When your child is sick, it’s dote city: Everything they need, anything they ask; you’ll do whatever it takes to comfort him and make him feel better.
No ice cream before dinner? NOT TODAY.
Don’t usually allow TV during the day? OUT THE WINDOW.
Lollipops aren’t good for you? WHO CARES!
Unfortunately, when you’re sick, such compassion is rarely returned.
My issue with being sick around my toddler isn’t that he isn’t the least bit helpful; like I said, he’s two. It’s that he’s so unbelievably indifferent to my condition. Or, if you want to be generous, unaware.
On Sunday evening of this week – OSCAR SUNDAY! – I suddenly came down with some weird stomach ailment, which left me unable to eat, nauseous whenever I got vertical, and completely drained of all energy. At first I thought it was from being forced to watch red carpet coverage, but it lingered all the way through Tuesday so I had to give the E! Network a pass.
Mom and Buried, thankfully, was able to work from home most of Monday morning, granting me a reprieve from the oblivious tyranny of my ignorant, hyperactive son, who, while not acting any worse than normal, didn’t act any better, and certainly didn’t act any differently.
Obviously, he’s too young to grasp the concept of illness. We’ve been lucky in that so far he hasn’t had to deal with any real illnesses of his own, and we’ve been able to keep him from experiencing much of it from the other end, aside from a cold or two. And while his blissful ignorance can often seem a blessing, when you’re too under the weather to keep pace with a toddler, it turns into a curse.
It’s not like acknowledgement from a mostly pre-verbal moppet is going to cure anybody. But the same way having to repeat yourself fifty times just to get your kid to tilt his head back so the water doesn’t get in his eyes when you’re washing his hair can be tiresome, repeatedly having to tell him to stop crawling on your upset stomach just so you don’t throw up all over yourself – and him – is not an enjoyable task.
I can’t blame my son. After all, it’s not his fault that he has thus far been spared the ignominy of vomiting and has no idea what hell truly is. But that didn’t stop me from blaming my son.
Until I woke up Wednesday morning and the first thing he said to me was, “Feel better, Daddy?”
And now I need someone new to be pissed at. Don’t worry. It won’t take me long.