It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Soldiering on…

Hello, there!

You’re welcome to come on in, but keep your voices down, okay? My head’s a bit fragile. And it’s pounding. Throb, throb, throb. No, no. Didn’t go on a weeknight bender.

My eyes itch, too. And my eye teeth? They feel kinda … swollen. I know, I know. Teeth don’t swell, but that’s how they feel, what with the five kilos of SNOT backed up behind them.

The centre of my upper lip is charmingly pink. That’s from all the snot that is pouring OUT of nose. Which makes my eye teeth feel marginally better for a moment or two, but doesn’t help my nose or lip.

Every so often a cough rattles my upper chest and throat. Excruciating, it is. I now understand why Anna was clutching her chest and saying “Hurting!” whenever she had a coughing bout. Hurting, indeed.

Yes, I’ve caught the plague. (Version 1. Version 2 turned out to be food poisoning, brought on by some iffy shrimp. Desperately nasty, but not – thank goodness! – contagious.)

Will I work today?

Well, yeah.

I’ve been a mother, see. (Still am, come to that.) A SAHM. When I got sick, the kids were just … there. There was nowhere else for them to be, there was no one else to care for them. You’re at home, you have no place to go. You care for them because you have no choice love them dearly. I was sick. They were not. Which is a right royal PITA, I might add, having all these pictures of health bounding around your sick-couch. Because you don’t go to BED when there are children about, do you? No, you languish on the couch where you can see them tearing the house apart.

“Are you going to stop that, or do you want me to come over there and COUGH/sneeze/puke on you??”

Ah, but I’m playing to stereotypes here, and it’s not fair to my children. Generally, when mummy was sick, they lavished her with care and attention. Whispered conferences amongst them about who was going to get to carry the tray of toast and juice; snuggles and stories; offers of favourite toys; puppet shows and pictures. It was really rather sweet, though it did tend to interrupt my naps.

So, NOT tend to children just because I’m sick? Bizarre. I’ve had a whole lifetime of practice!

My husband always shakes his head. “You have sick days in the contract. Why don’t you TAKE one?”

“What? Waste a sick day being sick?” Can’t bring myself to do it. Where did this bug come from? The kids. I don’t need to worry about infecting them — they’re all immune now, aren’t they? I’m not so sick as to be couch-bound. If I really couldn’t function, I’d take the day off (and still see it as a mild cop-out, though earned and deserved).

Today, however, I’m not really sick. I just have this ten-pound, itchy-eyed, swollen-toothed, constantly-streaming head. But I can move around, I can sit on the floor and sing croak sing, I have today’s craft set out already.

Why wouldn’t I work? I did exactly the same over twenty years of parenting. And these days? These days I get PAID for my pain…

January 18, 2008 - Posted by | daycare, eeewww, health and safety


  1. Much tea and sympathy… We’re dealing with a very similar version here in the States. *passes the tissue box*

    Comment by Megin | January 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’ll send a cup o’ tea, too!

    My daughter had fever, sore throat, etc. last week but has mostly recovered. The baby has a little stuff in his nose but he isn’t complaining.

    My other son? He’s just sick of it, apparently. (As we’re rushing, trying to get to school, he was languishing in bed…I just don’t FEEL good
    Of course, his symptoms were hardly enough to keep him home today.
    My head and my feet hurt.
    Anything in-between?
    *shakes his head, sadly* No
    As he was finishing his breakfast, he did confide that he really felt OK–except his feet really do hurt–but he just wanted to stay home.
    I nodded and promised some extra snuggling after school, anyway.

    It just stinks when others are sick and get attention, get to stay home and you’re just so…FINE.

    Comment by LoryKC | January 18, 2008 | Reply

  3. Much sympathy from me – I have what sounds like the same bug as you, and I’m at work today too. Here’s to a restful weekend!

    Comment by Tali | January 18, 2008 | Reply

  4. Bahahaha, Hubby is the same way.

    “What, you kidding? Waste a sick day just because I’m sick?”

    I’m like “Uh, well yeah, isn’t that what they’re for?”

    “No, sick days are for goofing off.”

    “What’s this thing you call ‘goofing off’? I’m unfamiliar with this concept. You see, I hail from a strange land called MotherHood where we have no such things as sick days, or private time…you must forgive me.”

    “You see, now THAT’s why I’m going to work.”


    Comment by Sheri | January 18, 2008 | Reply

  5. Oh sorry, got caught up in my own silliness, I did mean to wish you well and hope that the worst is over so you can have a nice weekend.

    Comment by Sheri | January 18, 2008 | Reply

  6. I’m generally the same – I swear that it stems from a mother who felt that if I was sick enough to stay home from school, I was sick enough to not move from my bed. We had no TV, it’s hard to hold your book lying down, and it was just plain BORING. There was no pampering or fun. It was the business of getting better. So the thought of staying home? Enh, I’m not THAT sick. Plus, I feel terrible when I stay away, because I know the rest of the staff have to pick up for me.

    Feel better soon, Mary!

    Comment by kittenpie | January 18, 2008 | Reply

  7. I’m late on my blog-reading, so I hope you’re feeling better today – and if not, it’s Saturday now and you wouldn’t have to work anyway! 🙂 Besides, as you say, it was the children who brought the germs to share with you in the first place, so who would you be protecting by taking a day off?

    I’m similar about not wanting to use sick days unless I’m really incapacitated – it’s just hard for me to justify.

    Hope you get some recovery time this weekend!

    Comment by Florinda | January 19, 2008 | Reply

  8. Sorry you’re not feeling up to par. We were doing fine but the faucet started on Jeffrey’s nose today. Hopefully it stops at that.
    Hopefully the weekend cleared up your “plague” and you’re feeling better.

    Comment by Dani | January 20, 2008 | Reply

  9. […] also good to know I am not alone. I remember one time when Monkey had brought home a little bug from daycare (or maybe it was Bun, […]

    Pingback by Meatless Monday: Easy Peasy Dinner Pie « Red Pen Mama | January 21, 2008 | Reply

  10. Most Aussies would tell you that they’d consider it un-Australian (the, like, ultimate insult to one’s person) to actually take a sickie when you’re sick.

    Comment by Kat | January 23, 2008 | Reply

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