I remember thinking the first time I had a hangover with a baby that there could be nothing worse than this. But, like most statements made in early parenting, I was wrong. Having strep with children is worse. And having strep 3 times in 5 months is actually a little slice of hell garnished with a cherry topper of hell that is having to still take care of other people. Apparently my body hated me and wanted me to consider running away from my family. To which I responded: “Fine, I’ll think about it 10-15 times a day thank you and also put extra gas in the car just because.”
Why fight the darkness? Just let it wash over you. Strep is basically like not being able to breathe, plus the flu, plus extra splashes of horribleness involving always trying to swallow. Of course, I dealt with it the only way I could- gracefully– by texting my husband at work regularly: “I think I am going to DIE!!!!!,” “I am actually dying now, “ and “I will just start writing my obituary and you can finish.” You know, just to test his empathy level. Because I believe it is important to bother someone at work who can’t leave, and it is doubly important to make him prove his love by responding rationally to obviously untrue statements.
I hadn’t had strep before I got it multiple times in a row and feel like I could have dealt with it rationally if it hadn’t just made basic parenting chores a series of Mt. Everests littering the day. Every time I found a moment to lie sadly on the couch in between some moments of throat pain, I would have to respond to “I NEED A WIIIIPE!” or “HE TOUCHED MY ELBOW!” The doctor asked me if I needed a note for work and I responded by over-laughing for much too long while she looked at me with alarmed eyes, till I admitted I was a mom and she was like oh ok you are actually acting totally normal. Like snakes, my children sensed right away that I was weak. Basically, they just took turns trying to break me by trading off asking if they could eat the bunny cookies because they knew that the groaning “Nos” would eventually turn into “I DON’T EVEN CARE!” and then when I found them in a pile of crumbs and empty boxes of bunny cookies they could be like, “You said you didn’t care.”
However, there are some major bennies from having strep that I didn’t anticipate. Number one is that I got to lay in bed and listen to my husband do my 24 hour mommy job and it turns out it sucks just as much as it feels like it sucks. Turns out I deal with an unreasonable amount of bullshit. But, nothing more satisfying than listening to someone else navigate 20 minute arguments about putting on shoes or why wearing pants tied around your waist doesn’t count as “putting on your pants.” At the end of the day he said he was sooooooo tired even though he “hardly did anything.” Worth it 1000%!
Additionally, as an unintentional experiment, I found out that my children could live without me. If you don’t make them anything to eat they just find nuts and crackers in the cupboards and the older ones can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! After they checked on me multiple times, and asked if “I was even going to get out of bed,” to which the answer was snorzies, they invented a very engrossing game of “Dead Mommy.” This involved packing a good lunch of bananas and raisins while saying “yup, our mommy’s dead,” shrugging their shoulders, then going out under the tree in the back yard and eating the lunch, while they talked about what they were going to do now that their mommy was dead. Since this occurred during one of the worst days, I didn’t feel at all disturbed, but instead was comforted that they would know what to do without me.
Also, Diet Strep is OBVI very slimming. I highly recommend to all the calorie counters out there. All you have to do is stare longingly at anything you actually want to eat but won’t fit down your throat, while eating basically a baby’s diet of soft foods and lemon water. Plus your skin always looks fresh and dewy on account of sudden fevers.
The most useful thing strep showed me was that I have now brainstormed many super legit exit plans that can never actually be executed. I saw this video once of a sloth that was just being hounded by this orphan baby he thought was his dad, hanging on him all the time, endlessly cuddling and clinging to him, etc. Once, when the baby was getting a bath, the daddy sloth tried to escape, but since he is a sloth, and 10 feet is basically the Atlantic Ocean, he fell asleep only a few feet into his freedom. Just passed out solid right by the cage. I saw that and was like, I feel you so hard brother.