Mom down! Mom Down!

Warning: do NOT try this at home (get sick, that is)… this mom is a not-so-professional-in-training. Read on and learn from her mistakes before making them yourself!

Wow, what a difference one letter makes. In the regular world, the phrase “MAN DOWN!” is enough to stop all activity for miles around, and inspire everyone around to drop everything and come running with the ever-common question on their lips, “How can I help??”


Change one teeny, tiny letter… and about the only question that is spewed forth from the ‘oh you’re sick? That’s too bad’ crew members of the household is, “So mom, what’s for dinner?”






Add this to the fact that the past two weeks have been certifiably insane around said household, as schedules, science projects, germs, and hubby having more late nights then usual have aligned to put the entire hub of activity into overhaul as this mom has been running to and fro, picking up, dropping off, wiping noses, dosing medicine, dolling eye drops, and oh yea… trying to keep her kids engaged in the whole ‘kids in the kitchen’ movement.

((notice how i slipped the science fair pics in here??  I have to prove somehow that there HAS been some sort of productivity before today!))

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Before you harbor any sort of jealously as to how the kids cooking program survived, let me go ahead and burst that bubble right now. That was the first thing to go.  In fact, in the past 2 weeks, I have pulled every single ‘get-it-on-the-table-quick!’ trick.  Cereal for dinner?  Yup – so much that it is now all gone (oh, did I mention that grocery shopping beyond the ultra essentials from the gas station milk and bread dept was the second thing to fall by the way side??).  Pancakes from the ready mix?  Did that.  Egg sandwiches?  twice.  pb&j… more fill in times than I can count.  We even did a macho nacho night!  (If you name it something super cool, then somehow it transforms into more than just slapping cheese on chips, right??!).

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My point is, that the idea bag is out.  The only saving grace is that we happen to live with superman dad, who cooked up an entire mongo batch of gnocchi on Sunday, and we have been slurping from it’s left overs ever since.

Back to the mom down… let me just come clean and say that there are those moms who completely coddle under-the-weather children and say such phrases as “oh, baby, I so wish it could be me instead of you!”  not this mama.  Nope.  Of course I’ll do the snuggles, and the care-giving… but truth be told, the main thing through my mind is “wow, I’m so glad I am the care-giver and not the care-receiver.”  You see, when kids are down, it means that I suddenly have an excuse to not leave the house, and the torrents of clutter that have built up can finally be tackled.

Which is exactly what happened earlier this week.  Toddler took a nap (cue heavenly angels!!) and I tackled not one, not two, but FOUR rooms of outer darkness!  It was epic, I tell you what.

And then the aches set in.

I have absolutely no doubt that there is a karma god circling our house at all times, and the minute I am less then empathetic towards any given child’s plight to try to get a day off school, stating what I would frame pretty ‘weak’ symptoms… I give them a hug pat their head, and send them off to school (with the promise that they can call if they really go down hill).  I can now almost guarantee that if said experience ensues at our house, I will wake up the next morning with the exact same “weak” symptoms (even down to the ‘I get a little dizzy when I walk.’) one.

Karma Gods.  Lesson learned.

I, mom down, swear that I will henceforth and forever believe said symptoms in children and not only keep them home, but will coddle, coo, and spoon feed them ice cream.  Please, please, just take this curse of the ‘weak’ symptoms away!

Through the night last night, I knew I was slipping.  I was slipping quickly.  When I looked over to the latest child to succom to the germ fest, my first question was – “wanna stay home?”

His look of utter shock that I would actually give in without the typical grilling of the issues quickly gave way to his brilliant brain, and he took me up on that offer post stat.

As do began the day of mom down.

Or rather “mom slipping.”

“mom fading”

“Mom’s going fast!”

Now, before you get all up in the air saying that people are, indeed waiting right in the wings, ready to rush onto the stage and help out (as what happened with my teaching partner from the gym)…

… nor is this in ANY way meant to be a bash on men, dad’s, boyfriends.  There are some rock-star men who power through when they are sick.  I am not saying they are any weaker than their female counter parts (I let the other plethora of posts on said subject poke that hive of hornets!!)

I’m simply putting forth that there is a definite conundrum of ‘mom down.’

Most of the circle of moms consist in – shocker – other moms.

Other moms who truly will bend over backwards to help out a fellow mama in avery which way.

… except the way that would entail bringing a new and vicious set of germs home to her own brood.  The only thing worse than one mom down, is another mom down from trying to help the first!

There is an unspoken code of motherhood help, and it goes like this, “I pledge that I will not ask you to watch my snot-spewing, eye swelling child, which I fully recognize would be akin to handing you a spray bottle inoculated with every nasty germ under the sun and then ask you to please spray it on every surface of you home.”

So, when mom goes down amongst the troops, there is nothing to do, but grab the blankets, hunker down for the long haul.

… and as you hunker down, you realize that this was probably not the best idea.  Apparently your lack of movement created a smooth dance floor upon which the invading germs could shimmy, shake, and … ahem… replicate.  What you thought was just a soar throat and congestion quickly turns into body aches, fever, and chills.

You may try everything to beat the chills.  You look at the fire place.  You schlep over and camp out in front… only to realize that the campfire rule hangs true – you end up frying on one side, while turning pop cycle-like on the other side.  You try to cover yourself with blankets.  Nothing.

Then you realize that in the hospital you get freshly WARMED blankets… so you do the next best thing – you start the dryer with the clothes that have been in there for waaaay too long, hoping to warm them up enough to get the chill out.

Sweet – you can get warm, and actually be a little productive at the same time as you picture yourself folding toasty warm clothes.

Incidentally, there is a reason why this technique is not listed on the ‘life hacks’ website.  Not only does the warmth go away, but when it does, you are faced with and even colder cover.  Plus you’re covered in still-unfolded laundry.








And you almost jump up with your spidey reflexes as you see your toddler running full speed for your finally calm baby… spewing forth his snot font every which way as he sprints.

Except that you sadly realize that your spidey senses have now been overrun with the ‘prolific germinating germs’ and you are instead forced to squeak out a feeble, “come and see mama!”

To which he surprisingly accesses, turns mid squirt, and runs, runny nose first right into your cold, unfolded, now re-dirtied laundry.  Which was okay, because right before this incident, you were faced with the realization that your detergent may not be all that its cracked up to be as the cooling effect also brought the vivid ‘musk of urine’ to the forefront.

So you throw your ‘I’m going to be a good mom and only let the sick ones watch one movie, after which they will happily read for the rest of the day until my calvary (read, middle school babysitters) make it home’ plan to the wind and shout out, “hey, who wants to watch ANOTHER movie??”

Well, your kids have never been slow on the uptake, so they grab the remote and are suddenly engrossed in the next netflix flick, to which you stroke your guilt mode with the thought, “Hey, it’s a cartoon about animals… I’ll call that educational input!”

And you let the laundry slide (literally!) as you think you have just earned yourself at least a 22 minute nap.

At which exact time you hear the ‘lunch time!’ cry of the baby-who-could-care-less-what-is-wrong-with-her-food-supply-mom.

Maybe I should go all Yentle like, cover myself with boys clothes, and change that one tiny letter???