I woke up on Saturday and I knew right away.
I was sick.
My mouth felt as though I had been sucking on a cotton ball all night.
My head throbbed.
My nose was all plugged up.
When I shuffled downstairs I found Tom on the couch with Natalie.
“Good morning,” Tom said, not bothering to tear his eyes away from the screen. Spongebob was on after all.
“Fkljdafklj,” I mumbled, heading for the kitchen to get some water. When I walked back out with my glass of water, Tom took a good look at me.
“GEEZ!” he said, jumping slightly.
“What?” I croaked.
“You look….you don’t look well,” Tom finally admitted.
Well duh. I already knew that my hair was standing up on end and that my eyes were bloodshot. My already pale skin looked even paler.
“I’m sick,” I complained.
Tom made a face as though he were worried that I was going to infect him. “Then go back to bed. You’re scaring Natalie!”
“I am not scaring—” I began, but then I saw Natalie cowering back against Tom and gazing at me in horror. “Fine. I’ll go.”
So I went back upstairs and passed by Tommy’s bedroom. He was building Legos and when he saw me he did a double take.
“Mommy? Are you dying?” he asked bluntly. He’s been really interested in death lately. The other day he swallowed his food wrong and started coughing and in between the coughs he wailed, “I don’t want to die now!” He’s sort of like that kid on Kindergarten Cop who is all, “Everyone dies you know.”
“I’m not dying, Tommy. I’m just sick. I’m going to lie down,” I explained.
Tommy surveyed me with a wrinkled nose. “Do you have the swine flu?” He’s learned about that through school.
“No, Tommy. I just need to rest.”
“Have you been washing your hands? You have to wash your hands, otherwise you’ll get sick,” Tom prattled on, following me.
“I washed my hands, Tommy,” I assured him as I climbed onto the bed.
“I’ll tuck you in,” Tommy said generously. His version of tucking me in was tossing the blankets over my head. “There!” He said to my covered ear. “You’ll be extra warm this way.”
That’s how Tommy sleeps. I’ll go in and check on him before I head off to bed and he’s always covered from head to toe.
“Thank you, Tommy,” I said, my voice muffled.
“You’re welcome, Mommy,” Tommy said grandly before he left the room.
I can’t sleep with covers over my head so I pushed them down under my armpits. I fell asleep soon after that. When I woke up, I found Tom in the kitchen. And he was…cooking?
“You’re not supposed to be up now. I was going to surprise you with devilled eggs,” Tom lectured, wagging his finger. (I love devilled eggs by the way. I just hate making them.)
My eyes scanned the room. The kitchen was…clean. The night before I had left the dishes from the brownies. Now they were all washed. The counters had also been scrubbed.
“You cleaned!” I said. I would have leaped in the air from excitement but I didn’t have the strength.
“And cooked,” Tom added, pointing to some eggs that were boiling on the stove.
“You cleaned,” I repeated.
“And cooked,” Tom said again.
I thanked him and then settled down on the couch. Natalie was down for her nap so I was looking forward to catching up on some DVRed shows. But then Tom all of a sudden came in and swiped the remote control.
“Want to watch Spongebob?” he asked seriously.
I was confused. None of the kids were in the room. Natalie was sleeping and Tommy was outside with his friends. Why in the world would I want to watch a child’s cartoon?
“No thanks,” I said sweetly. “I’m going to watch my recorded Grey’s Anatomy.”
Tom switched the channel to Spongebob. “Let’s watch this.”
“I don’t want to watch Spongebob!”
Tom frowned at me. “Well, I don’t want to watch Grey’s. Someone always cries in that show. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode where someone wasn’t crying. It’s like, hey doctors, grow some balls and deal with it.”
I glared at him. “Sometimes they cry because a patient has been through so much and they just want to HELP the patient.”
Tom rolled his eyes. “Whatever. The show sucks.” He gestured to the TV with the remote. “Now Spongebob on the other hand makes sense.”
I gaped at him. “How? In this episode Spongebob and Patrick are raising a baby clam! That makes no sense!”
“It makes perfect sense! It’s hilarious!”
I groaned. “Just…watch what you want. I’ll read.”
Then later on I put some bratwurst on the Foreman Grill. I couldn’t have one. The smell made my stomach turn.
I asked Tom if he could clean the Foreman Grill so I could go rest and this is when he got a hissy fit.
“I’ve been busting my ass today. How much more do you want me to do?” Tom complained.
I gave him the finger. I would have started one of my favorite passionate speeches on how hard I work on a daily basis but the room started to spin and I had to lie down on the couch. I really don’t think the speech would have gone well had I collapsed on the floor, you see.
Tom apologized soon after that. I pretended not to see him when he first walked into the living room.
“Amber,” he said, standing in front of me.
I stared in the other direction. Yes, I can behave like a child.
“Amber,” Tom tried again.
Lalala, you don’t exist.
“Amber.” Now Tom stuck his face right in front of mine. He really does have pretty blue eyes. But…I couldn’t think about that. I was mad at him. Busting his ass, indeed.
“I’m sorry. But you have to understand that I work hard during the week and—” he started.
“Do you think I don’t work hard? Tom, I take care of a household, two kids and a cat who thinks it’s funny to puke all over the place. I have a two year old who attacks me, a seven year old who continuously asks me questions about death….and I don’t even get to PEE alone!” I wailed.
Tom blinked at me. “I know. I’m sorry.”
“And I’m sick so you should want to help me. When you’re sick you act like a total baby and expect me to cater to you,” I pointed out.
Tom made a face “I don’t think I act like a baby.”
I nodded. “You do! You speak in a higher pitched voice that grates on my nerves and act as though you’ve lost a limb or something.”
Tom still looked perplexed. “I don’t recall…”
“You do. Trust me.”
Tom sighed and gathered me into his arms. “I love you. Even if you do have crazy hair and smell like sweat.”
My jaw dropped open. “I do not smell like sweat.”
Tom sniffed me. “I beg to differ.”
The good news is, the next day I woke up feeling better. And now I’m nearly 100% again save for a stuffy nose.
I may have to bake some cookies to celebrate.