“If you treat a sick child like an adult and a sick adult like a child, everything usually works out pretty well” ~ Ruth Carlisle

As I lay encircled in tissues like I am doing some seance to the gods of mucinex, I started to really think about the sheer reality of these colds we have had. It is as though someone took a large vat of snot, hooked it onto a helicopter and then dumped it onto our home. Because seriously, I have been surrounded by snot. Surrounded by cold symptoms. Surrounded isn't even a good word, because it has overtaken me also. We have been invaded. So much so that it is almost like second nature to have some snot dripping down your nose and instead of listening to the sweet slumber of slight snores, I am invaded by post nasal drip coughs.

The 4 year old with the post nasal drip and the wacked out hair, somehow they go together.

Our lips are chapped, ours ears are itchy. We have been coughing at each other as a means of communication. "Cough three times if you want a cough drop, four for some peppermint tea."

This time of year is just terrible. Germs. I seriously walk around with Lysol with bleach in a holster. You sneeze, I am spraying everything in your general vicinity.

Our noses are raw from blowing and we smell of Vapor Rub.

The three year old with the chapped face. He put lotion on it last night with his little palms and it reminded me of that scene in Home Alone when McCauley Culken is putting the after shave on his face and it begins to sting. It was a tragedy at it's finest.

But I tell you when something invades our home, like a cold. I like a freakin storm trooper going into battle. I focus in on it and go to town. I know just what angle to tilt the head and neck so that the post nasal drip does not irritate all that bad. I know where to position the humidifier so that the person benefits the most from its steam. I know where to put the vapor rub. I know at what point the child needs to be taken into the bathroom with the shower going at its hottest temperature encasing us in steam(by the way this is really good for the pores). I watch the color of snot, and I think now that it is back to clear it might be moving out, snot phases from clear to yellow to green back to yellow and then clear again. Consistency of snot varies too. From thin to thick to paste and back again. You know, no need for WebMd, I got you covered.

The 8 month old teething child who presently seems to be at the tail end of this one...as evidenced by clear snot and a smile.

Andy's son, because he is certainly not mine when he does things like this, has now taken to creative ways of wiping his nose to spice things up a bit. Some kids find their sleeves handy. E finds just about anything absorbent fair game. Like your pillow. Like a stuffed animal. Like the cat. Like the carpet. It's disgusting, I completely agree with you. Now how do you think I feel. "Ethan, if you wipe your nose again on the carpet you are in timeout. " Seriously? Who raises these animals? FYI: Look before you touch, snot looks like glue when it has dried, has that sheen to it, typically, two long streaks of it. Please let me know about it, so I can blast it.

And that throat tickle. You know the one. You used to get them in school, during class. You don't want to cough and draw attention to yourself and spew germs all over, but that tickle, it won't stop. So you let out a little cough, it does no good. Your eyes are now watering. You try to constrict your throat muscles and release in hopes of getting the itch. No luck. You let out a little bit more of a cough and all h-e- double hockey sticks breaks loose. Your face is bright red, you are hacking, you raise your hand, the teacher looks at you like you have four heads, can't she see you need to rush into the hallway, to the nearest water fountain, to hack at the top of your lungs??!?! Instead she makes you ask. So you are coughing, eyes watering, face bright red, sputtering out key words, everyone is looking at you like you are some hacking freak, and you make a bee line to the door. FREEDOM! Or was that just me that happened to? I don't know. But whenever you have that cough it comes at the worst of times it seems...in the middle of church, in line at the store, at the movies, it's terrible.

Did I mention colds suck?

What is worse is the stomach bug. Now if I know you have the stomach bug I will avoid your presence until it has run its course. I'm sorry. Because worse then snot, worse then the throat tickle, worse then living in a pile of tissues, is vomiting. It is probably the worst thing ever, well besides the pain of a living thing coming out of your hoo-ha, but that at least as a wonderful end result. When I am puking I get the cold sweats, my fingers tingle, it is the worst, mostly because I hold back. I lie on the cold bathroom floor when I in the throes of vomiting. It's comforting, and it's clean, I know so, personally.

I fear vomiting. Is there a diagnosed phobia for that? Kids have it good. They need to throw up, they do it, they move on, as if no one is the wiser. They don't really even have to think about it because they have no idea what is happening. On sick days they get to vomit, watch all the movies they want, vomit some more, suck on some Popsicles, vomit, play a quiet game with Mommy, and then it is all better. I seriously act like I am in the midst of a total body take over by aliens who want to push all of my insides out in both directions. I can't talk, I can't focus, I can't think straight for fear that it might make me vomit again.

It is inevitable. One night someone in this house will wake up vomiting. Why do you vomit first at night? And then it will go and attack, victim after victim, and I will lie in bed with each one of them, defeated. But until then, I will do all I can to avoid it. If I find out you had it and I was just with you, I panic. Last week my husband brought a child to my house from a home that had the stomach virus in it. 'You brought a carrier here.' I love this child with all of my might, but he is a carrier. He then informed me that he had driven another friend home from where he was because this friends wife had gotten sick and had to leave. In my van, a carrier, in my van! Because once you know you were exposed every time you feel a little funny you are convinced you have the bug. I thought twice about eating tacos last week because if I was going to throw up that night, I didn't want it to be spicy. How nice to have that luxury.

And I don't care that you think I am overly paranoid. Like you like to go ahead and puke. Like it's nothing. Right.

So in the season of germs, know I have snot on my carpets, know that I love you and all but if you or someone in your home has vomited in the past week, we can stick to communicating via phone or internet. I will pay you the same respect when it comes here.

Go gather your hand sanitizer, your lysol, your ginger ale, cough drops, and tussin. We are in it for the long haul. Spring...Spring? Where are you?

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