06 January 2011

Bring Out Your Dead

Most of the time, people who write or talk or share photos or videos of their kid do so to promote their cuteness, their smartness, their all-around neatness as little people. New parents dote on their kids and make them out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sure, I'm as guilty of this as anyone else (the Doozer being pretty much the most amazing, adorable, intelligent creature in the world—I'm not biased or anything), but there's a dark side to parenting. A very dark side and I feel like most people don't spend nearly enough time exploring it. That is to say, most people don't complain about their kids enough. They must have complaints. Why sugarcoat it?

The Doozer got me sick. Jerk store.

A friend recently told me that when he contracts a cold from his three-year-0ld nephew, it's usually far worse than any other cold. Bubonic plague, I believe, is how he described the experience.

At the time, I had to disagree, because I'd never caught anything so severe from the Doozer (I believe he made me sick only once before and it was relatively mild). In fact, knock on wood, we've been fairly lucky in that the Doozer has rarely been sick and never seriously so.

That is, until he quietly, sneakily brought this scourge and pestilence into our home this week, infecting me and the wife. She joked about the CDC quarantining our entire house.

She wasn't that far off.

Having a nasty cold while there's a two-year-old living in your house pretty much guarantees that it will be one of the worst illnesses of your entire life. Because unlike a normal person,who gets sick and crawls into bed until it is over, your child does not grow listless or restful. (Or maybe that's just my child.) Rather, he is his regular maniac self, just with a steady drip of mucus coming out of his nose, like an annoying leaky faucet. And so it grows increasingly difficult to combat your newfound illness, because he is not allowing you to get any rest.

Like I said, jerk store.

It's quite similar to the first hangover you have as a parent, which gets amplified to the point that it is the Worst Hangover in the History of the World, because you have to be up and functional at 7 a.m. and working diligently to manage/entertain/protect/keep alive a tiny human, rather than hiding under the covers, ingesting fried food.

(But that's a story for another time.)

Seriously, the kid was so stealth about introducing this virus, he was like a cold ninja who silently struck without warning, bringing down the whole operation without any fuss at all. And then he decides he won't let you get any rest in order to get better.

So, yes, I'm griping about my kid. This is the dark side of parenting, where it's not all sunshine and rainbows, where your kid irritates and frustrates you. This week, he is not my favorite person in the world.

But then, evil, manipulative, little genius that he is, he takes the whole thing up a level. When asked what he wants to watch on TV before going to bed, he tells me he would like to watch "The Ornament, Buddha, and Dada Show." What that show is exactly I have no idea, but it doesn't matter. He got me. All is forgiven and I fall in love with the little guy all over again.

Seriously, jerk store . . .

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