How do I call out sick? Like, do I just stay in bed? Or do I have to actually file some sort of request with God or something? I’m talking about calling out sick from mommy duty. Because it’s been 4,440 days since I took a day off and I’m feeling a sick day coming on….
I have an ear infection that has kept me up for two nights now but I have had to haul my ass out if bed every morning and perform not one, but two jobs for the past two days.
But I don’t think I can do it tomorrow. Every illness I’ve had, I’ve managed to keep it together at home. Even cleaning up puke in the middle of the night when I feel like puking myself. When my husband is sick, he gets to be in bed and make him soup and listen to him bitch and moan about being feverish. I swear to God he makes me take his temperature about ten times an hour.
When I’m sick, the rule seems to be “if Mommy can speak, she can take care of us”. I still have to make sure homework is done and shuttle children to school. Laundry still piles up until I pop an Advil, wrap myself in my robe and load the washer.
When I am sick and out of work, someone else deals with my problems THERE for the day. Nobody calls me and says, “so and so needs meds, come give them”. The people at work who are well deal with it.
Why isn’t that the case at home??? When I feel like crap, why can’t I wallow in my bed on my illness infested sheets and be left alone to recover? Why does someone else deal with the problems that come up? Why can’t the children make their own meals and get along for five minutes and just LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE??? Can nobody else in this house PROBLEM SOLVE???
I’m now lying in bed because it hurts too much to move. And also, I’m waiting for my drops to stop leaking out of my ear. I have the blankets over my head and my one good ear pressed to the pillow and I can still hear it.
The running, the slamming, the dogs barking…glass breaking. I squeeze my eyes tightly, willing it to go away, trying to shut of my give-a-damn meter. Someone else will take care of that. It will be all fixed when you get up and feel better. The glass will be swept up, the kids will be fed. All you have to do is take care of yourself for once.
“Go rest!” my hubby said. “Go lay down! I’ll take care of things!”
Translation: I will make sure if the house is on fire I will knock on the door to let you know.”
I remember when my youngest was four days old and I had 102 fever and could barely hold my head up. I was weary from hormone overload and going without sleep for nearly a week. I needed an hour nap. I crawled under the covers, leaving the four day old and four year old with their father. I closed my eyes and drifted off into blissful rest until…
You need a little background here. At that time, hubby was still a volunteer firefighter and who go on calls at random times. Middle of the night, middle of dinner, middle of your worn down wife taking a nap.
Yep. You read that correctly. I was shaken awake, a newborn and cranky preschooler thrust at me as he rushed out the door. As I sat there sobbing in postpartum misery, I knew then and there. I was NEVER getting a day off again.
Like today. There is someone standing over me. Through the muffled cotton in my ear I can hear, “Mommy?”
I try to ignore it. If I lay perfectly still, maybe it will think I am dead and go away. Don’t breathe, don’t breathe. You can outlast, outwit, outplay. It’s only a kid after all. At most, it has a mentality of a seventh grader.
When I think I heard the door close, I exhale with a sigh of relief. Stupid move. It is still in the room, waiting to pounce.
“Mommy?” It calls out again, nearly causing me heart failure.
“What???” I scream out, tossing the blanket aside.
It’s the older one. “I have a stomach ache,” he announces.
Groaning, I sit up abruptly, causing my ear drum to feel as if I am being stabbed with an ice pick. I yelp and clutch the offending appendage. (Is the ear an appendage??)
“I think it’s because I’m hungry,” my twelve year old continues, completely oblivious to my distress. I glance at the clock. It is 7:15PM.
“Didn’t you eat dinner?” I ask. Now I don’t usually prepare dinner, but apparently it is my job to remind my dear husband that it is time to eat along with what to prepare. He can’t seem to handle this on his own. For dinners I actually have a chalkboard on the wall telling him what we are eating.
I’ve also had to call him when I am not home at lunch time to remind him that it’s time to eat. Otherwise, he can be found wandering around in a circle, kicking empty granola bar boxes and muttering to himself when I return.
My child shakes his head.
“Where is your father?” I growl.
My child shrugs. “Last I saw him, he was in his chair.”
Annoyance courses through my veins as I struggle to my feet, my equilibrium completely thrown off by my illness. I stumble downstairs to find the following scene before me.
My daughter has pulled out the coffee table and has a mixing bowl, spice jars, several cookbooks and spoons sitting on top of it. She is vigorously mixing something that is sloshing over the sides and the dog is happily lapping up.
There are so many paper towels surrounding her that it looks like the Bounty factory blew up in my living room. The other dog is munching on the discarded paper towels. She pauses to vomit one up.
“What ARE you doing?” I manage to squeak, trying not to cause myself pain.
She looks up at me, huge smile on her face. “I’m making some medicine for you,” she replies sweetly.
Now I’m sure that statement would tug at any other mother’s heart strings. But not me. I’m a bad mommy. I’m a realist. I know that shit isn’t getting cleaned up and I’m going to have to do it.
“Wanna taste?” She hands me a cup.
“No. And you don’t either.” I snatch the bowl away and storm into the kitchen, each step reverberating in my ear drum. It is in the kitchen that I find my next mess. Dishes, dishes everywhere. They cover not only the counter, but the stove, too. It is apparent someone also attempted to make soup and did not move any dishes out of the way. The aroma of burnt plastic still hangs in the air.
In the past, I have loaded and emptied the dishwasher. The counter was always clear and dishes were always clean. I busted my butt to make this happen.
However, about two months ago I looked at myself and said, “Self, don’t be a moron. You have enough to do now that you’re going back to work. Give this job to someone else.”
So in an act of generosity, I split the job. Hubby is supposed to load and the oldest puts away. And in those two months, I have not seen the bottom of my counter. Once again ladies, it takes two men to do the job of one woman AND they don’t even do it efficiently.
I also find that the garbage has been overturned by my two adorable fur monsters. It is not a pretty sight. Apparently nobody thought to give them dinner either.
“Why is this HERE?” I manage to croak out to the oldest who is trailing behind me. “Could nobody clean this up?”
He makes a face. “That’s gross. I’m not touching that.” This coming from the kid who hasn’t brushed his teeth in a week and ate his own boogers until fourth grade.
Grumbling, I throw everything back into the garbage can and by everything,I mean all of the wrappers of the snacks that the children have consumed in the short time I’ve been out of commission. Oh my son is right…it’s gross alright…their arteries, that is.
Shaking my head, I head down to the hubby’s lair where I find him, reclined in his recliner. He spends so much time there that there is actually a butt imprint on the chair.
He is playing virtual golf on the iPad. He sees me and pops up.
“Thank God you’re up. I’m hungry. What’s for dinner?”
That, ladies and gentleman is why Mommy can’t take a sick day.