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I believe, somewhere along, evolution has armed all mothers with extra strength and reserve. I mean, the original cave woman couldn’t afford to take a sick day off.
I keep typing.
sniff, sniff. Ehkkhu kehkkhu. Kehkuu
The sounds are getting louder. I smile and continue looking at my laptop.
COUGH! EHKKHU KEHKKHU. COUGH!
I stop typing. Look over my screen. “Are you ok, love?”
From the recesses of the bed, muffled under a few thousand blankets, a tinny voice comes. “I don’t feel too good”.
“Aww, baby. Do you want some warm water with honey?”
No response. Just sniffing noises. Then a hoarse “No.”
“Ok, how about some creamy tomato soup? You love tomato soup!”
“No, I don’t want soup. Tummy hurts now.”
“Look you got to eat something! An empty tummy will make you feel worse. You know that.”
Silence. Then more (theatrical) coughing. “Ok, maybe a bit of soup?”
“All right, love. You rest. I’ll go get you some.”
I get up and stretch. Feel my forehead. Yup still running a temperature. But because I’m the mother, somehow the fever doesn’t impact me much. I still do my daily chores, wipe snotty noses, and kiss crying faces. Illness doesn’t mean any time off.
My personal theory- somewhere along the line, evolution has armed all mothers with extra strength and reserve. I mean, the original cave woman couldn’t afford to take a sick day off. Especially if her cave babies were coughing/crying up a storm, threatening to attract every predator within a mile.
No, she’d have to rock the babies and shush them and blow cool air on their foreheads with palm fronds. While hoping that the jungle cat lurking outside, would eat her caveman husband instead.
I walk to the kitchen, a little slower, and come back with a tray bearing a hot bowl of delicious soup. Avoiding the bed of used and crumpled tissues, I set it on a low table and go back to work.
I can hear video game sounds from under the blankets. Not too sick to play with on iPad, I think with more than a touch of snark.
“Soup’s here, love. Come and eat before it gets cold.”
“One more level please,” says the voice, sounding miraculously healthy. Silence followed by more enthusiastic coughing.
“I still feel sick, ok?”
“Yeah, I can hear that.” I roll my eyes.
Soon, a head emerges from under all the fabric and slurps up the soup. There’s more manufactured sniffing and coughing, just loud enough to catch my attention. I smile, pop another painkiller and type away. There’s a deadline to meet and I need to finish my article before my fever spikes.
A little while later – “You’re always on your laptop. Can you cuddle with me, please?”
The voice sounds sulky.
I ignore it because that tactic works, sometimes.
“Please please please please please,” the voice begs.
Sighing, I scramble and finish my final edit. Hit send. There, all done. Deadline met.
I close my laptop and stretch again. My eyes are burning, my muscles are achy and my throat is hurting.
“Fine, I’ll cuddle with you. But just for five minutes ok?”
The click of the iPad getting locked.
“Ok, five minutes,” agrees the voice, sounding positively healthy.
So I dim the lights and climb into bed. Find my squishy pillow. Feel hands coming in my general direction. “No!” I say firmly. “I am actually sick, unlike you!”
And as my big baby of a husband pouts and sulks, I curl up into my warm blanket and fall into a deep sleep.
Picture credits: Pexels
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