So in honor of that, I'm going to steal (uh, I mean copy and properly credit) from my esteemed colleague The Mother this excellent post on managing family illness.
She has extensive training in 2 remarkably difficult fields, being both a Mother (of 4 boys) AND a doctor, and so is eminently qualified for all kinds of stuff. Like me, she is a history buff. She can be read at mothershandbook.net.
The Care and Feeding of Illnessby The Mother
In the light of the mounting cases of the flu among my bloggy friends, and the fact that, where I live, even DOCTORS can’t get the H1N1 vaccine, I feel compelled to do what I can to make everyone’s lives just a little bit easier during the (nearly mandatory) ten days when the household goes to pieces.
The care and feeding of a sick family, while not an exact science, certainly has a few well-established principles.
1. No wife is allowed to be sick alone. Husband will immediately find a way to be sicker.
2. The child with the most tests that week will get sick first. The child who is in preschool and has absolutely nothing to do with his life (and, because he has nothing to do with his life, MUST be entertained) will miraculously escape disease.
3. They don’t make enough trees for a family of six to all have colds at the same time. Ditto decongestants.
(Corollary to rule 3: You will run out of decongestants within a day. You will buy the biggest box you can legally buy, and then run out in two more days. You will then be forced to beg your neighbor to go to the pharmacy and score you some decongestants. This corollary leads to:
The Mother’s Rule of Decongestant Procurement: Go buy the biggest box you can get, NOW. Set your calendar alarm for one month from now. Repeat, whether anyone gets sick or not.)
4. Even if the mother is on her deathbed, she has to do chores. Someone has to feed everyone and buy toilet paper (and tissues).
(Corollary to rule 4: Everyone gets sick the day before grocery day, when you have no food in the house.)
5. Everyone starts throwing up the minute MOM gets nauseous.
6. Children who are vomiting have an amazing knack of finding the most expensive, least cleanable thing in the house on which to do it.
7. Every sick child regresses at least three years.
8. Husbands who are sick regress to childhood. Somewhere around three or four years of age. The age where they, too, must be constantly entertained.
9. Even with 900+ channels and three televisions, there will be nothing on TV that will keep your children and husband busy for even an hour. Ditto the entire collection of DVDs.
(Corollary to rule 9: The internet gods will pick that week to upgrade their systems, taking down WOW and all of the streaming video sites every five minutes.)
10. (applies only to Jewish households) No matter how much medical education hubby has, he is absolutely convinced that Chicken Soup fixes everything. Sick wife will either be standing over a stove with a pullet or phoning her mother-in-law begging; extra points if she chooses option B.
Hey, I don’t make the laws of physics. I just report them.