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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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« Communication breakdown. | Main | Yet another sick day for two-thirds of us. »
Monday
Apr142008

No sickness over here! Nope!

Okay, well now that two (2!) commenters have observed that both Henry and I get sick "a lot," I'm feeling all defensive about my sinus infection or whatever it is that's currently consuming the inside of my face. Shut up! I am not sick a lot! Where are my tissues!

Actually I thought we were doing remarkably well, considering the multitude of viruses being distributed like party favors amongst his peers. Then, of course, MELISSA decided to come to our house, and cough all over our stuff. "Please stop kissing my son on the lips," I begged her , but she just laughed and told me to lighten up. And then sneezed all over his Bionicle.

Henry's sickness on Thursday and Friday was this low-grade-fever-but-not-much-else virus that seems to be sweeping through town. The kind that leaves them unwell enough to have to stay home but energetic enough to drive you nuts. The virus seemed to afflict Henry in such a way that it dangerously elevated his charm level. He kept gazing at me and saying things like "I'm really enjoying this nice quiet time with you." It was… alarming. I tried to remain calm.

I don't know if Wondertime is out on the stands yet, but we received our copies of the May issue, with Henry adorning its pages, and we heartily approve. Henry took a copy of the magazine to school with him this morning. "I'm famous," he told his teacher, and held out the magazine as proof.

And now I'm off to irrigate my head-holes, or whatever it is I need to do to breathe.

Reader Comments (60)

You know what? My little guy was getting these low grade fevers for a day or two every week last month -- no other symptoms -- and my dad the retired dentist suggested he might be getting his 6-year molars. Sure enough! We endured two weeks of having a feverish but otherwise energetic child at home before figuring THAT one out. Oh, and that was the cause of his constant stuffiness as well.Also, I agree -- try the neti pot. Once you get used to it, it feels wonderful -- and you don't really even have to snort it -- you can lean your head over sideways and pour the water in one nostril and have it come out the other: much gentler.
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterroughmagic
Good for you for letting your child get sick. My brother treats his kids like Boys in the Bubble and I fear for their immune systems.

Plus, my mom is a kindergarten teacher. I can assure you, she gets everything that goes around. It's just how it is.

Feel better!
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Window Seat
Lovely story -I absentmindedly typed in "Henry" into the Wondertime site, and it was the first article to come up.Henry truly is famous.

And your awesome hair has made me hungry for cinnamon buns.
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermia
It took many years of "illnesses" to realize that we all had allergies. Dust, pollen, mold, smike and perfume. Finding that out and attacking it has greatly reduced the number of "illnesses" suffered in our home.
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne
are you neti potting? i love the neti pot.

one of my dogs is also sick right now, and there are few things more pathetic looking than a depressed chow-retreiver mix who doesn't understand why he has an upset tummy.
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichelle @ TNS
People have to feel self righteous sometimes and there's no better time than preying on the tender emotions of someone who's "sick a lot". The reality is, when you have children, you get sick a lot. We go to a small private Waldorf school. Everyone eats fantastically healthy, milk from local farms, all grass fed beef, etc...Guess what? They get sick too. Of course diet has a great deal to do with it, along with sleep, which we all know you get oodles of with little ones around, exposure and even genetics. Anyway, from all I've read and what the docs say, kids get around 10 colds a year. That sounds like an awful lot to me. Be well, Alice, and, if you don't have allergies, spring should bring some relief:)
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril
"...was this low-grade-fever-but-not-much-else virus that seems to be sweeping through town. The kind that leaves them unwell enough to have to stay home but energetic enough to drive you nuts."

