As Spring continues to stumble out of the blocks, I fell victim to the tail-end of Winter as I got sick like I have rarely been. My son brought home one of the many bugs crawling around daycare any given day and luckily it was on a Friday night that he started sliming over. We did not get much sleep over the weekend, but that beats losing weeknight sleeps for a 9-to-5er like myself. My son is actually rather cuddly and extremely well behaved when he gets the sniffles, albeit a bit whiney. He’ll crawl onto the coach or into the bed next to us clutching his blankie and nestle curl up into a tiny ball with watering eyes and runny nose. Some eucalyptus rub helps get him through the night and lots of orange juice, hot milk and water do the rest. Kids are kids so max 48 hours and he is up and running (although I have video proof of him running wild around the apartment with 103 fever). There is nothing new about a child’s natural resilience.
Us old farts on the other hand have the resilience of dry bark and as I dragged myself to the office that Monday I felt very much again to a log. Or rather that infamous bump on the log. We are used to get a little bit of the sniffles ourselves. Comes with the parenting job description. Nothing you can’t shake of with a little will power and OJ. By Monday evening I was getting the shivers and I felt my eyes watering. I’ll spare you the next four days, but the fever hovered on average around the 103.5 mark. Now in the pre-parenting days I would on the rare occasion I got hit this bad, crawl under a comforter and create a sweat lodge in bed for a day or so. Sleep all day. Soup. Sleep. Moan. Groan. Tylenol. Tissues. Shower. Moan. Sweat. Sleep. And finally I would emerge in tip top shape. Well kids, as we all know, don’t care what you did before them. They live in the now. As in “I want it now!” or “I need it now!” And my son is no exception. As I lay face down in my own snot shivering uncontrollably and trying to picture myself on a tropical island beach bathed in sunlight and a cooled by a gentle sea breeze my son landed on my rib cage with both knees. “Daddy! Daddy! Coooome!” What the…?! “Daaaaaddyyyy!” What! “Daaaaadddyyy! Come walking! Come read Cat Hat!” Honey?! Help?! “Daaaaady!” Can you stop pulling my finger I thing you dislocated it? Where’s your mother?! “Mommy’s in the kitchen. Daaaaady! Come! Come! Daddy! Now!” Please God, I know I don’t come to church often, but I’ll owe you one buddy… “Daaaady! Come waaaaaalking!” The latest tug on my finger is so painfully that I try clumsily to twist away and land on the floor with a sickening thud. Ouch. “Daddy! Get up! Wake up! Mommy daddy needs to wake up!” Where am I and why won’t the voice in my head go away? “Daddy? Boo-boo? Mommy, Daddy boo-boo needs ice!” No little man I’m fine just let me lie down here for a few hours. No don’t put ice on me. Arrrrgh! That was cold. I hear him scurry off. I drift back to sleep on the hardwood floor. In the distance I hear my wife’s voice “What are you doing down there?!” Just inspecting the floor for scratches. “Get back into to bed and stop goofing around with your son. You’re never going to get better if you just lie on the floor!” So I crawl back into bed which, as Bill Cosby famously said, “is where I wanted to be in the first place!”