Sunday, January 20, 2013
A Plea for Mercy
"What's wrong with him?" I asked his mom.
"He's had a stomach bug for the last two days, but he felt a bit better today and I didn't want to disappoint your children by cancelling." She continued on to tell me that she had been down for three days total. Her son and husband got sick as she was getting better. Since hers had lasted three days, and it was almost the end of day three for her son, she decided that it was okay to come anyway.
While I nodded in understanding, the voice in my head wanted to scream, "Do you even know what you've done?!?" My heart raced and I restrained my impulse to grab kids and make a run for it. I swear that I could almost see the germs attaching themselves to my children, and I know I heard an evil cackle-y laugh. (Viruses laugh. You didn't know that?)
4 days later, it hit us. First my 13 year old son began feeling poorly and puking. The very day that he began to get better, the 3 year old threw up in the playroom and for the next few days. The baby went down with it yesterday afternoon, followed by the 11 year old last night. It's only a matter of time before they all fall like dominoes.
I don't really blame the other mom. There is no way that the mother of one even thought of the sick people math of a mother of 7. Our realities are so different. The minor stomach bug that took up not-quite-a-week of her time is poised to consume half a month or more of mine. It's just simple multiplication. In the worst case scenarios, either we all get sick for the same three day period and there is no one left to care for anyone in the house (horror on earth if puking is involved), or we get it back to back--nine of us sick for 3 days each is 27 days of puking. It's possible to lose an entire month to sickness when something really gets going around here. It happens so easily, and it's brutal. As it looks now, this stomach bug (moving at its current speed) will take around 2- 2 1/2 weeks before we're done with it.
Please, moms of small families, please don't come near us when you're sick. Take an extra day at home to make sure that whatever it is has truly passed before you spend time with my family. While my kids may be disappointed to not get a day of playing at the park, they understand sick as a reason. They have to. Sick at our house is a big huge hairy deal. Sick stops everything for weeks at a time. Sick at our house is brutally exhausting.
I'm throwing myself on your mercy here. Can you see me begging? I'll get on my knees if it helps. Put off the play date. Postpone the get together. Let's reschedule it. I promise not to care. I swear that I will be grateful to you even if my 3 year old cries about the broken plans. Please, please, please consider the big family math. Please think about it from my side for a moment, and stay home.