In Which Her Bad Mother Faces Total Defeat

I haven’t done the math yet, but I’m pretty certain that about one-quarter of the posts on this blog are about me being sick, WonderBaby being sick, or the both of us being sick and/or about how the Husband never seems to get sick and the cosmic injustice of the fact that he gets to avoid both being sick and doing the laundry.

So, if you are sick of reading about how much it sucks to be sick, maybe skip this particular post.

Our household seems to have become a very efficient virus transmission facility. WonderBaby acquires a nasty bug from somewhere – from, oh, say, licking another baby at the park or at playgroup – and for a very brief period of time becomes snotty and sniffly and cranky and then passes it on to me. I become snotty and sniffly and cranky and take every conceivable measure to avoid passing the virus back to WonderBaby but always manage to fail, so that at the precise moment I am starting to feel a little bit better, WonderBaby gets snotty and cranky again and so on and so forth.

This has being going on for about a week now, and I am, to say the least, sick and tired of it.

It would be easier to bear were it not for the fact that WonderBaby is not slowed down by the common cold. WonderBaby, it seems, is not slowed down by anything. A cold makes her snottier and crankier, but it does not make her more inclined to sleep during the day, nor does it impede her ability to move about at high speeds. She thrashes about the house, toddling and climbing and grabbing and pulling, with her usual force and little bit of Bad Temper thrown in for flair. And leaving a slug-like trail of snot behind her as she goes.

(I can, at least, thank the gods that I no longer face the grim task of sucking the snot out for her. She does just fine on her own now, thank you very much.)

What I had been hoping for, today, was a tranquil, if sniffly, afternoon of the kind that I used to spend as a child when confined to bed with a bad cold: snugly wrapped in blankets, warm drinks and digestive biscuits at hand, cathode rays beaming Family Feud from the television set into an otherwise darkened room. That kind of afternoon, adapted for me and WonderBaby, is what I wanted: the two of us, curled up together on the sofa, tea for me, a bottle for her, and old episodes of the Muppet Show running on DVD. Cozy and happy, our sniffles an afterthought.

What we have instead is me and WonderBaby, both in pajamas at 3 in the afternoon, neither of us cozy, only one of us happy. Me bleary-eyed and miserable and huddled on the floor in a blanket, damp tissues shoved down the front of my pajama top; WonderBaby toddling about in circles, emitting high-pitched shrieks and hoots in celebration of having sucessfully jammed a two-headed doll into the DVD carousel, slowing down only to wipe snotty nose on ultrasuede ottoman. It’s just one junkie and a pool of vomit away from looking like a scene from Trainspotting.

(Oh, wait! THERE’S the pool of vomit!)

(You think I’m making that up? It’s not exactly vomit – more like goopy spit-up – but still. I’d take a picture, but this blog is just not that raw.)

I’m this close to just chugging the Nyquil and spending the rest of the afternoon in a Dextromethorpan fog, just to make the picture complete…

… except that I fear that she would overpower me in my incapacitated state and take over rule of the household.

If you don’t hear from me within a few days, send help.


53 Responses to “In Which Her Bad Mother Faces Total Defeat”

  1. radioactive girl Says:

    Don’t you just hate when your child has more energy than you do? Especially when you are both sick! Yuck! Sending chicken soup thoughts over to you. I hope you feel better soon!

  2. jennster Says:

    oh man, feel better!!!!!! it’s awful being sick.. it’s worse being sick when your kid isn’t and you have no help. lol

  3. nonlineargirl Says:

    Fellow Sister In Snot, I feel for you. In fact, I salute you. A two kleenex salute, to be exact. Snnnnnffttt.

  4. ali Says:

    i feel your pain.
    my kids were NEVER the cuddle and sleep when sick type.
    and i hated everyone who had kids that would sleep for 24 hours straight when sick.
    mine would sleep less. and be more active.

