Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Week Without A Mommy

what to do when mommy is sick
Mommy is sick, please go bother your Father.
Last week I was struck down by whatever seasonal plague is making the rounds of Los Angeles.  I'm sure I picked it up from one of the dirty, child-centric places that I'm forced to frequent with my offspring.  I try to wash my hands more often than Howard Hughes on a bad day, but there are only so many times you can be sneezed on by a rheumy child and expect to walk away unscathed.

It's unusual that I'm the first one who catches something - it's usually my kids and then my husband and then, sometimes, me - but I suspect that my super human mom immunity was down what with all the air travel and birthday revelry.  I also admit that I did indulge in a few too many sugary sweets over the Holiday season which inevitably lands me in a sickbed.  The point is that I spent most of last week being completely miserable, coughing up a lung and moaning in my bed when I wasn't paying a negligible amount of attention to my kids.

Coincidentally, both my nanny and the grandparents are gone for two months, which means that in addition to wishing for an early death to put me out of my misery, I also had to take care of my two children.  I'm not proud of it, but I will confess that much of my caregiving consisted of turning on the television and letting my kids watch hours of Elmo while I dozed on the couch.  Hey, a Moms got to do what a Moms got to do.

When I finally emerged from my sickbed, I was greeted with a truly horrifying sight: my home appeared to have been vandalized.  It was only after I noticed that the computers and TV were still in their assigned places that it dawned on me that this is what a week without Mom looks like.

The Dishes.  I would guess that if you took a poll of Mothers, most would tell you that they spend a significant number of hours each day doing dishes.  This is why people pay a lot of money for houses with nice views out of the kitchen window - because that is probably the only vista Mom is ever going to see!  The point is that when Mommy isn't well enough to attend to her daily loading, unloading, and reloading of the dishwasher, things get ugly.  Every glass and plate are dirty.  Half empty coffee mugs clog the kitchen counters growing milk mold.  It's entirely possible that when Mommy emerges from her sickbed that she won't even be able to see the kitchen sink through the pile of dirty dishes.

The Laundry.  Did you know that dirty laundry asexually reproduces at night while Mommies sleep?  When Mom is sick the piles grow so large that they threaten to take over an entire home.  And God forbid your spouse tries to help out with a few loads while you're coughing up a lung - that's how I ended up spending my first day of wellness trolling the interwebs for Unshrinkit in an attempt to save my favorite cashmere sweater.

The Mail.  I'm sure there are spouses who empty an overflowing mail box, I've just never met one.  The pile of mail that I woke up to was large enough to swallow my small child (and there wasn't even a Restoration Hardware catalog in there).

The (lack of) Food.  Children like to eat and they eat a lot (not at one sitting mind you, but over the course of a day), so it can be problematic when one opens the fridge only to find empty milk cartons and a withered scallion.  There's nothing like spending your first day back from the brink of death buying one of everything at Trader Joes, amiright?

The Toys.  I'm not sure I ever realized just how many toys I pick up on a daily (hourly?) basis until last week.  It is entirely thanks to me stowing the various toys in their rightful baskets all the time that we have thus far been able to avoid any Lego or plastic food-related injury.  Even after almost a week of constantly picking up small plastic blocks and wooden vegetables, I'm still finding pieces in every corner of my abode.  In fact, I may never recover from the scary looking Lego creature I discovered in my lingerie drawer yesterday.

I will say this for my week of illness: sure, the clean-up is a nightmare, but I finally have a much better idea of all the things I do around Casa Lane in addition to caring for my children.  In fact, I'm so impressed with all that I accomplish in a day that I'm definitely going to start invoicing my family for my services.  I'll get to work on that right after I finish doing six loads of laundry, three loads of dishes, and open all that mail. 

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