We’ve all heard of the Man Cold, right? You know, when grown men act like toddlers and the world ends because they got a stupid sniffle. For the sake of full disclosure –as a mom, I have most certainly had a Man Cold once or twice.
Usually when a bug flies through my house I am left with the triple duty of cleaning up everyone, nursing everyone back to health, and still maintaining some semblance of regularity around here, even if I am the sickest one in the bunch.
The Mom Cold has nine classic stages to survive. Here is your handy guide for how to handle the pandemonium that is sure to be lobbed your way:
Stage One: Whining
It starts out quiet and kind of cute. First comes a request for a tissue and maybe some soup. The whining slowly builds up momentum and before you know it you’re getting ridiculous complaints about how scratchy the Puffs Plus feels or that the child wanted the cherry flavored Tylenol and NOT grape (duh, mom!)
Stage Two: Running Noses and Fevers
While you are searching for all the comforting things that might soothe your kids, you suddenly hear a nose being blown. You freeze and realize that the tissues are in your hands. Crap. You race into the living room and you see your toddler blowing his nose on his shirt. Meanwhile, you feel chills and your brow is perspiring.
Congratulations! You have a fever. You may now advance to the next stage.
Stage Three: Comfort
This is stage of the Mom Cold when you decide that you no longer give an eff about the state of your house. You put cozy jammies on everyone, grab boxes of tissues, popsicles, and the TV remote. You find the cozy spot on the couch but just as your tired butt is about to hit that soft plush cushion you hear, “Mom, my belly hurts” and then your child vomits all down his shirt.
Quick! Call the pediatrician and be put on hold for the next 27 minutes.
Stage Four: Meds
It hasn’t been long enough to dole out more Tylenol. You quietly wish you could take an Ambien and go directly to bed. Instead you make some broth, grab some warm packs, and head back to the couch where your kids are fighting over the TV remote. Your head starts to pound and you begin coughing.
Stage Five: What Was I Doing?
The kids have rivers of snot raging from their bright red noses, and someone is coughing so hard you wonder if he will hack up a fur ball. You were on your way to the bathroom. Or was it the kitchen? Wait. What’s going on?!
Congratulations! You are delirious and exhausted. You may now make lunch!
Stage Six: Feed A Cold Starve A Fever, Right?
With all of the complaining and whining happening you can’t keep the lunch orders straight. You bitch under your breath that you’re not a short order cook, damn it as you shove your way past the condiments in the fridge in search of cheese and the left over batch of beef stew you made yesterday. You whip up hot stew, grilled cheese sandwiches, and tea for the kids.
But they hate that. They want more popsicles.
Stage Seven: Lost Voices & Hot Toddies
You lose your voice, which is OK because at this point all you want to do is scream at everyone for wiping their noses on the robe you are currently wearing, for complaining about every effort you make, and for having a sudden surge of energy when you’re ready to collapse.
Motherhood is such a blessing. Right?!
Stage Eight: Sleep
You make it through the day with heavy rotations of PBS Kids, semi-junk food, and loads of pleading and begging for everyone to please be quiet. The kids are finally ready for bed. You pass out in a heap at the foot of one child’s bed. You start snoring because you’re so congested, which woke up your kid, who now wants to stay awake.
You forfeit sleep and seriously consider boarding school.
Stage Nine: On The Mend
Despite a complete lack of rest, proper nutrition, and medicine you have somehow made it through to the other end of the Mom Cold. Everyone is still alive. No one is contagious. Your house is totaled; the laundry pile alone is now taller than you. But you survived.
Bonus Prize! You ship your kids off to your MIL’s house for an afternoon so that you can catch up on cleaning. And by cleaning I really mean sleeping.
And there you have it, the nine stages of the Mom Cold. You are one tough Motha for dealing with as much nonsense as a nasty bug can throw your way without losing your mind. The next time some a-hole complains to you about a Man Cold just laugh it off and remember that Moms are tough as shit.
Related post: 7 Murphy’s Laws When Your Kid is Sick