  5. Christina Says:

    Oh, yuck. You poor thing. Do they have the product Emergen-C in Canada? If so, rush out to get some, and mix two packets with water right away. I swear it’ll help you get better soon.

    If not, maybe I can ship some across the border.

    Stay strong, lady. Resist any takeover attempts.

  6. Amber Says:

    Nothing worse than being sick…with kids. My hubby was deathly ill with bronchitis when I had my baby a few months ago. I should know. I gave it to him. Kinda took a bit of the sting out of labor when everyone is tending to your death-bed husband….

  7. mothergoosemouse Says:

    Oh my god. I could hardly read the words because I was laughing so hard at the pictures.

    You have a white chair? That is still white? I want to see a picture of that chair six months from now.

    Seriously – feel better. I hear they have extra good over-the-counter drugs in Canada. And if all else fails, a martini can only help at this point. For you, not WonderBaby.

  8. Laural Dawn Says:

    You poor thing. Give in to the Nyquil.
    My son’s energy is not affected at all by being sick either.
    In fact, once he was “lethargic” and just sat still and cuddled with me for an hour. I was so freaked out I called my doctor. She was so shocked at him not being active that she made me take him to sick kids. (he had an ear infection)
    So, I hear ya.
    I love the activity but not when I’m sick or tired or both.
    Hang in there – put up all the baby gates and let her go crazy! Or call a babysitter and sleep.

  9. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    If the Muppets don’t slow her down then you must be in trouble. I am so sorry. I hope you both feel better soon.

    And now I’m going to go because those pictures of Wonderbaby climbing the chair are kinda freaking me out.

  10. penelopeto Says:

    oh, i’m so sorry i’m laughing!

    i really, really hope that you are feeling better soon, and that wb’s sniffles and vomit taper off, but seriously – how do you manage to be so articulate whilst puddled on the floor?

  11. Mother Bumper Says:

    o.m.g. I really do hope you feel better soon. I can’t believe the Muppets didn’t work. Wait, I actually know WB. I knew she was strong willed but can’t she just give momma a break?

    I’ve been trying to read this post for a while now but my in-laws showed up nice and early and I’ve been entertaining (gah!). I’m sending healing vibes your way so if I don’t hear anything in the next few days, I’ll send for help.

  12. metro mama Says:

    We’ve been living this too this week. I think we’re finally on the mend. Hope you guys are soon too!

  13. chichimama Says:

    Feel better soon. We ar fightinig the same thing over here, and losing terribly.

  14. crazymumma Says:

    I have spent so many days in exactly the same state. Poor you. I hope you get better soon. The first year of their life always seems to be the most intense for colds and such. I think more so for the Mum, because your immune system is depressed, lack of sleep, hormone warzone all that.
    Still, the photos of her, and the mental image of you huddled on the floor make me laugh. Sorry.

  15. Lisa b Says:

    that chair is verrrrry high.
    The only thing worse than having a sick baby is being sick yourself. hang in there

  16. chelle Says:

    I am so so sick and my kid … crazy energy girl. So I relate! Get better soon and be thankful you can take the drugs!

  17. Lady M Says:

    I was asking myself yesterday, “How can one small child produce more mucus?” Q must have shed his body’s weight in snot, all other his clothes, my clothes, etc.

  18. petite gourmand Says:

    oh poor you…
    there is nothing worse than being sick and not being able to just rest and watch Richard Dawson…
    feel better soon.
    I’m mentally sending you some warm chicken soup..

  19. ewe are here Says:


    Why am I laughing? Because when my almost 17 month old has a cold, he’s exactly the same! Lots of energy, climber-extraordinaire, dancing maniac…. He only drives us nuts due to the actual illness at night when he can’t breathe.


    And the pictures of your little mountain-climber-to-be are great!

  20. jchevais Says:

    This may sound like voodoo, but I recently read a blog that said that pomegranate seeds ward off colds….

    At least it might work on you…

  21. mamatulip Says:

    The times when my household is sick are my least favourite times of all. Hope you guys are feeling better soon.

