Look, I know that as mothers we are meant to protect our children. Want the best for them.
I know we are meant to dream and hope for the best for them at all times.
Altruism in mothers is encourages. The common good of the family, even if it means you come close to bursting your bladder on a consistent basis.
I can only try to explain the urge to somehow take over for Oscar – take away his pain and confusion and bear it for myself.
But here’s the thing: when it comes to the common cold, my all-encompassing sense of sacrifice goes out the window.
No way in a unicorn’s dream would I take a common cold by choice, even if it meant my children would be spared.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be tempted to take a hit like that for Oscar. Tempted. Obviously it would depend on his general well being at that point in time.
But the other two? They’re on their own.
Here’s three reasons why I’d rather my kids get a cold rather than me:
1. Kids + cold medicine/paracetamol/illness in general = sleep. Not always, but most of the time. They sleep right through their stuffy noses, their blocked ears and the sinus headaches.
I wake up at 3am unable to breathe and with the underlying feeling of guilt that despite illness, if I am awake there are things I could be doing.
And once you get that “did I leave the oven on?” feeling there is no getting back to sleep.
At least until you pass out from sheer exhaustion at 2pm the next afternoon. And then good luck with that – chances are that while you are passed out on the couch your dream man has not shown up and come to clean your house for you.
Instead, your hallway has been toilet papered, the children have scattered Cheerios from one end of the house to the other and most likely used your face as their canvas for their most recent masterpiece.
2.’Sick children can be cute – puffy faces, sleepy eyes, head resting on your knee.
Sick me is not cute. Sick me will turn you to stone should you look directly on my face. Puffy face, red eyes, red, sore nose from too much blowing, hair greasy and resembling a pit of snakes rather than its usual mop.
3. When my kids are sick, I cuddle them, comfort them, bring them food and drink and do all in my power to make them feel better.
In short, I take care of them.
When I am sick my kids jump on me, pull my hair, bring me left over crusts and empty drink bottles. They do all in the power to annoy me.
In short, no one takes care of me.
OK, that’s partly a lie. Sometimes Pal will take a day off if I am particularly ill. He will allow me to sleep in and make me cups of tea and hot chocolate. But mostly, he takes the day off some can look after the children, because the common cold renders me practically incompetent.
And by incompetent I mean short-tempered, uncompromising and using the television as a co-parent.
So really, he’s just staying home to save the children.
Why is it always about the children? Won’t somebody think of the children?
Stuff that, won’t somebody think of me?