Monday, October 26, 2009

Pink Eye

My kids are past the pink eye days, but lo and behold I've managed to get the nasty disease. It's forced me to take off work (yes that IS the cause of tears streaming down my face, not the infection... riiiiight). I don't miss having sick kids, but I do somewhat miss having random days off because of sick kids - you know what I'm talking about, right?

It took me a while to figure out the source of the contagion, but sometime this morning I recalled using a computer at the library on Saturday and touching my face. I know better. I work on computers for a living and just last week pleaded at the monthly staff meeting for my coworkers to wipe down their laptops with antiseptic wipes because when they get sick *I* get sick. Total self preservation there. After using a public computer I should have gone directly into the restroom and washed my hands. But I didn't and I'm pretty sure I wiped something off my face. After touching my face I always manage to remember my mother admonishing me when she showed up at my job at Taco Bell twenty odd years ago, you know in that screwed up way that mothers do just to embarrass you, and her pointing out that I touch my face a lot. I can't remember this motherly advice/observation/social embarrassment BEFORE I touch my face. No, always after. And thus, I infect myself with something crusty and gross in my eye. Lovely.

As I lay on the couch I think of sick days from school. It's mandatory that sick days are spent on the couch. Well I assume such for the entire world, but maybe it's just my family. You're really super sick if you can't even get out of bed. My ever so helpful mother would leave a pot and a wooden spoon to serve as bell if the invalid needed anything. In retrospect I'm sure my mother intentionally never obtained a real bell because she would be forced to do bodily harm to the first of us miscreants to ring it out of pure amusement... or need... whichever.

Since none of us had acquired the taste for tea, she would make jello and make us drink it hot. In case you have never had the pleasure, it is sweet. Too sweet. And when you vomit, it adds unnecessary color. I'm sure that last detail was also unnecessary, but the world needs to know. In case. Drink your tea and be glad of it!

With my own sickly children, they also got to drive the couch, but no banging device as everyone is right there anyway. A few times I even made the evil hot jello for them, but they fortunately LIKE tea and quickly opted out of grandma's tonic, waiting, instead, for it to set up and eat it like proper American children. I do insist that my kids drink orange juice when they are sick. They choke it down like troopers and pretty much avoid the stuff the rest of the time. I swear by it.

As I talk to friends and coworkers, I discover that not everyone is privy to the restorative powers of driving the couch, watching Scooby-Doo, eating jello and sipping orange juice. They were forced to stay in bed and drink broth, or worse, tough it out and go to school/work.

So what was the sick day options when you were growing up, and what do you offer to your own children?

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