Tag Archives: hand foot mouth

Seventy-Eight — Analysis

This morning, Harriet wrote a poem about her desire to be an old man on the beach. I can’t express how lovely an idea this is, how appealing it is to me. Is it because I am a woman, so I don’t want to become an old *woman*, but becoming an old man would somehow legitimize my ageing process? OR! Is it because I want to sit on the beach and drink coffee. Yes, probably.

I haven’t been to the beach in over a month. It’s been incredibly steamy hot for three days and I’ve been inside with Eli while he battles the nastiest mouth blisters ever. Ohhhhh he is sad. So so so sad. I wish I could be sad for him.

The thing about kids is there’s always something about them that just bugs you. And at first you think: well, that’s natural, it would bug anybody. And then several third parties say, wow, really? That bugs you? So you analyze. And then you realize that it’s JUST YOU. Why is it just you? Because it’s YOUR KID. You have a similar-personality conflict.

Eli is a pessimist. I am a pessimist. If we spend all day together and he can’t talk or eat because of the mouth blisters so he is hungry and in pain and I am just bored and restless and wondering when/if/maybe? he will ever go to school this week/month?/year, we realize how pessimistic the other is. And there is not room for two giant pessimists in the house.

SA and I have worked this out. He is ONLY allowed to be pessimistic if I am SURE AND CERTAIN that I am feeling positive. He is pessimistic maybe 20% of the time and I am 70% of the time (there is 10% floating pessimistic time that anyone can use) so he defers to me, as it should be in a quality partnership. Eli has no such understanding. As my tiny clone, he wants the 70%. It is hilarious when he’s out in the world and talks to people but it is not hilarious when he is on the couch and whimpering for three hours.

Wait! I am not horrible. I do feel bad for him. I have given him four hundred drinkable yogurts, a food I don’t actually believe in, in the past three days. All he has eaten is drinkable yogurt, regular yogurt, and ice cream. His tongue is the colour of clouds. I have hugged and kissed and patted and sympathized. Seriously.

But he believes he will always feel like this. He doesn’t believe he will feel better. Even this morning, when he smiled at me (I hadn’t seen a smile since Sunday) and I said, “oh you must be feeling better” he said, “no.”

What do you need, I ask.
Murfle murfle, he says.
Fine, here you go.

Arlo gets on with it. He is in pain, he takes medicine, he moves on. He might complain a little bit, and you are happy to hear his complaints because JAYSUS that’s a big blister on your tongue. Eli, he’s an old man, bitter about that cheque that he was supposed to get that never arrived and dammit they owe him. Yes, we’re back to the old man. Eli complains and complains and complains some more. He refuses to open his mouth for three days because it *might* hurt. Sure, it might. Or it might not. And if you open your mouth and it doesn’t hurt, you will get to EAT something.

Complain complain complain.

Wait. What am I doing?


Well. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Seventy-Seven — A Short List

In an attempt to kick-start some positive thinking, I challenged myself to come up with Ten Great Things about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Hope to see my list on Buzzfeed soon!

1. It’s not really a disease. It’s a non-life-threatening illness.
2. There’s no bodily fluid to clean up.
3. It takes a few days to resolve, but when it’s gone it’s gone; no lingering cough, asthma, or sinusitis.
4. Kids really appreciate their food after not being able to eat for five days.
5. Adults don’t usually get it, or not nearly as bad as the kids do.
6. If your kid gets it during a week when he was supposed to go to two birthday parties, you save money because he can’t go to the birthday parties.
7. You also save money on groceries.
8. You feel absolutely no guilt about letting your child sit and watch tv or play video games because a) he hasn’t eaten anything but pain medicine in five days and is weak b) he had to miss school and two birthday parties and c) tongue blisters trump everything.
9. If your child misses school in the first two weeks of September, he might avoid any number of other illnesses making their way around the school, like the kind with the bodily fluid clean-up.

**The time between thinking up numbers 9 and 10 was spent doing yoga, showering, having a snack and cleaning the kitchen. Approximately one hour.**

10. In our particular case, the sublime ridiculousness of calling your child in sick for his first two hours of formal schooling, ever, and thinking about what a great story it will be, The Boy Who Started Kindergarten in October Because His Big Brother Kept Bringing Home Gross Viruses. (working title)

11. Bonus: Lots of sympathy from other parents, especially the one whose child infected yours. But you can’t feel too smug since her child is one of FOUR in the family and all four had it at the same time and wouldn’t that be like all the circles of hell swirled up into one giant, horrible Hell Smoothie?

12. Bonus two: At least I only have two children.

Three cheers for immunity! Hip hip (hooray!) Hip hip (hooray!) Hip hip (hooray!)