I am definitely going to win an important prize for this. When I do, I promise not to forget the little people - and by that I mean Sweet Girl and Little Man - who made this all possible. See, I have made a great scientific discovery. Even more shocking, I made said discovery at an hour early enough that even Oreo wasn't interested in being present at this sure to be always remembered moment in science. And his existential crisis of late has made him more of an accessory than a pet, so being apart means it was too early indeed. (I have no proof, but I think someone told him he was adopted. This has caused great angst and feelings of abandonment. Oh, and shedding.) I have discovered the origins of one of the world's great mysteries; the Man Cold. Well, not how the actual virus originates but more whether or not the Man Cold is a form of operant conditioning or is embedded in genetic code. Whew. I know. You didn't realize I was this smart. Let me back up so you can all revel in my glory.
If you are unfamiliar with the Man Cold, it's one of the most difficult and strenuous things (short of losing all his fantasy football draft research) that can happen to a man. Most women are impervious to the Man Cold because, well, we don't have time for them. Though I have noticed a concerning trend in which my facebook news feed is cluttered with complaints of minor malaise from both genders. For the record, it's allergy season. Clear drainage from one nostril does not a facebook status make. Regardless, while women may get a cold or even something worse, we still manage to go about our day in a reasonable fashion. Jobs are accomplished, children are looked after, homes are maintained. But during the always-longer-than-necessary Man Cold, the world stops.
If you haven't experienced it for yourself, then here's a video of a Man Cold to help you understand (thanks to Amy for sharing it with me). My very own Great Defender of Democracy has fallen to the Man Cold. Some guy who worked down the hall from Sean once sneezed at work, so Sean came home, took some NyQuil and slept for 13 hours. On the other hand, when I had my gall bladder removed and a needle broke off INSIDE my stomach and floated around until they had opened me up in enough places to find it, Sean was still pretty sure that was only outpatient worthy. Never mind the 10 month old baby girl at home that needed her mother to pick her up constantly if/when she saw said mother, Sean thought I'd rest well at home. And by rest he meant get back to doing everything I normally do.
So when Little Man began wailing at 4:30 this morning, I thought something seemed familiar. He's teething so he's been more restless than usual overnight, but that's not what this was. I went into his room to, you know, be a mother and when I picked him up I noticed some drainage. Then as I rocked him he kept melodramatically throwing his head from shoulder to shoulder punctuated with periods of great nose wiping and heavy sighing. Ah, he has a Man Cold. I rocked, he dramatically flailed, and Sweet Girl slept through it all just down the hall. This is when I had my great scientific realization.
At first I thought a Man Cold was the result of operant conditioning and societal norms. Little boys get sick, someone tends to them, they grow up and become men who are little boys when they get sick. They would learn this from watching other grown men during their developmental years. Girls get sick, someone tends to them, they grow up and realize they still have stuff to do even if they're sick and get on with it. Both Little Man and Sweet Girl have been sick this past weekend. Sweet Girl with a nasty stomach virus and Little Man with his Man Cold. Sweet Girl is a tough nut and has a tendency to not be brought low by meager intestinal distress. And Little Man has had actual illnesses that have required doctor visits, all during which he was less dramatic than he was this morning. Sweet Girl is pretty much impervious to societal norms, and Little Man has had no influence from his father-and not had any other male influence- on this particular subject (he's really only been sick in Sean's absence). Leading me to this: I can now assert that the Man Cold is genetically programmed. If my petri dish of a home can produce these results, I'm pretty sure they're universal. I've placed a call to the Genome Project and I'm sure they're splitting a helix trying to tag the Man Cold genome as we speak. Clearly it's not the size of the man that determines how he deals with a cold. It's the sequencing of the DNA that determines that it will be a Man Cold.
Great Chicken Impasse Update
She still won't eat chicken. I cooked one in the pressure cooker last night. It was lovely. Little Man ate half the bird. Sweet Girl ate....a hot dog.
I dropped off my food bags for the kids last Thursday after I picked Sweet Girl up from school. We took them into her old classroom where she promptly turned to me and said "Bye, Mommy!" and took off to find her favorite dolls. I greatly disappointed her by staying. So I'm trying hard not to disappoint Oprah as well.