot. You can wince in pain if you want, but no one will notice or care.
4. Accept reality. You’re sick and no one in your house is going to give any shits about it. They’ll want breakfast and bathroom help, and you’d better believe they’re going to want you to read Curious George at LEAST eight times today, so haul yourself out of bed and blow your nose.
6. Get all the kids up and changed and downstairs.
7. Make them breakfast.
8. Make them more breakfast.
9. Give them milk.
10. Give them more milk.
12. Clean up the kids and the breakfast while trying not to cough directly on the kids. You know they’re going to get sick no matter what you do, but try to prevent it anyway.
13. Sigh. Maybe at least someone will ask, “What’s wrong, Mommy?” but probably not.
14. Cough and blow your nose. At the same time. You don’t have time to do these things individually.
15. Let the kids watch a movie. Your head is pounding too much to think, so let them watch the first movie they ask for. They want to watch Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom but they’re only four years old? Whatever. There you go kids. Want a snack with your creepy cinematic cannibalism? What’s that? You want gummy bears and uncooked spaghetti? Sure. Go nuts.
16. Put in a load of laundry while they’re watching their movie. Collapse in a coughing fit on the floor of the laundry room and stay there for a little while. It smells soft and warm…
17. Get blasted back to reality when you hear one child casually mention the words “clean undies” and “poop fingers” to her sister.
18. Make lunch. Do yourself a favor and serve something simple, like dry Cheerios. If the kids seem like they’re still hungry, just give them more gummy bears.
19. Take a minute to enjoy the fact that since your head is so stuffed up, you can’t hear or smell very well. This means the ever-present poop smell lurking about your home isn’t so noticeable. And when the kids get that screechy tone to their voices as they galumph about like chimpanzees, it won’t pierce your brain as forcefully as it usually does.
20. Help people use the potty. Sit on the cold bathroom floor and read to them until your scratchy voice is completely gone while they “wait for the poop to come.”
21. The poop doesn’t come.
22. Take everyone upstairs for naptime.
24. Help someone else use the potty because “a poop is going to come out!”
25. The poop doesn’t come.
26. Get everyone situated for nap.
27. Sit on the hard bedroom floor and sing “You are my Sunshine,” without coughing and waking them up, until they fall asleep. Enjoy watching their sweet faces for a minute while they sleep. It doesn’t matter how sick you are – sleeping faces are always cute.
28. Almost die from holding back the coughs.
29. Creep quietly out of their room so you can die with some dignity on the sofa or something.
30. Don’t die. Instead, take all of these things:
31. Make yourself some coffee (I know you probably think you should drink tea when you’re sick, but trust me, you’re going to need something more caffeinated)
32. Sit on the sofa, turn on Netflix, take a shallow, mucous-y breath, and relax for five minutes before the inevitable cry of, “Mommy! I pooped!” and you have to haul your sick self back upstairs to deal with a pull-up full of poop. Don’t worry. You’ll get another shitty night’s sleep tonight before you have to do it all over again tomorrow.
Get well soon!!
Disclaimer: I’m no doctor, but it’s probably not a good idea to take all the medication pictured above at the same time. I mean, it might make you feel awesome, I don’t know, but it also might kill you. So DEFINITELY don’t take any of this ridiculous post as medical advice. In fact, don’t ever take anything I say as medical advice and you’ll probably live a long, healthy life. Also, my kids are only three and one so I don’t let them watch Indiana Jones for real, but if you let your kids watch it, I totally won’t judge you. Do what you gotta do.