My “cold and flu season” decorations are finally up.

Twas the night before cold and flu season…

Twas the night before [insert thing I was looking forward to doing here], when all through the house, not a child was sleeping, not even with their favorite stuffed mouse;

Their outfits for tomorrow had been laid out with care, in the hope it would speed up our morning routine if we prepared.

Instead I found children piled high in our bed, sniffling, and sneezing as we held damp towels to their heads

I should have realized it yesterday, when my youngest went down easily for her nap, my carefully planned schedule was about to go to crap.

It had started with a sneeze and a sniffle, but it wasn’t long before both of their noses began to run. We’ve been here before – I can almost sense when a surprise sickness is about to cancel our fun.

Away to the medicine cabinet I flew like a flash, tore open the expired Tylenol (that I still haven’t thrown in the trash). I preemptively popped two pills, grabbed the thermometer, and a fresh box of tissues, and then I returned to my children to run down the list of their presenting health issues.

Pallid skin on the oldest, her eyes glassy and red. The youngest, newly awoken, looked ready to go back to bed. The two of them together, sinus congestion so thick I knew it in my bones, these kids were getting sick.

Our [insert thing we had been planning for weeks and would be taking place tomorrow] was going to have to wait, according to the thermometer the oldest had a fever of 102.8! I returned to the medicine cabinet in search of a cure, but instead started calling out a list of items my husband needed to get at the store:

“Our children’s Motrin is expired! The Tylenol, too! I thought we had cough syrup, but it doesn’t look like we do. Oh, yay, our Nosefredia! And look babe, gummy vitamin C. Oh shit, never mind, this expired in ‘03. Go to the pharmacy on 4th or the grocery store on Market. Actually it may be faster if I take this list to Target-”

But before I could even finish that thought, my husband had taken to our front door like a shot. To the minivan he ran, with podcasts, his ipod was fully loaded, “I’ll hit as many stores as it takes!” he yelled from the car as the speakers exploded.

Shaking my head, I turned back to my children and picked up the phone to call [insert person I had really been looking forward to seeing] and let them know we’d be staying home.

Then I called our family, our friends, and the teacher from dance class to apologize for what I could only imagine was about to be a huge pain in the ass.

“The kids are both sick, and I’m sorry if we got you and yours sick too, It’s cold and flu season, what can ya do?”

We’re all bound to get it – the aches and the pains. The coughing, the sneezing, the snot that falls down like the rains. And pooping, and puking, even heartburn. Rashes and bumps, a new symptom at every turn!

While begging my kids to drink some fluids, the doctor I called.

“I know there’s no needed for antibiotics for a virus!” I said, appalled.
I’d just wanted to get an appointment on the books – I’m familiar with these symptoms, I know these looks.

A little while later, the kids are asleep on the couch. And I’m quietly suffering after tweaking my back picking dirty tissues off the floor, ouch. I know it’s only been hours but it feels like days have passed before I can finally collapse in the chair on my ass.

Nighttime comes, and I get both kids off to sleep. It was only one day but it really felt like a week. I know tonight we will be up many times more, but I take one last look at my children before I head out the door.

Sure, I had been looking forward to [insert holiday/party/thing that can’t be rescheduled because it only happens once a year] but what can you do?

This wasn’t the first time, nor would it be the last – Cold and flu season, what a pain in the ass!