How to Catch the Common Cold

Feb 27 2012

Guess what’s fun?

Writing while hopped up on Nyquil!

Who’s with me?

No one?

Fine. I’ll write this myself, then.

I suppose it was inevitable, with five kids at four schools, that I would catch the crud. And, as much as I like to think that I’m realistic and hard as nails the 3-day-old fossilized Cheerios that are probably permanently adhered to my kitchen table, apparently I’m a Pollyanna when it comes to illness.

No matter how often I get sick, I think I’m immune. Whatever the kids have, I won’t catch it.


Personally, I blame Southeast Asia for my attitude. I mean, grow up there navigating street vendor food carts (so, so seriously delicious), breathing Jakarta’s secondhand exhaust (that’s when you inhale vehicle fumes that someone else pre-breathed for you – mmmm!), and courting malaria (had it and kicked its butt – booyah), and then see how you feel about the common cold. Ppfffsshh. The common cold can bite me.

The common cold bit me.

Stupid common cold can’t take a joke.

Last week, I was in contact with no less than 11 grody little children. I know that’s true because I just went through last week’s calendar and cross-referenced grody littles with my appointments. And, just to be clear, “grody littles” in this case are defined as anyone under 4 feet tall with body fluid running unchecked from somewhere.

Two of those grody littles were mine. And, as my nurse friend, Gloria, used to say, “If it’s wet and it’s not yours, don’t touch it. Unless you’re a mom, and then you’re screwed.” Truer words, Glo. Truer words.

And here’s my proof.

Recently, Cai decided he hates kisses. So thank God he came with a super-needy twin brother, because I do NOT hate kisses, and I’m not ready to be done kissing my 5-year-olds, and if he didn’t have a twin brother who still wants to snuggle all the time and says, “I’ll give you a kiss, Mommy,” I’d be a completely pathetic whiner-beggar. I’d plea, “PLEASE kiss your mama, Cai! Just one kiss? I’ll pay you a nickel.” And – you guys – I do NOT want to be that mom. Because someday I’ll say, “Where did you learn to pay for kisses?” And my kid will be all, “I learned it from YOU.” And that is going to be hard to explain to the parents of the neighbor girl who was caught necking with my kid in the broom closet for a nickel.

Where was I? (My train of thought will beat you, Nyquil! Just watch.)

Oh, yes. Colds. Grody littles. Proof that being a mom is wet and gross.

Recently, Cai decided he hates kisses, and he’s fortunate to have in Cael a twin brother who regularly throws himself on the mama kissing grenade. But Cai also has a very well-developed sense of humor which he uses to tease his mama with almost-kisses and then with brilliant, modified poetry like this:

Missed me! Missed me!
Now you hafta poop me!

Because everyone knows that the only thing better than rhyming “missed” with “kissed” is throwing out “kissed” altogether and replaced it with a poop joke. Doy!

Obviously, I can’t put up with that level of taunting and teasing, though. I mean, I’m only human. And super competitive. And so, last week when I was taunted thusly, I morphed, like the Hulk, into the Kissing Monster. And I chased my green-boogered kid down. And I kissed him at exactly the same time he morphed into the Saliva Monster and slimed me with spit. Buckets of spit. That flowed into my mouth. Which made me want to yarf.

It turns out that yakking like a cat trying to dislodge a hairball and making little mewling almost-vomit sounds does NOT kill the common cold before it takes root and steals your weekend. I assume. Because somehow, I caught it. And it stole my weekend.

Here are the morals of our story:

  1. No matter how hard you wish to be rubber, sometimes you’re glue and the common cold doesn’t bounce off – it sticks to you.
  2. Kissing is gross and dangerous.
  3. Kissing is always worth it.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Cold and Flu Season full of every kind of Monster joy,