  22. kittenpie Says:

    Ugh, it’s the worst, being sick and having to look after someone else while no one looks after you.

    And WonderClimber pics are cracking me up. I remember the day Pumpkinpie scaled the couhc, went over the arm and stood proudly on the steamer trunk in the corner – right next to the windows. We bought shutters the next day.

  23. MetroDad Says:

    We’re feeling your pain here too, HBM. The wife and the baby have alternated being sick for the past two weeks. Somehow I’ve been lucky enough to avoid it but I get the feeling that my luck’s about to run out. Hope everyone at home feels better soon!

  24. Jaelithe Says:

    Wait, wait– was I upset that my son’s Sensory Integration Disorder makes him freak out at the prospect of losing his balance, which in turn makes him very tentative about climbing?

    Was I actually planning a desensitization campaign involving many trips to the enormous rope bridge at the playground in the botanical gardens down in the city?

    What was I thinking?

    My Little Dude, you are just fine the way you are. Really.

    What’s that? You say you saw pictures of that baby half your age climbing onto the back of a chair and now you think that maybe you want to try mastering this climbing deal after all just so the other babies don’t make fun of you?

    Curse you, internets!

    (I hope you both feel better soon!)

  25. sunshine scribe Says:

    Oh my god Wonderbaby has climbed on the back of a chair. That girl is fiesty. And so insatiably cute. Too bad there wasn’t an off switch though for days when mama just needs to get well. Hope you feel better soon my friend.

  26. Julie Pippert Says:

    Sugah, you need to teach WonderBaby all about doctor. It’s so much easier once they are occupied taking blood pressure from your ankle and tapping your knee for reflexes. I can tune out the legs.

    Anyway…this was us yesterday.

    I gave them a mostly empty bottle of cornstarch, plopped them in the tub in their bathroom and said, Have fun!

    Bought myself half an hour. Never underestimate the fun of dumping and smearing.

    Of course, you are limited. You don’t have the nebulous benefit of two: Tattler and Town Cryer.

  27. soleclaw Says:

    E and I already went through our seasonal sinus issues. Like mother like daughter I suppose. It amazes me that through the sneezes, coughs, and raspy throats our little ones can still run circles around us with a smile on their face.

    Get well soon!

    (Thank goodness E isn’t looking at these pics of Wonderbaby. I don’t need her learning how to climb our sofas and chairs just yet!)

  28. Kristen Says:

    I’m still pulling myself off the ground after seeing those pics of her.

    Jeezus. She is active.

    And we’re dealing with rash, snuffles, and in-laws.

    Oh My.

    I feel your pain.

    Except for the climbing. Q just did crib diving.

  29. CrankMama Says:

    I feel you, sister. I’m outnumbered even when well. When I’m sick, I wave the universal white flag and roll around after my active toddler while yelling commands to the twins (HELP ME STOP YOUR SISTER FROM EATING THOSE NAILS!).

    Sick new walkers are the worst… I think the absolutely lowest parental point is being sick ourselves and dreaming of the day when we’ll actually be able to REST while managing the headache/sniffles.

    We need “Mommy Respite Centers” for times like these…

    You in?

  30. Stephanie T. Says:

    I’m so sorry you’re both feeling poorly, but oh my stars that was a funny post!

  31. kfk Says:

    It certainly is not fair that the adults seem to be hit harder by the same viruses that don’t seem to affect the kids. While you are throwing back Nyquil, shoot Wonderbaby up with high doses of Benadryl.

  32. tania (urban_mommy) Says:

    Dude, break out the drugs. You know if I could be there I would, but inlaws…anyway, I think its time to get heavily medicated. You had to suffer sickness enough when you were breastfeeding, that’s done. Drugs!

    Hope you feel better. xo

  33. jen Says:

    and just imagine if Fridays were mandatory sex night over at your place….

    seriously, feel better. whiskey and valium? Nyquil and mojitos?

    Peace to your home.

