First, a confession. I’m not a very good patient. When I’m sick (and I mean really sick), I don’t want to do anything. I want to stay in bed, watch bad movies and eat Chinese food (something about fried rice with a fever). For years, this was the routine.
Then, the kid comes along and this routine (like all others) is blown to smithereens. There’s no more lounging in bed. There’s no more watching bad movies. There are only the usual days of parks, fire trucks and work. I imagine it MIGHT get better as K-Man gets a little older and can understand the pleas of, “K-Man, please…I’m sick. I just need to sleep.” But, somehow, I doubt it.
While I might not be a very good patient, by hanging in bed for a day, I can usually kick whatever bug I have in a day or two. But, without that recourse, colds linger for weeks. Coughs never seem to go away. And, I feel like a broken down 40-something (almost), instead of the reasonably healthy young guy who makes ill-conceived, off-color jokes whenever possible that I am.
Yesterday, however, I reached the end of my rope. I limped home from the office around 4:30. K-Man was in the house with his nanny. Fortunately, they didn’t hear me come in and I quite literally snuck into my room, climbed into bed and went to sleep (at 5:00). I slept until 8:00, when, ironically enough, I was woken up by K-Man going to bed. I fell back asleep at 9:00 and woke up at 7:00 this morning. For those of you counting at home – I got 13 hours of sleep. Blissful, wonderful, much needed sleep. Feel much better today. Not well, but better.
I think illness is truly one of the most difficult parts of parenting. It’s heartbreaking when the kid is sick, but, to his credit, K-Man is pretty much a rock star when he’s sick. He powers through his colds/flus/whetever like a champ. Sure, he may need his Tylenol or Advil (and in extreme cases – Nyquil…Stop. I’m kidding.), but for the most part, he doesn’t complain all that much.
But, when the parents are sick? We just don’t get a break. There’s no time to recover. It’s during those times that I sometimes find myself remembering that old life. It’s not that I’d ever want to go back to that life (I don’t really miss hangovers), but there are those moments when I think about long Sundays spent watching crappy movies – all day.
Being sick sucks. I have less patience. I have less compassion. I have less…of everything. It’s when I’m sick that I really don’t want to be “dad.” I just want to be sick. I just want to get better and get back to my fun-loving, wonderful self.
I think I’ll get a couch in my office and just sleep there.