No sick day for mommy

By Published On: February 25th, 2015

I don’t get sick very often, but with all the […]

I don’t get sick very often, but with all the illness that’s being passed around lately it seemed inevitable that the sniffles would catch me at some point. That point just happened to be this week. Despite nearly drowning myself in Airborne and washing my hands until they looked like flaky pie crusts, it seems that I caught some sort of cold.
I always wondered what would happen when I got sick with Bea around. As it turns out, the same things happen, it just involves a whole lot more Dayquil and Lysol. Oh, and panty liners, because apparently if I cough or sneeze hard enough, I will indeed pee my pants. (Thanks for that little souvenir, childbirth!)McKinley_SickMama_2-25-15
Somehow I’m the only one in our house who caught this bug, and I’m trying to keep it that way. Despite all of my extra precautions, though, I don’t know how Bea could possibly avoid my germs. We do everything together. I dress her, rock her and make her food. When I have to pee or blow my nose, she follows me to the bathroom. Even if I try to keep her isolated with a pile of toys, she’ll find a way to crawl over them and scale my leg like a fire-pole—and when she reaches the top she immediately wants to put her hand in my mouth. To put it bluntly: We’re all sorts of up in each others’ business.
The weather doesn’t help my cause, either. Our snowy forecast means we’ll be hanging out indoors for the foreseeable future. It’ll be days of Bea crawling around licking everything in sight, and me trying to stay one step ahead of her with the disinfectant spray.
Maybe by some bizarre miracle she’ll avoid catching my nastiness, or at the very least, both of us won’t be down-and-out at the same time. Having a sick baby is the worst, but I imagine it can be made slightly more terrible when the caretaker is just as snotty and surly as the patient.
As of today, though, Bea doesn’t seem to mind the changes in my demeanor. I thought my detached grogginess, guttural coughing fits or nasally voice would at least produce an arched brow or a moment of perplexed concern, but as long as the sliced grapes and yogurt keep coming, she seems content. And, funny enough, even though I can’t get her to repeat basic words like “mama,” “dada” or “milk” on command, she’s started mimicking my cough. It’s tragic … and adorable.
I suppose it’s better this way—a happy, snuggly baby is the best medicine. Along with lozenges and Kleenex. And maybe a few episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” between loads of laundry and bottle washing. But really, at the end of an icky day nothing beats getting a little Bea peck on my bird flu mask and going to bed knowing she’s still healthy and I’m (hopefully) one day closer to being sniffle-free!