Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Fever

You could always count on a handful of warm days in late April or early May in New Jersey. It was your reward for making it through six months of cold, grey weather. Of course, what seemed like "warm" was really temperatures in the mid-50's, but it still seemed like time to break out the shorts and tanks because it was so much better than 20 degrees and snow. On those warmish days, we would beg our teachers to have class outside and when they invariably refused, we'd stare out the windows, waiting for the bell to ring so we could just feel the sun. "Spring fever," the teachers would sigh, and at the time I thought that they were concerned that we weren't going to learn anything for the rest of the year. Now I realize that they were probably just planning their shore vacations and dreaming of tossing back drinks at Bar A. (Aside: As I look at pictures, I realize that Bar A has barely changed since I was there in 1994. Although, it does look like they've added the saddest VIP area ever. Note to Bar A: random potted plants and garden stools do not a VIP area make. Also, who are these alleged VIPs hanging out at Bar A? I'm picturing Caroline Manzo's sons, Albie and Chris from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." They probably have some girls with them from their Stripper Car Wash and the girls probably pronounce "cabana" and "grotto" with that nasally Philly accent and are practically handicapped because their fake nails are so long.)

The point is (yes, I have one) that spring fever used to conjure up all sorts of good images: sunglasses, sitting outside, and the end of the school year. Now I can't even hear the word "fever" without immediately wondering if we are fully stocked with Children's Motrin. Those pleasant images have been replaced with this image:

Now spring fever comes with spring
coughing and wheezing.

The Baby went to school today for the first time since last Tuesday. That's a long time to be home, but it is not even close to our family record. That still belongs to the Girl who from ages two through five missed at least three straight months of school each year with pneumonia. Here are some of my observations about childhood illnesses:

1. Motrin makes you look like a liar. Thanks to the people at McNeil Labs for this amazing drug that turns a pathetic, listless child into a ninja-kicking acrobat. 

2. Albuterol makes you look like a bigger liar. I'm pretty sure that Spider-Man climbed walls not because he could shoot webs out of his wrist, but because he was huffing albuterol. Should I be worried that the Baby loooooves her some albuterol? She asks me for breathing treatments with the same consistency that the Boy asks for lemonade and crackers (i.e., incessantly, like we're at Olive Garden with its bottomless pasta bowls and all-you-can-eat bread sticks).

3. Making nebulizers and masks look like animals does not make using the equipment any more fun. 

The Tiger is like, "presenting Sam, the American
bald eagle nebulizer. Nothing more American than asthma
and respiratory problems!" 
But, the eagle pales in comparison to this:

You know how many kids I knew who used nebulizers when I was growing up? ZERO. Now they're so prevalent that we have special nebulizers that look like cow heads to cheer up kids while they get drugs pumped into their lungs. Certainly, nothing cheers me up like a disembodied cow head. 

4. There are two kinds of ways kids get sick with childhood illnesses. There are the kids who get a cold or strep, are out of school for a couple of days and go back to school. Then there are my kids who get a cold with a fever, which turns into bacterial pneumonia and they miss school for two months. Or, they get an ear infection which doesn't respond to antibiotics and their eardrum ruptures. So, when someone says their kid is sick, don't automatically be like, "whatevs, kids be sick." No, sometimes "sick with a cold" is "SIIIIIIIICCCCCKKKK with a cold." 

5. If you want time to go by as slowly as possible, stay home with a sick child. It's like the clocks are running backwards. And when you try to talk to people who are out doing things in the real world, you'll realize you're better off alone because you don't remember how to a normal conversation that doesn't involve remembering the child's highest temperature and the last time she had her antibiotics.

6. The Bubble Guppies have a song called "My Pencil Case" to the tune of Lady Gaga's "Pokerface."

You can thank me later.

7. When you get to leave the house for a minute to, say, walk the dog (obviously you wouldn't be doing anything fun for yourself), you can't disengage from what's going on at home, so you take pictures of random things that you think might amuse your sick child.

Look, it's a huge slug.
8. There's nothing like having a sick sibling getting extra attention to make your other kids go completely insane: "Why is she getting so much attention? You like her better. You hate me. You wish I'd never been born." Then you're in the position of telling a child who is writhing on the ground moaning about the unfairness of her life and acting generally unpleasant that you, in fact, adore her and the day she was born was the happiest day of your life. That's pretty much the definition of unconditional love.

9. When your kid is getting better, but can't go back to school yet, it's like the worst of both worlds. She doesn't want to sit around on the couch watching Disney Jr. for five consecutive hours (yes, I'll admit my kids have done this), but she wouldn't have the stamina to endure an eight-hour day at school.

My Facebook status yesterday.
10. How do those super-sized families do it? Seriously, is someone always sick? I feel like if you have ten kids, someone must always be sick, someone must always need to go to the dentist, someone must always need a haircut, and someone always must need a new pair of shoes. I'm about to have an anxiety attack just thinking about it. It was probably a wise move to stop at three. 

Thank goodness that the Baby's back to school today because I need to figure out how to keep everyone entertained next week for spring break. Happy Thursday!

1 comment:

  1. I am so very sorry, my dear! That doesn't sound like fun for anyone, although you never fail to find the humor in even the worst of circumstances. However, I am sure that was of no comfort in the midst of the ordeal. Steroids are EVIL! As far as the nebulizer goes, we don't have anything fancy, but you should have seen how excited we were when we got the new, fancier, lighter, and quite yellow version last time we were at Egleston. William thought it was as fabulous as one of those giant lego sets, and I was so thankful to hear that it takes half the time (woohoo!).

    I hope everyone stays healthy through the rest of Spring (knocking wood). But, if you get in trouble, I can deliver a dose of happiness in the form of a tall bottle with a cork on the top. Sadly, no, it isn't a .Genie who can make it all go away, but it will do in a pinch.