We've got the flu you guys.
To be more specific, my husband and two sons have the flu.
Well, to be even more specific, Chicken is just over the flu, and Ryan and Buster are descending into the bowels of flu even as I type.
I feel pretty good.
Except for the hot, steaming lump of resentment that churns in my belly every time I set up the next whimpering, fever-shivering, nauseated member of my family with whatever comfort measures are available.
For Ryan, it's tea, crackers, and the iPad so he can watch something mindless and moderately entertaining (he went with How I Met Your Mother.)
For Chicken, it's apple juice, crackers, and the iPad so he can watch Daniel Tiger. All of the Daniel Tiger.
For Buster, it's boob milk, binkies, and rocking.
Is it sick that I'm so incredibly jealous of these miserably ill people?
Someone is checking on them, rubbing their backs, and bringing them broth in a mug or sippy cup.
Someone is wrapping the quilt around their bodies, punctuating each word with a quick, tight tuck:
SNUG as a BUG in a RUG.
Someone is running to the store for more Gatorade and snapping the caps off the applesauce pouches, and trying to load the dishwasher and trying to keep the water just at her head and make sure we don't become local fireman lore when we're found in a week or so, trapped by mountains of poop and vomit-crusted dirty laundry.
Ryan coined a new expression after changing Chicken's flu diapers for a whole day: Crappaccinos. A double whammy word that is both catchy and grossly accurate. I happily acknowledged Ryan's victory over my "poop soup." Mine rhymes, but Ryan's has a continental flair to it that is, quite simply, genius.
But then he got the flu. The first time he stood up from the table and kind of half-swooned, I thought Don't you fucking dare.
Man, you guys, I WISH I could just lie on the couch and moan. That sounds AMAZING. It sounds like VACATION.
Wait, you mean I could lose like 5 pounds in one weekend? AND take cat naps on every hour that has a 1 in it? AND watch the entire new season of The Good Wife? AND have someone bring me ginger ale with so much ice it hurts my hand to hold the glass? AND get just bored enough that I venture out of bed so I can enjoy my family, but then feel just sick enough that I have to then return to bed right around the time that the boys are starting to get whiny?
Like I said. AMAZING.
The truth is that the last few days haven't been as bad as I make it sound here. Ryan doesn't have Ebola; he just has a flu. He's able to do things. He can keep my children alive while I zip off to my therapy appointment. And Buster feels like crap, but at least he's pretty content to sit still in a lap with a binky eerily still in his mouth.
I'm lucky that I don't feel like shit. I'm lucky that I'm not hugging a toilet right now or wanly nibbling a Ritz cracker. I ate fucking mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. Other stuff too. Not really. It was mostly mashed potatoes. If my plate were a pie chart showing the political affiliations of voters in New York City, mashed potatoes would be Democrats. It was a lot of potatoes.
But all that aside, I still want the flu. I want my vacation. I want someone to rub my back and bring me a cold drink and tuck me in, snug as a bug. And then I want the door to close softly and to be alone in the cool gray room, rubbing my cold feet together under the blanket as I cue up the next episode of The Good Wife. I want to hear, through the walls, Buster's giggle, Chicken's "I am telling Buster not to touch my toys" voice, Ryan's calming murmur.
If I have to shit a crappaccino to make that happen, make mine a grande.