Ah, yes....winter is coming and with it comes snow, cold nights, frost on the car windows that need scraping off and inevitably..the common cold (and if you're unlucky, the Flu). For those of you with no more people to care for than your own self and perhaps some significant other, it's bad but not horrible. You're big people now and can take care of yourself. You can make some chicken noodle soup, buy some stock in cough syrup and tylenol, hide under the covers and get this sh@t over with as quickly as possible. If it's not quick enough for your boss (providing you're employed), then you can always go into work and share your good fortune with your fellow employees and with any luck, your boss will get sick too...that'll show'em!
For those with kids in the house, it's a whole other story. Sick monkeys in your house can't take care of themselves all that well when they're young and when they're teens, they refuse being treated like a child. The cold, this fine year, has gone from myself to my S.O. in the amount of time it took to give her a kiss Hello, and went quickly from there to our kids faster than anyone could possibly predict. The joy has successfully been spread...now is the time to enjoy the fruits of that labour.
Fevers: Aah... kids are irrational creatures on the best of days. Finding the particularly irrational irrationality that is the sure sign of fever can be a chore..until you remember where you stored the thermometer. Then it's simply a matter of tucking that tool under an arm or under a tongue (or for those with the really young, into a more..ahem..hidden area), and then calculating from ºF to ºC or back in order to figure out if it means a fever or not. In my case, I bought a Celsius thermometer and I'm only familiar with Fahrenheit fevers. Once you've figured out if your kid is feverish, fine, or really feverish...it's probably changed. Doesn't matter. Apply liquid Tylenol or Motrin if you own the stuff...go shopping if you don't.
Coughs: There are different types of cough. Phlegmy and dry are the top two. You can hear the difference. One sounds like coughing and gargling at the same time. Pay close attention to that one. The white liquidy stuff is probably just snot that the kid has inhaled backward down his/her own throat because they didn't feel like blowing their noses for the 30th time that minute. It's a cold...not a flu. It's the greeny-yellowy thick stuff that should worry you. That added colour means a flu...and that'll mean a trip to the Doctors' office. Another joy and a fine way to spend a morning, an afternood and/or an evening. Be sure that when you're there, that oyu child touch as many objects as possible. That way, they can share what they have and pick up some new and different diseases. Less of a waste of time that way. Maybe you'll get lucky and pick up the chicken pox as the same time and can get that over with at the same time.
Sniffles: Your nose is bi-polar. If it's feeling all happy, it'll run all day long. If it's feeling down, it'll clog up the works. If it's like a kids' nose, it'll bounce back and forth in quick succession. Buy plenty of Kleenex..they'll come in handy at least half the time.
Listlessness: Your kid's supposed to have more energy than you. You're old and they're not. If they have less energy than you..they MUST be sick. That's about as easy to guess as anything else. If s/he is acting listless and the moment you keep them home, they jump on the internets, warm up the PS3, dig through your DVD collection...they're faking you out and aren't really in the mood for school. Take advantage of it. You're not at work today 'cause they faked you out. Fake out your boss and enjoy the day off. :D
That's about it..I may add more later. I've got to get back to my sick little monkey now. There's an episode of Dora the Explorer that I simply MUST see....again.