It was THAT day. You know the day.

The day began when I woke up precisely the moment after I had finally fallen asleep. I had only just fallen asleep because I had been very busy all night checking hot foreheads, cleaning up kids and administering ibuprofen and lying there worrying if maybe I shouldn’t have put the sleep sack on my daughter because I knew she was going to wake up with her fever raging and the sack might make her too hot.

I woke up and I knew I had to get up and check on the kids and then try to get them to eat something and then wash sheets and blankets and get to the store for more crackers and ibuprofen and popsicles. And then I had to go to a doctor’s appointment for both kids because my son’s school nurse said that half of his 1st grade class had strep throat.

Both of my little ones’ eyes were glassy and they laid in a pile and watched Sesame Street while I called the school and called the pediatrician and packed my bag and worried some more.

It was THAT day. We’ve all had it.

At the Doctor’s office, we made our way behind the partition that separates the “healthies” from the “sickies.” This is the place where everything you see is probably coated with a trillion sick germs from a trillion other sick kids.

And this is where my kids’ ibuprofen…kicked in.

They felt good! And they wanted to wrestle! They wanted to wrestle with each other, their stuffed animals, whatever! And lick things. I mean, they wanted to lick everything. And they wanted to try out each of the chairs in the waiting room to make sure they got a fair assortment of all the different kinds of sick germs. Sliding their butts on the seats, rubbing their hands up and down the arm rests. Get all of that sickness kiddos! And give it too!

And I was tired. I was unshowered and fuzzy-eyed and coffee-less and I really tried not to snap. I really tried. But, well, that was when I snapped.

“Come sit over here, right now, stop touching each other, in fact, stop touching anything, everything! DO NOT TOUCH ONE MORE THING!” I hollered. I was the crazy mama hollering at her kids in the sick room.

They both stopped in their tracks. They stared at me with wide eyes. Their survival instincts possibly kicked in.

And then.

My seven-year-old places his hands on his hips and says to me, “Well, my butt has to touch the chair, mom. And my feet have to touch the floor to get over to the chair. So, I have to touch something.”

He smirked. He was my husband incarnate. The Smart Ass Gene that he had inherited from both sides of the family glowed brightly in his eyes.

And well. It’s possible that hysteria kicked in at that point. I started giggling, and then laughing. And then they started laughing. They clambered over in relief and they both tried to crawl onto my lap at the same time. Tears sprung to my eyes. Happy or sad, I’m not totally sure.

The Doctor finally called us back into a room. And the kids were angels. They cooperated and answered questions and charmed the doctor and said ahhh! and got diagnosed with strep throat and we went home with Amoxicillin in one hand and a bottle of probiotics in the other.

We ate chicken soup. We cuddled on the couch. We all took a 2 hour nap. And I woke up feeling…grateful.

Grateful for modern medicine, grateful for my kid being a Smart Ass, grateful for being a part of these little people’s lives, grateful for the invention of coffee.

Grateful for all those moments of time that take me to the edge of sanity, down into the puke-filled trenches and then back again.


Oh yes. The Smart Ass gene is alive and well.

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