Families that care about each other, share with one another and my family shares a lot. We share at least one meal together every evening. Our two couches are shared among the three people and two cats who live here. We all share the big downstairs TV, although I don’t think I get my fair share with the remote. I even share my toys with mommy and daddy, unless they look like they’re having too much fun with them.
Sometimes we share things of which nobody wants to find themselves on the receiving end. When I’m teething I want to share the experience with everyone by voicing my displeasure all day long. I fuss and I fuss but nobody seems to appreciate what I’m sharing. As a family that spends a lot of time together, we also tend to share germs. Whenever one of us gets sick, everyone seems to eventually get their turn.
The flu is a difficult thing to get through. There’s the coughing and sneezing that keeps you up half the night. The stuffed up runny nose that makes it hard to breathe properly. The scratchy sore throat which makes it impossible to eat anything beyond an overcooked noodle. My least favourite is the fever that makes you sore and achy while causing your body to alternate between shivering cold and sudden hot flashes.
Sometimes these maladies come rolling through our family. It starts with one person and as that person seems to get better, a second person begins to feel worse. Once the second person is on the mend, the third person gets their turn with it. It can take a couple of weeks until our family is finally free of the illness.
Being sick is never easy but there is one stipulation which makes everything that much more difficult. The dreaded family flu. This happens when an illness strikes down each member of our family at the same time. It may not take as long to rid our household of the bug, but that week while we’re all sick is especially difficult on all of us.
For starters, nobody gets a good night’s sleep. Everyone keeps waking to cough, sneeze, or blow a nose, and most of the time it wakes up everyone else. I’m too little to climb out of my crib so when I need a tissue or a sip of water someone has to come and help me. Assistance never takes long as mommy and daddy sleep just across the hall, but it does mean that everyone is awake.
After a night of short naps interrupted by bouts of flu symptoms, we’re all pretty exhausted by morning. Nobody has the energy to make breakfast, but it has to be made anyway. The result is that everyone shuffles around as if stuck in the mud and breakfast takes twice as long to be ready. By the time we’re all seated at the table, we realize that we weren’t really hungry to begin with. We end up picking at our food more miserable than ever.
Next we fall onto the couches and turn on the TV. This part is actually not that bad, until the inevitable happens. I’ll spare you the details but the result is the need for my diaper change to happen and that means someone has to get off the couch. There is always a brief debate until somebody caves and I get carried upstairs. My diaper change is uneventful and lacks entertainment while I’m forced to look at a grumpy face.
Back downstairs we go for more couch and TV time. If I’m feeling relaxed we’ll probably have a nap at some point. Otherwise I’ll probably fuss and cry about how awful I feel while accepting no attempts at being consoled or soothed. At that point mommy and daddy will have to distract me with play until my need for a nap outweighs my need to fuss. That’s when we can finally have that nap which everyone has needed so desperately.
In the evening we’ll probably be hungry but nobody will have the energy to make dinner. We’ll end up picking at our unfinished breakfasts and if I’m eating well mommy will crack open one of our emergency pouches of baby food. That will fill my tummy and give me the illusion of feeling better.
After dinner I’ll have some playtime believing myself to be feeling better. Mommy and daddy will lay on the couches while I travel from one to the other trying to engage them in play. They make attempts at being fun but it’s a sorry sight. Sooner or later I’ll start to fuss as the sickness reasserts itself and I’ll be pulled up onto one of the couches for more relaxing TV time.
That’s how we’ll stay until it’s time for my bedtime snack. I may, or may not, eat it depending on my mood but someone will be forced to make it either way. Next will be time to brush my teeth which will be more difficult than usual due to my refusal to cooperate. Then mommy will take me upstairs for my bedtime routine
I’ll fuss during my diaper change and while mommy puts on my pajamas. I’ll be disagreeable when mommy offers me a sip of water and I’ll fidget while we settle into our chair. Then, all of a sudden, I’ll be overcome by my exhaustion and I’ll fall asleep in mommy’s arms. I won’t even notice that mommy has put me into my crib until I wake up coughing in the middle of the night.
The difficult part about the family flu is that everyone needs to be taken care of but there is nobody well enough to do the caring. Due to my cuteness, I can ensure that my basic needs are met, but mommy and daddy are not as lucky. We never do anything fun on flu days and although it can be nice to relax on the couch as a family, it’s difficult to enjoy for so many days all the while feeling ill.
Since December we have had two family maladies already and I do hope we can avoid any others. There is fun to be had and adventures waiting for me. I don’t have the time for another flu.