To the parents of Facebook posting about their child’s current viral battle, I would like to explain to all of you how you’re increasing my anxiety and therefore teaching my child that irrational thoughts are totally acceptable. Yes, it’s your fault, not mine. At all.
It’s that time of year again. No, not the “holiday spirit” time, none of that shit. The time of year when every second or third Facebook status in my feed is comprised of giving graphic details of vomiting and/or feverish children.
Look, I’m totally guilty of it, too. Misery loves company and when your child is sick, at my age you know that at least 200 out of your 500 Facebook friends can relate to what you’re going through, maybe even more. There’s comfort in that, I get it, but let me tell you how my brain processes these status updates:
Step 1: Analyze severity of said virus. If virus is more severe than a common cold, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Analyze where this friendly Facebook poster is geographically located. If they’re in Florida, move onto step 3. If they’ve been in direct play contact with Lily within the last 3-7 days, go directly to step 5.
Step 3: Begin Six Degrees of Separation analysis. Ex: If they’re in the same county, do they go to Lily’s school? If not, how do I know them and who knows them that I interact with? If there is any link to Lily or me whatsoever, move onto Step 4. If there isn’t a link, continue checking back to poster’s Facebook page to make sure said child is better just in case it’s possible that Lily will somehow come in contact or linked to sick child in the near future. Or perhaps the virus is contagious through the computer.
Step 4: If there is any indirect interaction with Lily within the last 3-5 days, begin preparing for said illness: Vitamin C load up, make sure OTC meds are stocked, wash linens, etc.
Step 5: OMG LILY IS GOING TO GET A STOMACH VIRUS AND THEN I WILL GET IT AND THEN I WILL DIE AND LILY WILL NOT HAVE A MOM.
These are the joys of living with high levels of anxiety. You make everything into a catastrophe.
So, ok. Now I’ve read the statuses and my brain goes into survival mode. Must.prepare.for.worst.virus.ever. Logically, I go to Lily and sit her down for a heart to heart:
“Lils, listen. There are a lot of germs going around right now. You know what that means?”
“Well, what? Tell me.”
“I need to wash my hands every few minutes at school, don’t eat anyone’s food, don’t put my hands in my mouth.”
“And don’t touch anyone.”
“Right. Good girl. Not even the teacher because all of the kids touch the teacher. And don’t touch the lunch table.”
Eye rolls ensue and the child asks to leave the country to get away from me. Kidding. She’s not quite there yet.
Currently, it’s as though I’m playing this weird game of musical chairs in my head with my ex to see who will get “sick Lily” in the middle of the night. Who will be the one to get that sick sounding, pathetic voice in the middle of the night? Will it be mom or dad? No one knows. It’s bound to happen though based on the statistics I’ve derived from my Facebook analytics.
Anyone see that movie “Bubble Boy”? Someone please tell me where I can buy one of those bubbles. Thanks in advance.