I want to be clear right off the bat –
I am not a dramatic person.
Everyone who knows me – SHUT UP!
I am not a dramatic person. I am just more in tune with reality than everyone else.
So, when news hit that we had confirmed Ebola cases in my area, I bought one hundred and sixty dollars worth of Lysol disinfectant, a tarp to wrap my kids in, and a bomb shelter.
When my friend’s son had the chicken pox, I started analyzing freckles to make sure they weren’t growing.
When my neighbors best friend’s dog’s vet’s assistant’s boyfriend had pinkeye, I knew I was next.
But when my daughter had a snotty nose and diapers that looked like natural disasters, I held her close and gave her kisses on demand. Because the likelihood that I would fall ill didn’t matter when she was begging for mom-mom to read her a story and kiss her forehead.
Days of drainage finally slowed and we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it happened.
I was sick.
I was sick in the sickest way. Sex appeal was high when I was tired of wiping my nose on my sheets and, instead, just shoved toilet paper into my left nostril. I boycotted showering because I was flipping between freezing cold and piping hot and was afraid the water streams would hurt my skin.
I was a vision of beauty.
It was in the midst of this beauty that it occurred to me that my sudden urge to talk to the smiling lampshade might actually be the work of a fever and not just residual wine effects.
And that’s when it dawned on me. It’s a realization that I feel compelled to warn other parents’ about before it’s too late. Before you are feverish and needing answers.
We are parents, and every thermometer in our house has been up someone’s butt.
FIVE THERMOMETERS! And every single one of them has been inside of a child.
There ain’t enough bleach and vinegar in the world.
The white hot flame of a scalding fire wouldn’t make me okay with sticking one of those poop-sticks in my mouth.
That’s what parenthood is though, isn’t it? It’s deciding that you’d rather be sick next week than let your child go without a kiss today.
I’ve started to realize at this point in parenthood that the decisions I make now are decisions I never even thought about facing in my pre-kid life. And I seriously value the forewarnings from fellow parents.
That’s why I am telling you all now how GRAVELY IMPORTANT IT IS that you all go, RIGHT THIS MOMENT, and label your thermometers.