Home Sick Again? Poor Baby.
You’re going to think that I’m not sympathetic. In fact, I’m very sympathetic. When Dr. Green died on ER, I cried for two hours. When I was little, I slept with both of my American Girl Dolls because I didn’t want to hurt the other doll’s feelings.
But I have a hard time being sympathetic for a specific group of people: adults with no kids who are home sick. Usually the Facebook status reads something like this:
Home sick for the fourth straight day. I’ve slept at least 14 hours each night and watched every episode of Mad Men on Netflix. So tired of being sick!
Attention adult friends with no children: I want to feel bad for you. I want to sympathize with you. I want to feel your pain. But you need to know that when I see your Facebook status this is what I read:
Home relaxing for a fourth day. I’m getting great sleep each night and have caught up on all the episodes of Mad Men on Netflix. This is the life!
The truth is, I read your status and my mind goes back to 2005. I had only been out of college for a few months. I came down with the flu and stayed home from work for three days. My mom stopped by my apartment with chicken noodle soup, jello, crackers and ginger ale. I went to bed at 7 PM and woke up at 9 AM. I watched The Ellen Show. I took naps every hour.
I’m sure I felt bad. I’m sure it was painful. But I don’t remember that part. I only remember laying in bed for three days with no distractions.
Now when I’m sick, I have three small kids that could care less that I’m feeling bad. Even better is when they are sick as well. I had forgotten that it is a learned skill to anticipate when you are about to throw up. There is nothing better than cleaning up someone’s vomit while holding back your own.
When my husband and I are both sick we start comparing how sick we are in hopes of convincing the other person to take care of the kids. Usually the conversation goes something like this:
Sick Parent #1: I’m so sick, all I’ve eaten today are five crackers and two pieces of toast.
Sick Parent #2: I’m so sick I haven’t eaten anything all day. You are so lucky that you aren’t as sick as me.
Sick Parent #1: The only reason I was able to eat was because I threw up 5 times today. You’ve only thrown up twice. It must be nice to not be as sick as me.
The conversation continues until we hear the unmistakable sound of a child about to hurl in his/her bed.
So please forgive me when I don’t respond on Facebook with a “that stinks” or a “hope you feel better.” It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that I’m too busy trying to suppress my envy for you and your sick days.