Reader poll: Does Mom get a sick day in your house?


Ugh, warm drool on a black satin pillow–not the best way to start a sunny Saturday. Scrubbing crusts off my mouth, I shuffled downstairs and tossed something in the toaster for the kids–could’ve been gummy worms for all I knew–and returned to sleep to fight off the bug my children gave me.

After I slept in, Mother’s Day came early as my children surprised me with breakfast in bed. “We’re going to make you feel better, so you won’t die,” Joshua proclaimed.

The breakfast consisted of two measuring cups of Grape-Nuts, two cups of strawberry yogurt, four slices of whole-wheat toast, four baby carrots, and lingonberries left over from the Swedish Night I had for the kids at home last week. We’re not Swedish; I just thought it would be a good idea.

I ate all I could, politely refusing the rest. “With this much fiber, I’ll be pooping all week,” I exclaimed, and they giggled.

“We’re going to give you a spa day,” Joshua announced.

Jake brought me coffee–thank God! Madeline rubbed lotion on my upper arm, and Grape-Nuts got mixed in. Jake stuck cotton swabs in my ears. Toast slathered with lingonberries flopped upside down onto the snowy white down comforter.

While Jake performed the Electric Slide for my entertainment, Madeline did the Chicken Dance. Max wandered aimlessly through it all, eating applesauce.

To relax me, they turned on a TV music channel–Honky Tonk Tavern. During “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” Jake appeared, dressed in his blue Snuggie. “I’m the wizard of massage,” he proclaimed.

My dog jumped on the bed and stole a slice of toast. Displaying the survival instinct that preserved his species through the millennia, my cat watched the party warily from outside the door.

Then it struck me–all this would make great column material! I picked up my laptop and started to type. My kids giggled as they punched keys here7 aCnd there*. Then they ran yelling from the room–why, I didn’t know.

I heard them screaming as they streamed through the house, and I told myself, “At least they’re alive.” They streamed back in. Meowing, Max did a bobblehead dance, and I laughed, because he looked like Tweety Bird wearing glasses.

Outside the bedroom door, I saw a rocker in the hall. I’d just cleaned the entire house yesterday, and already it looked like government agents in hazmat suits would storm through the house seeking E.T.

I sent Joshua for another cup of coffee.

My dog started barking. I looked over, and I realized somehow he got hot pink underwear on his head. I liberated him.

Then I went to the bathroom. At 9 a.m., it was the end of Mama’s sick day.


About Rebecca Bailey

* Columnist, The Times of Northwest Indiana, for three years. * Professor for twelve years. * Mom of four teeny kids. * Voted "Most Dramatic," Castle Junior High School eighth grade, 1984. * Failed to diaper her first child before he projectile-pooped on the curtains. * Accidentally splattered her white Jack Russell Terrier with her red hair dye, which did not come out.

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