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Monday, February 25, 2008

Calling in Sick

Rhett was home sick today. When Rhett gets sick, he milks it for all that it's worth. He stays in bed until noon or later. He moans pathetically when I bring him little pills that are meant to help him separate his body from the mattress. When he finally does get up, he complains that I'm not very nice when he's sick.

I'm not sure what to make of that. ME? NOT NICE? I think I'm more surprised that he's surprised that I'm not nice, if that makes any sense at all, which I'm not sure that it does. I honestly try to have some compassion, but it's against my nature. I think the real problem is that I envy him his sick days. Because this is what Rhett's sick day is like:

Sleep.

Get up, go to the bathroom and call in sick to work.

Sleep.

Sleep.

Take pill that wife brings and glare at her when she sighs like a martyr because her husband is still in bed.

Sleep.

Sleep.

Grunt when the children come in to say that they are sorry their daddy is sick.

Sleep.

Sleep.

Sleep.

So easy, no? If that were what my sick days were like, I would fake sick every day. Kind of like I did in junior high.

Can I help it if I get a little annoyed that his sick days are like a freaking Disneyland vacation with a slight case of the sniffles? Should I feel bad that I think sleeping in until noon is plenty of sleep for anyone, even if they were to have a wicked case of diphtheria? And the martyr sighing? Honestly, I can't help it. I've tried, and the martyr sigh will be heard, whether I will it to or not.

Today I tried very hard to be nice, because Rhett's complaint about my bedside manner is longstanding, and quite frankly, true. I brought him his medicine at seven with a smile. I felt his feverish forehead with so much concern that freaking Clara Barton would have learned a thing or two about bedside manner. I brought him a cool drink. I brought him a bowl of chicken noodle soup and watched him sip it down SLOWLY (oh, so slowly). But I was patient. I brought him more medicine at noon. And when he emerged at 2:30 P!M!, I asked him how he was feeling. Nicely. I think.

"Fine," he said, rather like a martyr, now that I think of it.

"Really?"

"Well, it behooveth me to feel fine." And he looks at me all meaningfully, like if he had not gotten out of bed that very instant I would have whipped him with a cat-o'-nine and made him change all the dirty diapers for the rest of the day.

And then I got really mad. Because worse than someone who sleeps all day? Someone who doesn't appreciate my efforts. I'm almost positive I was nice all day long.

Almost.

24 comments:

Jenny said...

oh man. i can understand where you're coming from here. my sick days are NOTHING like my husbands. sigh. and he's a big help all the time. but when he's sick he gets to rest and to try to recover. i get to do laundry, try to rest, fix lunch, try to rest, take care of kids, try to rest . . . not really much resting takes place.
i'm sure you were very sympathetic and patient today. :)

Melissa Bastow said...

I can SOOOOOO relate!!! A couple weeks ago my husband had one of those pathetic 24 hour stomach flus. I think he threw up once, and of course, the world had just ENDED. Yeah, totally didn't pull the sympathy card once - especially since I have been puking almost every day since October (not to mention previous pregnancies.) Men are wimps. And I would also love to fake sick days and stay in bed....why does that never work for a mom? We need "nursery maids."

Adrienne said...

Don't even get me started!! At least you attempted to be sympathetic and nice. I'm sure Justin could not say the same for me!

D said...

I think you deserve a day of quaddie this weekend to make up for his sick day! It's your comp day right since you have to work through your sick days.

Amy said...

it would be nice to have some paid time off...or just some time off....I hear ya! Hope he feels better soon and that you don't get it:)

Ashley said...

There are no sick days for Moms. The first time my first kid threw up real food, I was having morning sickness with #2 and was like okay....who's gonna clean it up? Ooooohhhh......ME? This stinks! If hubby gets sick, I swear the world stops turning.

Charlie said...

You know, I was going to write something defending all the men that call in sick and then drag around the house, but I just can't come up with anything good...:) Maybe we can't appreciate all of our wife's efforts because, in many cases, the wife just doesn't appreciate our efforts at work... But that's just me...;)

JustRandi said...

Too Funny!!
I want a sick day. Just one sick day. I've had this job for 23 years. I should get one, right?

The Holcombs said...

Just like a man, they can't handle anything! i am like you, no sympathy from me. You get a half day then I expect your butt to be out of bed watching the kiddo or helping me get the house clean.

