Why Moms Can't Get Sick

By Charlotte Hilton Anderson, REDBOOK
sick woman
"When the cat's away, the mice will play" should really read "When mom is sick, three bags of mini marshmallows disappear and nobody knows how the DVD we got for Christmas got fed through the shredder." Thanks to me getting the stomach flu with a fever, my little mice really outdid themselves today. Which is ironic considering I got it from them, adorable petri dishes of infection that they are.

I knew I was in for trouble when I woke up on the floor of the kitchen (where I'd fallen asleep because I'd brought my pillow there so I could "supervise" breakfast, see) to my two-year-old screeching "mommy pwetty!!!" as she decorated my face with my new lipstick. Frankly I was surprised there was enough left to coat me considering how much was already on her. How long was I out for? I groggily stared at the clock. 15 minutes. And yet in addition to my pillaged lipstick and the rest of the contents of my purse strewn around the room, there was an upended box of cereal, spilled milk and a trail of footprints showing the tiny person who left them had a blackberry stuck to the bottom of one foot. 15 minutes!

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Kids can smell weakness. I imagine that this was a valuable skill in prehistoric times-there's a joke in here somewhere about how the woolly mammoth went extinct that I'm too tired to make-but these days this talent for knowing exactly when mom is down feels half evil genius and half a cruel joke by mother nature. Did you know that my toddler knows how to get on top of the refrigerator? Neither did I until today. I swear she was just saving up that little party trick for the first moment I wasn't 100% on my game.

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This is why moms are not allowed to get sick. And apparently society agrees with me because when I searched for a picture of a sick mom with healthy kids the only results were ones of mom taking care of sick kids.

I'm sure we'll all laugh about this someday-probably when one of my kids gets sick and their children try rewiring a light fixture with their Handy Manny tool kit-but in the meantime the kids are all in bed and everyone survived. Tomorrow has got to be better.

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Anyone else's kids have a 6th sense for when mom is not all with it? What have your kids done while you were sick?

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