Ebola, black plague, smallpox… some of the worst diseases known to man have been joined by a new, insidious ailment. One that renders its victims useless within hours of infection. A condition that is seemingly incurable, returning again and again, carried by a seemingly innocent host.
It starts with a cuddle. Your toddler approaches you, a glistening stream running from their nostrils. Tired, grumpy, easily upset you pick them up and offer them warmth and protection but as cuddle you them lovingly they’re wiping their nose on their sleeve and your cheek.
Their craving for closeness is your undoing as you wake the next morning with that familiar catch in the back of your throat and that clogged feeling at the top of your nasal cavity. You look in the mirror to see your glazed, red eyes and you know instantly that you’ve caught it… again. KISS or Kids-induced-sickness-syndrome.
Seriously, I’ve never seen and felt more sickness than I have this year. From the moment you sniff that first sniff you know that you’re in for at least 5 days of feeling sub-par. Not quite ill enough to justify a sick day (more on that in a moment) but rubbish enough ensure that every task, meeting, chore, activity is just a bit….crap.
And even if you could justify a sick day, what’s the point? In the old days, before children, a sick day would involve me, a blanket, the couch and all the bad television I could handle. I’d lie there and have the perfect excuse when my wife got home for doing absolutely nothing all day. Now a sick day is interrupted by kids and chores and nappies – basically it’s no different from any other weekend (or day for the SAH-P’s out there).
So, with the knowledge that sick days aren’t the option they used to be and the increased effect that illness has on me as a male (a whole other post) I’ve put together my top 5 fail-safe ways to sickness-proof yourself from your kids;
1. Human bubble. I’m still trying to figure out who I would put in this. If it was sound proof, had wi-fi and a fridge I could see myself quite happily residing in it but failing that, at the first sign of infection, germ ridden kids could be deposited inside.
2. Have more sex. According to the latest research, sex up to twice per week increases the body’s production of immunoglobulin A, a virus-and bacteria-fighting antibody, by 30 percent. Just need to turn the Barry White up for long enough to drown out the restless noises from the newest illiterate infant… and catch Mrs Illiterate Infant between night-feeding induced comas.
3. Wash. A Lot. Home from childcare? Squirt. Playing with the kids down the street? Scrub. Caught touching any mucus producing part of their body? You get the idea. Problem with this is that kids start to get wise to the pattern, sensing you sneaking up on them with the hand wash and see it as an opportunity to vanish into thin air. The other problem with this method is that in all honesty, I would lose interest nearly as quickly as my children.
4. Put down the hammer and dishcloth. More research, this time from the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that unpleasant events can have a negative impact on your bodies immunity. They cited “burdensome chores like irksome errands or annoying home maintenance tasks” as having a significant, negative affect on immune function. (Remember, if it’s on the internet it must be right)
5. Sleep. This ones difficult. My suggestion is for you to approach your significant other, or anyone else your trust with the care of your children and let them know that you’ll be spending a few days in a comfortable hotel with dressing gowns, slippers, chocolates on the pillow and a mini bar. Purely for health reasons. Once you’ve done this can you get back to me and let me know how it goes.
So – Have you got any ideas? Have you been ravaged by sickness this year or has your immune system finally caught up. Does it ever catch up… and who would you put in a bubble?
Sharing my top 5 with Grace at withsomegrace.com for Flog Your Blog Friday.