Sunday, December 7, 2008
My mother used to tell me we get sick when we can afford it. Forget germs. Forget hand-washing: Colds only strike when we let down our guards and -- uh oh, look out, sneak attack -- those nasty viruses sneak up and bop us in the nose.
I'm still not completely sure what she meant, but I've repeated the homey axiom for years and even believed it in a weird, kizmit-meets-karma kind of way.
Well, we let down our guards. The first snow has fallen and the whole house is sick. Hope has some serious snot and a cough worthy of a pack of Salems. I'm walking around the house with wads of toilet paper stuck up my nose. They cut down on tissues, and Mo thinks it looks sexy. She's feeling a bit better, but was blowing her nose like the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company C. Lulu is lying around, hound-doggedly, barely interested in Hope's soiled diapers.
Amazingly, this is the first time we've all been sick. Last year, when Hope's health was more precarious, we avoided any ailments. Going by my mother's standards, that's probably because we absolutely, positively couldn't afford to fall ill. Or it could be that we were germ-phobes worthy of Howard Hughes, rarely left the house and insisted or surgical masks and gloves at the first sign of a cold.
We've since slackened, of course, and this episode is a healthy reminder that we need to get back with the program. Thankfully, Hope seems to be in a good mood and only slightly cranky, but we're also aware that she's a 9+ pound 13 monther and our margin for error is slight. She's again getting a monthly Synagis shot, the super-expensive antidote to ward of the RSV infection.
So it's back to hand sanitizer, vigorously sterilizing toys after kids touch them, massive doses of Vitamin C and, for good measure, hot toddies for everyone.