Yeah, Agent M had that one. HOpe things improve, for both of you.
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercartoongoddess
Having raised 4 kids, in my experience they'r sick all the time until they're 6 or 7 years old when, like throwing a switch, their immune systems kick in and they're never sick again (not quite, but almost). Of course, they have to be exposed to lots of germs so they can develop those immunities.
April 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine
When you have kids in school, especially when they're just starting out like Henry is, you will be bombarded with germs and get sick. A lot. The same thing happened to us, and I was one of those people who prided myself on "never getting sick". Ha! That's what I get for not being humble. But take heart, it does get better.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
You mean a cold is what's to account for my recent bout of affection? And I thought therapy was finally starting to pay off. Don't tell my boyfriend. He might start stealing dirty tissues from strangers sneezing on the subway and tucking them under my pillow.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJill
Two of my three kids are obsessed with Star Wars (the third has been too busy being sick straight through since October). A girl and a boy, for the record. I know the 7 forms of lightsaber combat now. The girl nearly had an eye out from a mistimed Ataru parry. We partake in Yodaspeak. I am very, very tired.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLionAndMagicBoy
The people who are commenting that you seem to get sick "a lot" obviously are not familiar with the walking petri dish that is a school-age kid.

Heck, my kid's not even in school yet, but he keeps picking up exotic respiratory diseases from Kindermusic class and storytime at the library. I was sick for the entire month of February this year, and a good half of March.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjaelithe
Okay, I read your blog often (okay, I check it daily...) and I can assure you that my family has been sick at least as much, if not more, than you and Henry have. This February and March, we went through the flu, strep, and 2 different stomach viruses (not flu, these were a week before and 2 weeks after the flu). This, followed by last fall when we had a lovely staph infection, which was started by our then infant son, who contracted it in the form of "scalded skin syndrome." (And you reminded me of that, with all your scarlet fever talk. Because that was one possibility that was discussed as well)

Trust me, you're not overly sick.

As for Star Wars - my husband just got a TomTom navigation doohickey, and the kids like it when he sets it to the Yoda voice. He annoys me. "Ahead, left you must turn, then again left you must turn. Now left you must turn, then again left you must turn. Now left you must turn." I was like "SHUT THAT THING UP!" Yoda does not need to be giving anyone navigational assistance. Now, Darth Vader, when he tells me to turn left, I worry about what might happen if I hesitate a little.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKellyr2
Congratulations on the Wondertime article, it's great and the writing was really fun, as were the pictures. They did a nice job on the layout, too.

We just showed our 3-year-old Star Wars for the first time. She loved it, although it was a little long for her to sit through.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennB
It's funny how the interpretation of a simple comment meant to HELP has turned into such a diatribe of defensiveness about sickness. Good golly, why is OK to wax on about self-rightous sickness but attack those who are only trying to offer small suggestions TO HELP PEOPLE?! "Preying on the tender emotions of others" YUCK, it's always someo ones elses fault, isn't it. Self rightious? Perhaps, but a little responsible, proactive behaviour is much more attractive than sniveling, pathetic whining. If you are doing everything you can and still get sick, then so be it and I wish you better health. (And I don't by any means suggest living in a bubble or the use of poisioness disifectants) But if you feed your family garbage and litter your house with chemicles and put sleep last on the list, then you really don't have an argument as far as I'm concerned.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLori
I for one make every effort to avoid feeding my family garbage (I mean, unless we're dumpster diving for Alfredo behind the local Italian place). I also stopped putting DDT on the apples before I peeled them, stewed them in sugar, topped them with high fructose corn syrup and then fed them to my son. And, you know, he sleeps really well now that I got him those ear plugs to take to the Midnight Monster Truck Rallies we love so.

And still we get sick as often as Alice and Henry. I cannot for the life of me understand it.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
The being sick all the time theme reminds me of this New Yorker cartoon:

http://www.thenewyorkerstore.com/product_details.asp?mscssid=3BSJH27J3UHN9PMQRT6MU7KC1J837XAD&sitetype=1&affiliate=ny-storetop&did=4&sid=44957&pid=&advanced=1&keyword=undefined&artist=William+Steig§ion=all&caption=&artID=&topic=&pubDateFrom=&pubDateTo=&pubDateMon=&pubDateDay=&pubNY=&color=0&title=undefined&whichpage=13&sortBy=popular

