Dan has a cold. So why am I the one who’s suffering?
Do you think it might be a man thing, that when a guy is sick he makes sure everybody knows it and makes sure everyone suffers right along with him?
Now you know we moms are totally different. When we are sick, we slog on in silence, doing everything we usually do without any slacking off. We know if we don’t do some things – laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. – it simply won’t get done. And we also know if we are sick, we won’t get any rest. Every five minutes it’ll be, “Mom, I can’t find the (fill in the blank)” or “Mom, how does the (fill in the blank) work?” or “Mom, can you help me (fill in the blank)?” So we moms just can’t afford to be sick.
But not guys. Although they are generally reluctant to go to the doctor when they are sick, they milk their illnesses for all they are worth. Every hack, every sneeze, every cough is magnified and emphasized. And they have that woe-is-me thing going big time. They give Oscar-winning performances for even the most minor of illnesses.
Dan is no exception. When he came home hacking and coughing the other day with an assortment of cold and flu medicine, I knew I was in for a few days of misery. When he gets sick, his innate sarcasm notches up several degrees. For instance, if I don’t say “bless you” the instant he sneezes, he’ll say, quite snarkily, “You’re supposed to say bless you when somebody sneezes.” And he gets nit-picky. I fixed him a nice cup of tea and even brought it upstairs to him where he sat on the couch sniffing and hacking. He tasted it and said, “It’s not sweet enough.”
I’m not a very nice nurse. I wanted to tell him to fix his own cup of tea then. I wanted to tell him to stay away from me because I didn’t want to catch his cold. I thought about the chicken noodle soup in the cupboard but I didn’t offer to make it. When the coughing grew piteously loud and strained, I went to bed. The days are long gone when I could tuck him in bed and bathe his fevered brow with a cool wash cloth, rub his chest with Vicks and read him a nice story to help him go to sleep. I almost kinda miss those days …