• Parenting from Pop's POV

Last man standing

Things are getting ugly around here. It’s a little like the Walking Dead – my entire family has been laid to waste, I’m the only one left, fighting off zombies and trying not to go full-bore bats#!t crazy.

What day is it? Wednesday? How is that even possible…

It began Sunday night, I guess. Otis (4) took a fever that shot up in the night. On waking he was only slightly improved. That afternoon he was fully laid out. Motion, uprightness were not possible.

Tuesday, minimal improvement, and by that afternoon Luke (2) was showing the early signs. I’m one to let a fever burn, but around 1 or 2 am, it’s time to shut it down. Unfortunately for Luke, his weight is just under the minimum poundage required for a full dose of Pedialite, so we go shy with the stuff, erring on the side of caution.

Now today, Elizabeth (36) is out. Her body has become a useless collection of aches. Luke looks like Bruce Willis from 12 Monkeys when he’s in the mental asylum and doped to within an inch of his life. Only for Luke, no dope. Just fever. Fever and pain.

Otis has recovered just enough to be bitchy all morning and then pass out in the rocking chair in his room, coughing himself awake so hard he makes himself puke.

I look at this ruined humanity and wonder in fear, Is it in me? Have I been bitten? Will I be next?

You may have assumed by now that we’re the kind of hippie scumbags who don’t get ourselves OR our kids the flu vaccination. And in this assumption you are correct. You may thus assume we have brought this on ourselves. I think differently. I’m certainly not one to preach against vaccinations. My reason against the flu vaccine is best explained by Heather the Mommypotamous. I never in my life thought I would base the health of my family on someone who calls themself the Mommypotamous, but her research is impressive. (Concerned readers, please note: we’re vaccinating against most other major diseases – a full list of the vaccinations we’ve chosen for our children available on request).

The long and short of it is that a strong immune system needs to be put to work. Cooking fevers, brewing snot – this is where the good stuff happens. Good long term, obviously. Not good now. Now is all demons and shadows and suffering. So yes, you’re right. We did bring this on ourselves – but we did it intentionally. And those intentions made a lot of sense at the time.

As for me, I chose to believe that Bikram yoga has strengthened my immune system enough to where I can fight this thing off before it gets the better of me. I’m sucking down raw garlic and vitimin C packets. I’m making weekend plans. That’s not a tickle in my throat. I’m not going down like the rest of them. I’m not. Right?

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