The man-cold experiment

In not-at-all-surprising news, I got sick with a bad cold. (My last post was literally about how I need to practice more self-care.) Sigh.

I’m working on more rest, less doing in my daily life, so I figured practicing this while sick would be a good place to start. In fact, what better way to demand rest than to treat my cold like it’s a man-cold. 

Man-cold instructions:

  1. Lie down in the bed under the covers and don’t move all night. 
  2. Demand others tend to dinner. Preferably making your favorite comfort food.
  3. Declare yourself off-limits for childcare duty.

It’s that simple and here’s the crazy thing: it basically worked! Childcare tasks were the hardest to shake because the child finds me wildly entertaining and demands me as her playmate. (#onlychildproblems.) I fixed that by suggesting she and daddy play “science” which they both love because they make volcanoes explode and get messy, so win-win.

At bedtime my husband did get a tad snippy: “you WILL be helping with bedtime routine right?!” I said yes, assuming that’s how it goes the next time he gets sick. 

Who knew it was that easy? Ask and ye shall receive! 

Attention: Do Not Upset the Happy Household Cart!

As I recovered from a nasty cold this past week I thought about how easily the household cart is sent off the rails. Especially when two wheels are out of commission. And one of the wheels is felled due to the man cold.

Why yes, the happy household cart is a delicate operation that relies upon healthy, functioning parent figures, a healthy child, and drama-free (and open!) daycare. (See Figure 1.)


Figure 1. The Happy Household Cart
Each wheel is vital to the household operation. If one wheel is askew due to illness or injury, the entire cart is immobilized.

Cart derailment can result in the loss of vital household provisions including clean laundry, sanitary eating utensils, and good humor. When the cart experiences mechanical trouble and is far from a network of extended family or other individuals willing to assist, the impact is felt even more.

The cart, naturally, is fueled by coffee love.

You might be wondering why the cart is old-fashioned and lacking in the latest technology. This is because the cart was designed in a much earlier era that operated under an (often false) assumption that one parent would work and another parent would support the household.

To make matters worse, the cart operates on a bumpy road lacking in paid parental leave, universal free high-quality daycare, equal wages, etc…. As you can imagine, a cart facing those types of potholes can easily blow a wheel.

This week at our house, three of our wheels were out of commission. The child got sick. Luckily she recovered quickly, but then my husband and I got sick at the same time.

That’s a triple whammy, folks. Not pretty.  Especially when one wheel thinks its illness is the WORST ILLNESS EVER and the other wheel is like, Yo, I have the same cold as you do. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE. 

Luckily, our fourth wheel was rolling smoothly: the healthy child was dispatched to daycare. BLESS THE DAYCARE WHEEL.

For today, our cart is back up and functioning. We are slowly in the process of dealing with the aftermath. Based on the height of our laundry pile, FEMA may be alerted to declare an state of emergency.

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