Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's That Time of Year, Again!

The season for sharing is almost upon us, and my kids have started early by sharing some irritating variant of the creeping crud with me.

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

The Care and Feeding of Illness

by 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.


Amanda said...

She's 1000% correct.

I'm waiting for the phone call from the school today. There was no specific symptom that would keep him home, but my Mommy sick kid radar was going off this morning. I hate having to make that decision.

Vegan Epicurean said...

Thanks for sharing that post from The Mother. Odd how it seems to apply to all families.

Feel better soon.

Mr. Condescending said...

When I'm sick I eat lobster bisque.

The Mother said...

Dr. Grumpy, you are too kind.

My husband has been giving me the silent treatment since the post went up--funny how every woman seems to be married to the same guy, but not one of them seems to think he's married to us.


Grumpy, M.D. said...

Hey! I resemble that remark!

HeatherLynn said...

This "The Mother"...she speak-eth the truth....thanks for posting this humorous post for my reading pleasure! :) We could all use that reminder to buy the decongestant, literally a family of four needing them will put you on the "I'm making meth list" if you aren't careful at the pharmacy!



As the designed "Mother and Power-that BE" in this household, thanks for recognizing our devotion and compassion for our baby chicks/regressive roosters during their time of infirmity. Personally, I would love to say "every man for himself, Mom's dead and decomposing in the back bedroom" but duty calls.... Lucky for me, that after so many years in a hospital environment, I basically have to catch the Ebola virus before I'm grounded.

MomNurseWife said...

So true! My husband is the worst when he is sick. Although, I must give him credit; when I have my annual bout of strep that renders me useless, he takes the day off from work and manages the house and takes care of me :)

Doris said...

OMG! The Mother knows my ex...a man for which every symptom was treated with the same gravity as a terminal hangnail. He was a brilliant mathematician and jazz musician, but gardenia-like in all other aspects.

FYI, I read years ago that homemade chicken soup's healing qualities are affected by the ingredients and that if one does not use the 'whole' chicken (including beak and feet), you might as well skip it. YMMV.

Feel better!



Lilorfnannie said...

Oh, so so true- I got one kid just getting over the flu and another just coming down with it, and DH complaining of symptoms last night- UGH- Thanks for the laugh, I needed it! :-)

Gardenqueen said...

WoW? You cannot possibly have time for WoW.

Anonymous said...

Defo speaks to all Moms and wives! Maybe we should get Mr.Deity involved--or not.:-))
Get stinks to be sick!

Michelle said...

This is depressing cuz its true. :(

Anonymous said...

SO SO SO true. My husband requires jello, chicken noodle soup and large glasses of ice water at the bedside with every illness. I'm really trying to teach my sons to suck it up when they have colds. Fortunately, as of today, we all have our H1N1 shots! (neener, neener)
-whitecap nurse

Kimbra Kasch said...

What a sign ;)

Hopalong Ginsberg said...

Chicken soup does fix everything!

Unknown said...

Uh Dr Grumpy, you play WoW?? I almost fell off my chair at the WoW reference in rule 9.

River said...

My hubby doesn't just get sick. He's at death's door with every little ache or sniffle. Sometimes I wish the wimp would just step on through that door.....

ER's Mom said...

Good one!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I didn't say I play WoW. The post wasn't written by me. I properly credited it to The Mother at the top.

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