In our household, after careful consideration, we have decided to get both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 ("swine flu") vaccination. I won't go into the details about what brought us to this decision other than to say that my middle son missed 25 days (Twenty. Five. Days.) of school last year due to illness. He got every bug that crossed his path, and at this point I would send him to Lourdes or do nightly ritual dances around his bed if I thought it would help.
But it's not the flu I'm worried about this season, it's a whole slew of other illnesses that have compromised the health of our family. For example, some time ago my two youngest boys broke out in a terrible case of sudden-onset Bicker Fever. One minute they are feeling just fine, and the next minute they are bickering about the minutia of their lives. Everything and anything can precipitate a spike in Bicker Fever. Just the other day they bickered about whether they were bickering. I've tried every cure known to mom-kind, but this particular strain seems to be treatment-resistant.
My middle boy (the one who suffered so many maladies last school year), has lately been afflicted with a near-fatal bout of the "yeah-buts". No matter what I tell him to do, he is incapable of responding with anything other than "Yeah, but … "
- "Yeah, but I took the dog out twice yesterday."
- "Yeah, but he did it first."
- "Yeah, but I have to finish this game before I can study my Torah portion."
Now that my youngest son is in middle school, I find that all four children are suffering from chronic adolescent-itis. In case you are unfamiliar with the symptoms of this serious disease, they include impertinence, orneriness and self-absorption, frequently accompanied by uncontrolled whining, pouting and eye-rolling. Sadly, there is no known treatment, but most children seem outgrow the disease by the time they reach their early-to-mid twenties.
You can see we are suffering. I believe in Dr. Mom, so if any of you have developed and tested reliable vaccines for the above mentioned illnesses, please let me know before I break out in a horrible case of Mom-has-lost-her-mind-again Hives. I'm sure my insurance won't cover it, but I can't wait for healthcare reform — I'm willing to pay cash.
This is an original Chicago Moms Blog post. When Susan Bearman isn't busy warding off illness with hand sanitizer and medicinal nagging, she can be found writing at Two Kinds of People and The Animal Store Blog.