You will get sick eventually.

You will travel to the homes of your relatives, who are in varying stages of illness at all times. This will probably cause you to get sick.

Your computer will die, requiring a trip to the hell-on-earth known as the Apple store in the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids. You will reward your child’s patience with a trip to the breakfast-themed play place in the center of the mall. You’ll touch the breakfast-themed play place. This will probably cause you to get sick.

You will stand in a checkout line for approximately 500 years, right in front of someone with Ebola who is intent on making friends with your child. This will probably cause you to get sick.

The worst part of this, of course, is that there are no sick days for parents. There’s no time out after work. If you’re home all day with small children, there’s truly no escape. There’s only tea, Mucinex and a clock that isn’t moving fast enough toward bedtime.

It’s brutal, but here’s how we coped when sickness (and coinciding teething!) came to visit our house this week.

  • We threw all screen time quotas out the window. In fact, I pulled out an old iPod Touch, updated old games and downloaded new ones and handed it over for my screen-obsessed toddler’s enjoyment. I’m not proud of it, but it afforded me a few noncontiguous hours of rest. We’re fans of the Sago Mini and Toca Boca games, in case you’re wondering. Oh, and anything with dinosaurs.
  • We made soup. Yeah, I cooked while I was sick, but I hardly touched anything. I used a Tuscan-something flavored broth from Swanson, a couple cans of cannellini beans, leftover leeks from the fridge and some chicken sausage. Dump it all in the pot and go. Like I said, you know you’re going to get sick. Keep a couple emergency meals on hand until, I dunno, May? Your future self will thank you.
  • We read books. Some of them twice. Some of them for the first time. There’s not much that compares to having a warm kiddo snuggled next to you under a blanket on a cold winter’s day, especially when your fever-ridden body won’t stop shivering.
  • We engaged in independent, imaginative play. Or, um, I watched from the couch as Olivia pounded a toy barn with a cheese grater and attempted to “feed” a USB card reader to the deer painted on my favorite mug.
  • We had a “juice party.” So declared my daughter when I emerged from the kitchen with orange juice boxes for the both of us. She gasped, “Thank you, mama! It’s a juice party!”
  • We prayed. I need God to give me the strength to do this all over again in reverse next week, when I will inevitably pass this sickness on to my daughter and the two of us will be couch-bound again.

God bless us everyone.