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Katy England Katy England
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What's worse?

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The question of what is worse - being sick with three healthy kids or being sick with three sick kids - is really hard to answer. But I think I finally have an answer: being sick with three sick kids who don't exactly act sick. As in, they have the goop, they have the coughs, they probably have all the things that I have but can only express how achy and tired they are by being rude.

Which is awesome.

I feel like I could deal with kids who just want to cuddle up and watch movies. But they don't want to cuddle up and watch movies. Or maybe two of them want that, but one would rather try to see how many surfaces will take crayon. Or two will meander off to play, only to start fighting because everyone is on an incredibly short fuse, because sleep is hard when you cough all night.

And then there's me. I'm achy, have a sore throat and a cough (great combination). More than likely it was the flu. That's basically the list of symptoms for the flu right there. Look it up. There's a tendency to think of the flu as high fever and upchucking, but those are actually not terribly common symptoms. Didn't stop me from getting physically ill, but it was only the once and the kids never followed suit.

The kicker was, we all got inoculated. The kids got shots and Dad and I got nasal sprayed with the vaccine (next time, I think I'll opt for the needle if it's a choice). We just had the bad luck of running into the mutated virus. Thanks, evolution.

But you don't get a break as a parent. Dinners need to be cooked, juice needs to be poured, and you get to rest when the kids do. Assuming they rest. Naps for the girls are all but a thing of the past. We still do something we like to call 'quiet time' because calling it 'nap time' is just silly. Calling it 'quiet' may also be something of a stretch.

And they will play or read and one of them will try to nap. But the other, not satisfied with being awake by herself, enjoys waking her sister. I can hear her calling her name over and over again in increasingly high volumes until her sister joins her in grumpy wakefulness.

There is no wrapping yourself in a blanket and sipping tea quietly. You will find yourself arm wrestling a 3-year-old so you can wipe her nose (which she asked you to do, before suddenly and violently thinking better of it). And there's not much you can do for the kiddos, outside of children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Most cough medicines are designed for kids 6 and up; anything else is a soother.

So, you have a tired grumpy mom, and three tired and crabby kids. Dad has managed to avoid the illness for now. So it really could have been worse all of us could have had it. Then who would wash the dishes?

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