When moms get sick.

I have recently made the transition from bed to couch, an enormous feat that would have most men collapsed in the hallway, bleeding from their eyes and drooling puddles into the braided rug. But moms are made of unearthly determination. "I will stay in this bed JUST long enough to recharge my power supply and then ONWARD MATERNAL SOLDIER!"

i see your schwartz is as big as mine. 
With a headache louder than Chris Matthews and a cough that would frighten teenage trick-or-treaters off the front porch, a mother's fortitude is unwavering and will not be broken. Armed with echinacea and liqui-gels at the ready, there is no limit to what can happen when estrogen meets acute viral rhinopharyngitis.

It's a science, really. And we know how to work this thing called "being sick" to emerge top of the class. It's a balance of caring for yourself enough to emerge quickly and with vital insight to prevent further contamination, combined with a dead-set determination to conquer the half-life out of the evil pursuer.

1. A tickle in the throat means nothing. NOTHING.

You're at OMSI in the creepy room that your daughter insists on visiting every time. The one with all the fetuses. And that's when you feel it. That hint of a phelgm-smacky throat. A subtle light-headedness and an urge to sit down outside on the bench next to the "Let's build a bridge!" exhibit. Undeterred from walking through all 38 weeks of fetal display, you commit yourself to a lunch of hot ramen and an IV drip of OJ. It's not too late. Emergency birth control for an early fall cold. You return home and proceed to make 400 vegan meatballs while making play-doh cupcakes with your daughter and updating web copy for work.

2. A heavy head and aching bones means you should leave the office. But you KEEP ON WORKING SOLDIER.

You know it's coming. Your colleagues are going to tell you to go home. They don't want your germs. It's bad for business. So you sit through two more meetings and start a new blog project and then finally pack in the laptop and head for home. You stop for gas on the way, then Les Schwab to make sure your tires are appropriately inflated because of safety-first, then swing by the store for more OJ and tea, checking work emails all the while from your mobile. You land at home and open your laptop and set back in to preparing for the next product launch at work, analyzing the last one, compiling the critical to-do list lest this cold knock you down another peg, then pre-make the kids lunches, put on the kettle for tea, start some laundry so that the kids can wear pants, reaching with the long arm of the mom to keep this train moving full steam ahead. Unless you have Wonkavision, your germs are safe here.

3. A cough, sneeze and nasal drip like a 1970's AC unit means YOU'RE WINNING.

Sure it hurts. Your coughing fit turned into violent hiccups and you're angry about it. Your chest feels like a punctured billows: all wheeze and no fire. But you're still gonna watch the final episode of Breaking Bad. You're still going to log in to work and assess your priorities. You kind of want to cry, and maybe you do, but no one can tell cause your face is wet with snot anyway. But you know that the rapid onslaught of evacuating bodily fluids means you've bitch-slapped this virus into defensive mode. It's throwing out all its weapons and getting ready to run for them thar hills. You consider drowning it out with the last of the OJ, but hesitate, because the kids may want it later, and let's face it, you may not be able to get to the store, despite your Superwoman intentions. You slap on the panty liner in the face of the cursed sneeze attacks and brace yourself for battle. You may not be able to walk more than two paces before collapsing, but you still have your brain, and with a grateful nod to Steve Jobs, you make lists on your iPhone.

To do when standing up doesn't mean falling down:
  • make a Dr. Horrible costume, make it mad scientist enough so it still works even if the kids don't know who Dr. Horrible is
  • kitten ears, tail and a tiara - this makes sense to you
  • write out a list of venues to contact when your Darth Vader voice has softened lest you scare the hapless event coordinator away
  • groceries, always groceries
  • pick a date for the 2nd annual Festivus party, vow to check the closet for holiday sweaters
  • plan to look at the kids' fundraising catalog when you can make it to the kitchen without coughing up your esophagus by the spice cabinet
  • order over-priced wrapping paper so that they each get a monkey lanyard - MISSION CRITICAL
  • check work emails with one eye while the other sleeps for the both of them
  • halfway dream of a vacation you know you'll never take

4. Then the final push. You meekly accept help with the dishes and laundry and vow to re-pay the favor with 400 vegan meatballs. Then you crawl into bed. FOR 13 HOURS.

And then this.


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