TnD said...

I blame their mothers ladies. When my hubby is sick, he calls his mother first. They talk reminiscently about hot water, lemon and honey, sick day movies and chicken noodle soup and of course when he gets off the phone the demands start. It is easy to be the soother from 1000 miles away when you actually don't have to produce. I know the memories are all fictionalized at this point anyway. Sisters, lets band together and not produce another generation of men who have learned helplessness :).

Bisel Family said...

I totally hear you. I don't think we really begrudge our men though, we just wish that our jobs provided the same relief. My sweet husband never complains when he is sick, but I am jealous nonetheless. The worst is, when I am sick he asks if I want him to stay home to take care of me, and then says, but it will take one of our vacation days. arghhh...then the decision is all up to me. I always send him off to work, and then wish he had stayed home all day. Next time I should just say yes, stay home!

Jen said...

I must admit, I have an unsympathetic streak that my husband occasionally finds very distressing.

"I wrote a book!" (referring to his yet unpublished work of fiction)
"Lots of people write books, hon."

Yeah. I'm not much comfort for him sometimes.

Queen Elizabeth said...

It's exactly those kinds of days that I think "I need a WIFE man!" (and I do NOT mean that in any perverted way!)
I love it when I wake up, tell my hubby I'm not feeling well and as he walks out the door he says, "Well, try to get some rest!" Gee thanks. I would've never thought of that MYSELF!!!

Kelli said...

Heidi. . .I finally read my comments as it took me that long to even realize people were commenting on my blog (a little slow). It's so fun to read your blog. Keep in touch
K-Dub

Sara said...

That is so classic! Nice pictures:)

Carol said...

Had a touch of the old Man flu huh? I don't do sympathy either. I save ALL my sympathy for the kids. I'm SO not above playing the martyr either. When Rob came out of hospital last summer after 10 days I made him feel totally bad about how hard it had been for me playing superwoman.

Oh and unrelated but a guy turned up at church on Sunday with hand sanitiser attached to his belt. He was from the US so he obviously just thinks us Brits are a germ-fest!

Charlie said...

I've posted a video on my blog that could shed some light as to why men act the way they do, and women as well... It's pretty funny.

Poetikat said...

It's the opposite with my husband. He can't be convinced to stay home when he's sick and then by the end of the week he's sniffling and coughing and miserable and finally takes the day off, but he won't stay in bed. Nope he's up and around and sniffing and wingeing (British word) and moaning. I like it better when they stay out of sight with their symptoms. Oh well. Women are just tougher. End of.
Heidi, I'm tagging you for the weirdest meme (I've just made it up). Come on over and check out the rules~
Kat

Valerie said...

It appears to be that men are really the weaker sex. I mean, when a woman gets sick, for instance, we get our own medicine and take care of the kids and the house as usual. The only difference is that we are just sick while doing it. Hmmmm...men have it easy.

Yvonne said...

I think you and your hubby need to watch this you tube video clip

http://youtube.com/watch?v=rXLHWmjA5IE

If it doesn't come up, go to you tube and type in "the man cold". You'll love it.

Josh said...

Heidi I admire you for your honesty. I've been sick with the flu the last few days and I keep telling myself "I'm dying". Everytime this thought comes into my head I instantaneously think of you. I love you sis.

Julia said...

SOOO funny. I heart this post. My family has just come through the flu and DH did not get it. So he went about his business, working and such nonsense, while I dragged my sorry self around the house, doing laundry, changing poopies, cooking dinner, caring for the sick, while I felt like road kill. I grew quite bitter. I decided next time he gets to the flu, I will leave the house to go shopping all day long so he can have a taste of what it's like. I know, I'm so generous.
Needless to say, I did not get to exact my revenge this time.

Lippy said...

My ex wife got nowhere with a comment that I was a "baby" when I was sick, the "sick" being cancer, and I was going through chemo. Even her women friends chastised her for that. Her badside manner was legendary after that.

Life's a lot less dramatic these days, thank God, but when I do run into a virus now and then, my solution is to completely sleep it off. I don't need nursing, attention, or even chicken soup. I just ask to be forgotten until it passes.

But for the most part, I'd have to concede that women generally handle illness better than we guys do.

Corrine said...

All I can say is this is so true!! I have a hard time being nice, because it is so true, when do we get to call in sick?