Dawson: Twenty-six pounds of blankets spike fever
When children are sick parents become nurses. Between medicine, cool washcloths for their fevered foreheads and unlimited cartoon viewing, parents do everything in their power to make their children comfortable during times of illness.
If as a parent you do a half-decent job guiding your offspring through the valley of chills, nausea and crust, they will return the favor when the germ brigade decides to hold a pledge drive in your nasal cavity.
I myself have been grooming a team of nurses for quite some time now. Thankfully I only get lay-down-and-cover-me-with-dirt sick maybe once every three or four years. The head nurse on Team Dawson, of course, is The Wife.
Tax Deduction #1 is our oldest child and well on her way to becoming a decorated lieutenant in the fight to keep me alive. Tax Deduction #2 has started making rounds, and my current skirmish with a nasal event spurred her into action.
At the end of a great Christmas week, I woke up Saturday morning with the sensation that I'd been gnawing on a recently used sock. Either The Wife wasn't paying attention at the grocery store and Crest is now selling land-fill flavored toothpaste, or I had a head cold.
After taking a shower hot enough to melt the smug off of Ted Valentine, I visited the Center For Disease Control website to see if the Great Plague had reformed for a summer tour. Eventually, I made it back to the bed and passed out, only to be awoken a few minutes later by the determined, yet dainty, instructions of Tax Deduction #2.
"Wake up, Daddy. I have your medicine," TD #2 said as she opened up the doctor kit she received from Santa a Christmas or two back. "We're going to make you better, okay?"
To start with, TD #2 noticed a bruise on my left wrist. The bruise had nothing to do with the fever that was causing me to have nightmares about being stuck on a cross-country road trip with Seth Rogan, but the little nurse wearing the "Barbie Applies For Unemployment" pajamas insisted it needed a Band-Aid.
Yes, I know the correct term is "adhesive bandage," but no one outside of a copyright attorney's office uses that term. It's a Band-Aid; move on.
I dozed off during Florence Nightingale Jr's Band-Aid application, so imagine my surprise when I awoke to find both arms covered in them. Apparently, TD #2 mistook the freckles on my arms for bruises and thought they all needed attention. Far be it from me to discourage thoroughness, so I patted her on the head and thanked her for looking after me.
After a few minutes of controlled sobbing brought on by the realization of how painful taking off an entire case of Band-Aids was going to be, our oldest child -- TD #1 -- brought me some ginger ale in crushed ice.
"Help me TD1," I said. "You're my only hope."
As the hours turned into a second day, I woke up and plopped in a thermometer to see if I needed to make any final arrangements. While I waited for the thermometer to do its thing, I noticed TD #2 had pulled every blanket, quilt, sleeping bag and promotional windbreaker we owned out of the hall closet and put them on top of me.
"Are you warm enough, Daddy?" she said when she came in on her afternoon rounds.
"Why, yes I am, sweet girl," I said as I pulled the thermometer that read 117 out of my mouth. "Thanks for keeping me warm."
While some saw the piling of 26 pounds of blankets on top of my person as an attempt to speed up the distribution of life insurance money, I knew that my little impractical nurse was trying to look out for me. In fact, the little blanket stunt that nearly sent me to the great harp jam in the sky probably accelerated my recovery, causing the fever to break several days before it would have of its own accord.
Feeling like a new man ready to take on the world -- or at least brush my teeth without having to stop and rest -- I walked into the living room to thank the team that helped pull me through. I gave TD #1 a hug, which is usually a trigger for TD #2 to grab onto my neck, plant her lips deep into the side of my face and let fly with a zerbert that would startle livestock.
As TD #2 lunged at me to land a window-rattling zerbert, she put on the air brakes and poked my face with her finger. I hadn't shaved in a couple of days and she didn't like it one bit. She stood about two inches from my face to attempt the world's first long-distance zerbert.
Under normal conditions, TD #2 gives zerberts that could end droughts. Her zerberts are robust and monsoon-like in nature, causing many a recipient who can't swim into fits of panic. Now just imagine what kind of deluge would occur if she tried to fire one of those things off without a cheek to absorb the brunt of the storm surge.
Not wanting to scratch her pretty face on my wire-brush beard, she let a zerbert fly from a few inches away. At first it was funny, but the humor dissipated as The Wife called the insurance agent to see if we were covered for flood damage.
Contact Jon Dawson at email@example.com and www.jondawson.com