RIP, RSV. Good riddance.

Mark another childhood illness off the list! Johnny had RSV last week.

Those three letters strike fear into the heart of a new parent faster than even the letters NIT strike fear in the heart of a basketball tournament hopeful. And the thing about RSV is that it sneaks up on you. Like, on Monday night I heard him cough. Once. And he had a runny nose, but he always has a runny nose.

On Tuesday I obliviously took him to daycare, and they called me in the afternoon with the news that he had a temperature of 103, and did I mind coming to get him?

On Wednesday, we visited the doctor, who ordered a lab test, and sure enough, the dreaded RSV had descended upon our household. Still sick on Thursday, we played "wait and see", and on Friday, we visited the doctor again. After a weekend at home, he was well enough this morning to go back to daycare and mercifully send me back to work.

You see, my PTO is precious and in short supply. Still, with a boy that sick, I thought I should stay home instead of having Grandma come babysit. And, I decided to pretend I was a stay-at-home mom and do things like I would do if that were my job. You know, instead of counting it a “holiday” for me (as I normally would with an impromptu day off) and laying on the couch with the remote in my hand all day, I actually decided to get some things done.

Like, instead of napping while the baby napped, I swept and mopped the floors. And I created a delicious dinner of pork char siu that slow cooked in the oven all day long. I looked at recipes for a baby shower I’m co-hosting. I picked up this and that, and did a load of laundry, and cleaned out the fridge. I also spent time playing with the baby and reading stories and rocking and watching Sesame Street. I was Susie Frickin’ Homemaker.

And I thought to myself, “Yeah, I could do this. I could totally get into this.” At 2:00, I was on a roll. I even considered putting on real clothes and make up so that I could look pretty for my husband when he got home from work, but you know, let’s not get crazy or anything.

At 2:30, I was ready for a nap. So I forced the baby to nap, and I turned on some trashy tv, and passed out on the couch.

At 3:30, I was starting to anticipate Mr. Meat and Potatoes getting home, so I checked on my meat and started thinking about what else we’d have, and at 4:00 I called him, hoping to hear “I’m on my way.” It was getting less fun, this SuperMom, stay-at-home thing.

He was “in the weeds” at work and reminded me that he had a meeting after, so to go ahead and have dinner with out him. And that is when I first started reconsidering how much I liked being a stay at home mom.

At 5:30, I cooked some rice.

At 6:00, I ate dinner on my own.

At 6:30, I gave the baby a bath and a breathing treatment and tried to put him to bed at 7:00, which was a failure.

At 7:15 I started considering exit strategies. Maybe I could call a sitter. Oh, wait, no one wants to be around this germy baby. Maybe I could take him to Target. Oh, wait, I’ll infect the whole store with this disgusting virus. Maybe we can take a ride in the car. But it’s cold outside, and baby is sick.

At 7:30, Mr. Meat and Potatoes came rolling in, and I handed him the baby and laid down in the fetal position.

At 7:45, some friends stopped by and I slammed a "2 point" margarita.

There is no question that were I a full time stay at home mom, I’d end up in Betty Ford or maybe just your garden variety padded cell. My hat goes off to all my friends who do this job day in and day out, and especially to the single mommies who can’t just “wait for Dad to get home” for a break.

The whole thing was good in theory, and I did super-enjoy the day at home with my baby. Until 4:00. Turns out, I only have about 9 hours of SuperMom in me for a day. After that, there’s a good chance you’ll find me drinking gin out of a high heeled black boot.

I went to work today with a renewed appreciation for my little job, my staff of people who stop in to talk, my ability to go to the bathroom unaccompanied.


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