Have you ever noticed that children are under your feet and in your hair every second of the day except when you bring groceries home? Whenever I walk into the house with groceries, only the three-year-old can be found (because she would like a banana and goldfish and cheese, please). If you call out the names of the children who think they will be eating this food, they can’t hear you and the house is quiet.
There are times when the house isn’t quiet, and that’s when Mom is on a rampage. (I’ve read about this sort of thing.) Prudence Mackintosh once wrote, “There are many Supermoms (at least two on my street) who can throw a birthday party for twenty-seven kids without becoming a shrew or a martyr.”
I am not one of those moms.
There are many things I can’t do yet without becoming a shrew or a martyr, but I’ll start with a short list: clean out the van, help with science homework, clean out the other van, sell a house while the children live in it, and get the flu. And live through the winter without looking at real estate in the tropics.
While everyone is talking about the Great Blizzard of 2011, I think we ought to focus more attention on The Great Flu of 2011. This flu has caused more near-death experiences, more delirium over the course of a week (or a month, in my case) than a little snowfall in the driveway. And everyone has some version of this flu. Don’t you?
Sure, school is cancelled when there is snow, along with the blessed cancellation of all evening committee meetings. We should try this more often. But in the hype and excitement of The Great Blizzard, I think The Great Flu of 2011, which we’ve nicknamed The Beef Nacho Flu (I won’t elaborate), is getting short-changed. I think we should all just stay home for a month and Skype and quarantine this thing out.
The flu is the great equalizer among women; sickness is able to turn normal housewives with a June Cleaver personality into the sweetest version of Martha Stewart. It can take a toll on the family. When mama is not happy, the kids run for the hills.
So, I admit, I’m a terrible patient. I’m grumpy when I’m sick (and in the winter, and on April 15, and when my vehicle breaks down), so I guess this means I’m basically doomed for however long this lasts. The sky is gray, the sun is hiding, and the wind is bitter cold. Have you ever seen someone smiling while they shovel snow and scrape ice? That’s what I mean.
I think I’ve found the answer to this pressing question: what could be worse than being sick? Being sick in winter, the worst season of all.