The past few weeks  someone in our house has been sick. Last week was Ari. I know shit is about to get real when a super hot limb coming in contact with my bare skin in the middle of the night rips me out of what precious little sleep I get. Ari’s temp peaked at 105.7 and over the course of 5 days we were at the doctor’s office twice, we checked more rectal, oral and axillary temps than probably needed, had a log of temperatures, respirations and heart rates, forced fluids and watched Ari pee to the point he thought it was weird. I would follow him to the toilet to you know – check his output- and he would go “I can pee by myself mom” …. And once Ari was back to normal – BAM! – I’m sick.

Now me being sick is not fair for two reasons A). I was just sick on my birthday the beginning of this month and B). I gets no love when I am sick.  The past few days have been a blur, I’ve been in and out it, Wednesday was the first day I can really say that I have been up and productive. But the first night I was really sick I remember telling the husband that I needed to go lay down. I had chills, and I was dizzy and just felt awful. “Sure” he answered. See folks, my first mistake was that I took that sure as “I gotchu”. I woke up to the kids jumping on the bed with a makeshift slide from the bed to the floor that started right above my head.  I hear Ari telling Auset not to go back downstairs and my husband telling her to stay upstairs. So wait, they should stay up there with me? Ain’t that a bitch? No love I tell you.

Tuesday wasn’t even better. I was stiff, sweaty, hot, cold the works. The husband asks “Hey should I take off of work?”  Akila asks “Mom should I stay home from school” And I’m all like “I can last until ya’ll get back home”. Kind of like when someone offers you their last piece of gum but you decline because it’s polite. But jokes on me because their questions were just the formalities. Kind of like asking someone do you want their last piece of gum but they’re just offering to be polite, they really hope you say no. Once Akila and Ray was out the door, I curled up on the couch, gave Auset her leappad, gave Ari the laptop with the game (you should play, very addicting)  up and just zoned out. After dried cereal and finger foods for sustenance, ten thousand “mom I’m a big snnaakkkee” and a million “mom look” later, Akila gets home from school. “Great!Help!” I thought.  Wrong. “I need a minute” I heard her say and then zoom! Akila bolted up to her room to never be heard from again. The husband texts “I’m gonna stay at work late tonight.” Now I’m being punk’ed right? Because wasn’t they both going to stay home at first to help?

After awhile I tried to get some sympathy from the eldest so I called her downstairs. “Help me up baby” I asked in my sick pouty voice. You would’ve thought I was a lazy bum. Ari starts screaming “Don’t help her up! Let her get up on her own two feet!” Auset is running around screaming “noooooooo”. Akila tells me “You just want a hug.” No love I tell you. So, the sympathy card was not getting any play.

Wednesday it’s my turn to go to work. Still feeling like shit in a bag that’s been kicked, I drag myself in. “You should call out” Ray repeats the entire way to work. Like why stay home if I’m going to work for free? Might as well work and get paid. I drag myself through work knowing that ultimately, I’m torturing myself. I was supposed to go out to dinner with a bestie that I hadn’t seen in months so if I could push through work I could certainly see her tonight. And at about 2pm I get a text to cancel dinner -her daughter is sick.  Cool!- I mean I hope she feels better but I can stop pushing myself and I call the husband to get picked up from work . When I tell him that I wasn’t going out to dinner he’s like “You didn’t need to go, you’re sick, you need to rest”.

But when we get to the house he’s like “I think there’s food the kids hid somewhere in the living room, it smells weird”. And he knows me. He knows that I’m going to want to find the food. So I clean under the couch, the toy bin, the lamp table the kids activity table while he sits in the kitchen on the laptop. Something is suspicious. So I asked him to come and lift the couch so I can finish cleaning under it so I can eat and lay down. But ho ho ho, the smell can’t be found. And it wasn’t coming from under the couch. So, he wasn’t going to lift it. Whatever. I’m going to eat and then lay down as all I could barely swallow that entire day was a mini kitkat. As I’m eating, This guy turns to me and says, “You know the kids should go to bed early because they didn’t nap and was active all day. And my bullshit barometer is spinning uncontrollably at this point.  “Whatchu getting at man?” Like don’t flim flam flip flop me. And he goes “I want to go to bed early tonight.” And falls ‘asleep’ on the couch 20 mins later. So now you’re in the way. And he knows me. He knows if he falls to sleep first I’m not going to be like “Oh ok , uh wake up and I’m going to head upstairs”. I wake him up and tell him to get out of my way and he rolls feet over his head off the couch onto the floor and goes upstairs to sleep and it’s not even 7:30 at night. And like when did he get that flexible?!

But the kids should go to bed early right?! Wrong. Minus the oldest who then fell asleep right where her dad did. Despite her 4 year old brother telling her over and over she’s taking up space and that she needed to take a bath. I get her upstairs with more effort than I would have liked to used and I try to engage the kids for a bit. By 9:00 I’m over it. Teeth brushed, butts clean, bring them into my bed ready for some cuddles and storytime. But my throat is so sore I make the kids read me the story. After 2 stories read twice we’ve should be done right? Wrong! Fast forward to midnight with two kids that are still awake, kicking laughing and tickling each other, Ray snoring so peacefully and me now bitterly laughing at the absurdity of it all.

Sometime after 12 the kids went to sleep. Who knows the exact time at this point. I do know they tossed and turned all night. 5:30 in the morning was my time. My time to aggravate people. I started by catching Akila going to the bathroom.  “Rise and shine!!” Take a shower and get ready for school!” “Ummm like it’s 5:30” – “Don’t care!” “Hey Ray morning! Get up gotta go to work!” At 6:15 – “Morning Ari and Auset rise and shine! Let’s take daddy to work and sis to the bus stop!” I had the whole house up by 6:30. Minus Auset – she won’t get up no matter how hard I try. The true picture of not giving a fuck.  As Ray gets out of the car to go to work  he causally asks “Hey are you still sick?” “Yup, thanks for asking, have a good day!” zoom! Back to the house so Akila can get her bag and lunch.  I blast Red Hot Chili Peppers to aggravate the kids while we wait for Akila to come back out the house so I can take her to the bus stop. “Turn it down! It’s too early!!” Ari screams. My throat still feels like rocks are in it so I can’t sing so I’m air guitar-ing it passionately. We get Akila to the bus stop with little aggravation from me but I can fix that when I see her after school.

When I’m sick I get made into a slide, I get climbed on, jumped on punk’ed, minimal rest, cleaning duty and no love. I will remember this. I got something special for them all.Especially the ring leader. One day soon. Once I’m at 100% and I’m not limited to being aggravating. I’m not like them. I won’t offer the last piece of gum. I will chew the last piece and then pop the bubble in their faces…. But first I should make some hot tea and see if I can get Ari to go back to sleep.