  34. sweetney Says:

    i find that fall-winter is pretty much The Time Of Festering Contagions over here at chez sweetney, too.

    you have my sympathies. [cough-hack]

  35. TB Says:

    WonderBaby definitely looks like she is playing her upper hand to full advantage.
    Here’s hoping the plague passes soon.

  36. Mayberry Says:

    Here is a small ray of hope. My daughter is 4.5 and she had a stomach bug earlier this week. She spent the a.m. cuddled up next to me watching TV while I worked on my laptop; she sat with me while I ate lunch (and she picked at her toast); then she slept for 3 hours. It was by far the best sick-kid day to date.

  37. Dana Says:

    I’m sorry you both are sick! Get well soon! 🙂

  38. scribbit Says:

    I have a friend with six kids ages 8-2 (triplets and twins in there) and they just rotate the same stinkin’ cold over and over the whole year. There’s always one down. Yech.

  39. Dawn Says:

    When they get so sick they just sleep? Go to ER right away.

    And she will cut you, as soon as you drift off.

  40. Her Bad Mother Says:

    From the Land of Heavy Medication – thanks, y’all. (Husband’s on look out to make sure she doesn’t pull a Lilliputian on me and tie me down.)

  41. Her Bad Mother Says:

    From the Land of Heavy Medication – thanks, y’all. (Husband’s on look out to make sure she doesn’t pull a Lilliputian on me and tie me down.)

  42. Jezer Says:

    If it’s any consolation at all, you’re pretty damned hilarious when you’re sick.

    Nonetheless, feel better soon.

  43. Mommygoth Says:

    You don’t need help. You need duct tape. Tape that kid to the floor with a pile of toys, and go take a nap!

  44. urban-urchin Says:

    Yes, tis the season. The moment of the fall equinox the baby had a running snot stream that hasn’t stopped. You have my sympathy/empathy.

  45. TweedleDea Says:

    SO as I was reading I followed your link, and you are a loving mom. The visual I got, or rather, oh never mind eww ewww eww…. And it’s Inuit (not Eskimo). And also, Wonderbaby, oh so adorable, with a capital ADORABLE!

  46. Kim Says:

    OMG- you can be my new best friend! I am usually a sniffy mess of a mommy too! Course my kid has a fascination with trying to eat up used tissue paper…come to mention it so does the dog. Gross!

    I totally agree, many parental problems could be solved with duct tape.

  47. Kim Says:

    OMG- you can be my new best friend! I am usually a sniffy mess of a mommy too! Course my kid has a fascination with trying to eat up used tissue paper…come to mention it so does the dog. Gross!

    I totally agree, many parental problems could be solved with duct tape.

  48. Her Bad Mother Says:

    OK, liquor and duct tape it is. How to hack the mommy-cold.

  49. Amanda Says:

    It’s that time of year, I use to call it the September Snots when I was teaching Kindergarten!
    My daughter, 18 months, has had 2 colds in the past month–BRUTAL and up until now, she has been a pretty healthy little girl.
    Today, we went to the park, and I was the “bad mother”, I forgot kleenex, how could I? I had to use my sleeve, ewwwww!!! The things we do as mothers…

  50. Haley-O Says:

    I hope you’re feeling better now. Funny thing for me is that I got sick ALL the time when I was breastfeeding. Haven’t been sick once since then! Maybe it’s because the monkey has been sleeping through the night?

    Love these pics of wonderbaby walking on the chair. hilarious!

    Feel better!!!

  51. Gooby Baby Says:

    I love the pics, but it seem pretty dangerous for the little one to climb the chair like that hehe.

  52. Gooby Baby Says:

    I love the pics, but it seem pretty dangerous for the little one to climb the chair like that hehe.

  53. Tats Says:

    That picture is awesome!! Apparently your Wonderbaby has no fear.

    As for being sick… my ped told me that babies in their first year are sick half the time. I believe him! My daughter was sick every 2.5 weeks. Just when you thought you’d recover… WHAM!

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