My son has been battling colds, ear infections, and the like. I blame it on day care. And I think Lori really needs to get laid.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichele Back
Once again, Nicole and Michele have missed the point. I am passionate about this b/c you can do things to help yourself, but most people don't want to try. Why when it's soooo much more fun to complain? Really, defensive much? I can only imagine you are defensive b/c you KNOW you are NOT doing everything you can and could be doing. Oh, and I love the attempt at sarcasm and the supposed dig at my sex life. Wow, name calling. Congratulations, THAT sure took a lot of brain power. The distraction techniques don't work on me. Nothing is more irritating than constant bitching without action. So, once again, if you are tired of being sick, do something about it. Stop listening to the media about what you should eat and take matters into your own hands. You all might consider that I might be speaking from experience. Hmmmm, there's a thought. Experience; not just feeble, throw your hands up and give in, b/c according the EVERYONE else, you will be sick, so just accept it. If I did that I wouldn't be here today. Nor would one of my children. (Go aheah Michele, heres where you can use your bully techniques, you go gurl!)
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Whoa, whoaaa, Lori! I didn't intend to sic the masses on you (really, people, I was making fun of my own defensiveness, not the comments) (although the comments were sort of lame) but I don't think the response warrants what you're dishing out. Isn't having a sense of humor also important for your immune system?

As for your most recent comments, I don't appreciate the insinuation that we're ignoramuses who have no idea how to care for ourselves. The fact is that we eat well and sleep excellently and keep our house as chemical free as humanly possible, but we still get sick occasionally. And your comment assumes that we are sitting here eating Twinkies well into the night. Which we almost never do. Unless Henry's been drinking, in which case, all bets are off.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Neilmed is my best friend.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAimee Greeblemonkey
I will say only that my husband and I have been employing nasal irrigation on our four-year-old son for the past month on doctor's orders. I'm pretty sure that qualifies me to say that I know that I AM doing everything I can. I would invite anyone who doesn't understand to try it themselves and see the result that they get when they use this natural remedy on their preschool-age child.

Oh, and one more thing. The reason I responded with my sarcasm and defensiveness (though I did try to lighten my tone considerably, an attempt I'm not making here) is because it really pisses me off when anyone--well-meaning or worldly or otherwise--equates health with morality. You can live as "good" a life as you want and can afford; it doesn't mean you're always going to be "well." Health is a crapshoot. My son has asthma, despite our doing everything--up to and including moving from one continent to another--in our power to try to prevent it. He didn't get it because he's "bad" or because we are doing things "wrong". He got it because some kids get asthma. Good people get sick, too.
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Still missing my point, what's funny is the defensiveness and the amount of detailed information suppossedly being deriving from my comments. The points being A)If you are sicker than you want to be, there may things you CAN do that you may not be doing. B) If you have tried all avenues, then once again, I wish you better heatlh. C) If you have not tried any thing, and are sick all the time, quit blaming __________ (fill in your own favorite excuse) and quit complaining. If you go back and read the comments, I have attacked no one personally reagarding detailed personal information that I could not possibly know (Nicole) My comments are geared towards those who fall under the C catagory. Really. I think it's all gotten waayyyy off track.

And who ever said Twinkie's were bad?
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLori
I saw your Wonderland story while at my OB/GYN's office last week. As a mom-to-be I love your blog!
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
I am a new poster and just wanted to say I love your blog! I know all about the various sicknesses going around; 4 of my 6 children are in school and make sure they bring home different varieties of illness every chance they get.

Your Wondertime article was also great fun to read. Since Henry and Scott enjoy finding Star Wars-related material online, I wonder if they've run into the Jedi Squirrels yet? If not, here is the link...I don't know how to make it clickable but you can copy and paste it, I suppose. http://jedi-squirrels.funnypart.com/ :D
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril
I am a new poster and just wanted to say I love your blog! I know all about the various sicknesses going around; 4 of my 6 children are in school and make sure they bring home different varieties of illness every chance they get.

Your Wondertime article was also great fun to read. Since Henry and Scott enjoy finding Star Wars-related material online, I wonder if they've run into the Jedi Squirrels yet? If not, here is the link...I don't know how to make it clickable but you can copy and paste it, I suppose. http://jedi-squirrels.funnypart.com/ :D
April 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril

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