A Letter to Husbands and Fathers Everywhere

Dear Husband/Significant Other/Father,

We mothers are not invincible. Sometimes those nasty little bugs get us too. Render us helpless. Immobile. Sometimes we are not even able to fake pulling it together. And we give up and surrender to the Nasty Bug that has temporarily stopped our world.

While we may feel like dying, or feel as though we are in the act of dying (seriously I have never ever ever ever ever EVER experienced anything so treacherous in my life) there are a few things that could make our journey into Hell easier.

* Come up from time to time. Maybe there is something we need. Ice, ginger ale, plain tea, water... a heating pad, a washcloth, the thermostat turned up to 80 or down to 50... even a soothing voice...

* While we want you to let us rest, we also don't. We want to know that you come up to check up on us from time to time.

* Keep the children at bay. This may be the hardest but is the most important. Screaming children running rampant through the house is like nailing the coffin shut. (Luckily I did not have this problem!)

* In this case, 24/7 cartoons is permissible. We do not expect you to whip out the Play Doh, crafts, paints, glitter, etc... though a game or puzzle or book would be lovely.

* Don't even worry about proper meals. Kids have more fun when they are not having proper meals. They think of it as snacking through the day. Tell them not to tell Mommy and they'll even be happier!

* Yes, you can let them stay in their pajamas. Unless they have school. Then it is preferable to dress them in their clothes or uniforms. If not, though, people will understand. You are the father and this allows you for a few mistakes along the way. Just please make sure the kids brush their teeth before they leave the house.

* If the children want to pop up to say hello (after the Battle of the Porcelain Bowl has been -- just barely -- won) and we are not sleeping, we love little hellos and air kisses from our kidlets. Most often we need not worry about contaminating them as they, most often, have been the culprits to spreading the nasty germs to us.

* Husbands/Fathers/Spouses, it will not kill you (not even harm you) clean up as you go along... to make sure that dishwasher is loaded. It's right next to the sink, btw... And that the sink has been emptied of all food/debris/peelings. There is nothing worse to have to look at the morning or day after the Big Battle.

* Remember once we are on our feet we can not sit and slow down. We are mothers after all. Any laundry, sheets, etc that has accumulated become once again our responsibility. The heaping mounds of it. Despite the fact we can handle nary a can of Ginger ale as nourishment. It's back to the grind for us. And often we are left with more to deal with than before we left for battle. It kinda sucks.

And, Dear Husbands, Significant Others, and Fathers to our children when we ask for chicken noodle soup, the plainer the better. Even the good old fashioned red and white canned variety. We want the broth. The saltier the better. Not the noodles and oodles of veggies and chicken. We can't handle that. Just yet. But we know you can't read our minds. Chicken noodle soup is chicken noodle soup unless we are more specific.

Even better, Fathers, Husbands, Significant Others --

Here's a little (very detailed) list of things you might want to have on hand for your sick wives and, should you be so lucky, sick children:

1. Gatorade is good. It's less heavy than Ginger ale.
2. Ginger ale, however, does sooth the Savage Belly Beast
3. Saltines for when appetite returns -- the new mini saltines are pop-in-your-mouth good!
4. Animal Crackers are good too. Kids love the fun boxes.
5. English Muffins are soft, easy to chew and easy to digest. (Just watch the butter that could irritate tummy.)
6. Eggs are a perfect re-entry meal. (I'm not quite there yet!)
7. Magazines for your Tween and Sweetheart are a nice touch!

And you may want to pick up some extras of these if you don't happen to have extras lying around!

And remember this:
The less we are faced with in the aftermath, the quicker our recovery will be!