Smelly Socks: Getting sick is the best medicine

Aug. 22, 2013 at 3:22 a.m.

Ok, I confess, I have a little secret. My husband doesn't even know about it. (Well, I guess he will now.)

Sometimes, I pretend I have to go to the bathroom and instead play my Whirly Word game on my iPhone, just so I can get away from the boys for a few minutes. I'm sure I'm not the first mom to pull this move.

As anyone who has boys will tell you, it's not easy raising them until they become teenagers, and then it just gets harder. As you all know, I love my boys, but they do have that uncanny ability, on many days, to try my patience.

I try to remember the inhale and exhale exercise I learned in childbirth class in the hopes that it will calm me down, but it hardly ever works, just as it didn't back in childbirth. For instance, just early last week, on no day in particular, I:

Removed a rubbery fish lure off of the ceiling that Charlie had managed to toss up

Took spit balls off of the wall

Stopped World War 3 from erupting at the optometrist's office, while trying to pick out glasses for myself

Cleaned up a spill of milk, juice, granola etc

Stepped on a Lego or two or three

Made three meals that were barely touched but pushed around successfully

Dealt with diarrhea, one summer cold and a slip and fall down the stairs (all is well; no one was hurt).

There are some days even the dogs know to steer clear from me.

However, there are many good days that make all the bad days worthwhile like late last week when I got sick. It was just a sinus infection, but somehow, it really hit me, and I was out for most of the day.

I woke up with a stuffed up nose, earache and light body aches, so I knew the day ahead was going to be a bit rough. I must say though, Adam and Charlie, probably sensing that I did not have it in me to watch them, did not fight once all day.

Instead, they played quietly with their trucks or watched TV. When I "accidentally" took a quick 15-minute afternoon nap, Adam not only took care of Charlie and played with him but also later made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and something to drink and managed to call my mother and tell her all about it.

On most days, I'm not only a mother but a referee, a cab driver, a cook and a maid. But on this day, they were my caretakers, and it felt great. They kept bringing me warm drinks all day long and getting me anything they thought I needed, and they behaved.

They were, for what it's worth, taking care of me without actually taking care of me. The next day, as I was starting to feel a little better, the chaos, arguing and tantrums started back up again.

But just that one day with no arguing, no constant nagging and no whining made me forget about their shenanigans earlier in the week and made me realize what a blessing it is to have them around.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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