How to be sick

By Mir
March 30, 2006

A handy guide to your convalescence, according to the wisdom of one of the world’s foremost not-quite-eight-year-old melodramatic possible-hypochondriacs.

Be certain to fall ill in the evening after a long day. Your mother will be overworked and tired and acutely aware of the great big *smack* on the lips she gave you that morning before you got on the bus. Hahaha!

It’s always nice to start an illness with the ruining of an entire outfit, if you can manage it. Don’t disrobe until you’re asked if the plan is to marinate in it, and then simply hand the soiled items to the nearest maid. Or Mom.

Getting to bed while ill
Alternate falling prone wherever you happen to be and insisting that you’re not tired, or that you won’t possibly be able to sleep. Be sure to mention as many times as possible to your sibling that you most likely won’t be attending school tomorrow, because you are so sick. Don’t forget to point out that he’ll still have to get up early and go to school!

Staying awake the entire night is optimal, but can be difficult to achieve for novices or those who are tired. In lieu of this, simply get up at some point in the night, wander in to your mother’s room, speak briefly in tongues (because, after all, you have a fever and you’re not exactly awake), and then allow your mother to lead you back to bed. Bonus points for loudly knocking over the just-in-case bucket at some point in the night, but only if you space it out far enough from the previous journey down the hall that your mom has had time to fall asleep again before being jolted awake.

In the morning
Report back to your mother’s bed for a temperature check. Commandeer the covers and her pillow. Snuggle in and cough on everything. Thaaaaaat’s right. Coat it all in a fine mist. Perfect! Now would be a good time to point out (again) that you won’t be going to school. Heck, why not tell your brother to go get dressed while you watch some cartoons? He’ll love that!

When your mom leaves to deal with your brother, realize that actually, you don’t feel very good. Fall asleep again, but be sure to do it in a really angelic pose. Be a little pale and fragile-looking. Yeah. Then use your best weak and beleaguered voice to ask WHY your mother woke you up to take your brother to school.

Get into the car in your pajamas, complaining about how much you want to go back to sleep.

Perk up a bit after dropping your brother at school. When your mother looks suspiciously at you in the rear view mirror, flop back against the car seat and try to look pitiful.

Back home/breakfast time
Lay on the couch and insist you’re not hungry. Well, maybe you’ll have a little juice. Once your mother has fetched your juice and and a blanket and turned on the television and gotten situated with her work, muse aloud that maybe you should try a piece of toast to help settle your stomach. If that doesn’t work, wait a few minutes, then ask for some toast. Make sad eyes. When Mama goes into the kitchen to get your toast, turn up the volume on the TV.

Bulk of the day
Sigh loudly. Toss and turn on the couch. Ask to have your temperature taken again. Channel surf. Ask your mother when she’ll be done with her work.

Ask again.

Ask if you can play computer games when she’s done.

Ask if she’s done NOW. Recover the upper hand in response to the Glare of Displeasure by asking for her to come snuggle on the couch, pleeeeeease?

When your mother comes to snuggle, demand she sit THERE, like THIS, and contort her into a pillow for your use. Demand she move less when she breathes. No, that’s silly. Just tell her to stop breathing. Act put out when she is unable to comply.

Ask to play a game. Insist that you feel just an eensy bit better, and playing a game would really help.

Grumble on your way upstairs, where you’ve been sent to rest and read a book.

Come back down 15 minutes later, insisting that you had a very nice nap, and now you are hungry.

Eat everything that isn’t nailed down. Ask if you can use the computer now. Take out Monopoly and conduct a 4-player game where you play all parts. Inform your mother every time she moves and what happens.

Become mysteriously reafflicted when it’s time to fetch your brother from school: Drag your feet, complain of dizziness, insist that your temperature be checked again. Mention that you think you may need another day to rest.

Don’t eat dinner. You’re full from earlier. Play on the computer while your brother has his shower. Act indignant when told it’s time for bed. Brush teeth veeeerrrry sloooowwwwwly, because you are quite ill. Curl up in bed and fall asleep immediately. You’ll need every minute of sleep possible so that you can commence bouncing off the walls at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Good work!


  1. Contrary

    Man, except for the first few items, that sounds like a perfect day to me! Where do I sign up?

    (glad she’s feeling better. For her and for you)

  2. lisa

    I know you always embellish but this story makes me so happy that my rule is that children staying home from school sick don’t play computer or watch TV. They are sick so they get to stay in bed. If they have energy they can read or do homework. You’d be amazed at my kids’ attendance record.

  3. Irony Queen

    Just be glad there was no more…ummmm…getting sick. Me? I was notorious for puking up the Children’s Tylenol I was given. Don’t tell Chickadee, she may add that to her bag of tricks. (Though I swear I didn’t do it on purpose!)

  4. buffi

    I had no idea SugarPlum was giving lessons. My sincere apologies.

  5. Theresa

    Sorry, it’s my fault. I think my older two gave SugarPlum lessons.

  6. Alexa

    Ah yes, the oldest trick in the proverbial book.
    I hope you have both recovered from Chickadee’s day of illness.

  7. Kelly

    Heh, that was me all over. The pediatrician, Dr. Murphy, called me “His little Sarah Bernhardt” and my mother now laughs her butt off when she hears this same thing developing in my toddler…she’s me all over again.

    Excellent job description.

  8. Shash

    Okay, Mir…where’d you hide the camera in my house? It’s as if you were here ghostwriting when my kids get sick! Spooky…

    I marvel at how quickly they recover after 3pm. It’s like a magic elixir.

    Hang in there! Have a great (better) weekend!

  9. Sabrina

    I have to 2nd Shash on the magic elixir. Actually that happened here yesterday. Tummy ache. Played all day but as soon as I mentioned her stomach it was hand on the stomach and “it still hurts” with a nice pouty face. SURE! LOL 3 o’clock came and she’s all better.

  10. Jessie

    I hope for your sake that she was well enough to go back to school today!

  11. Nothing But Bonfires

    She needs to photocopy that and distribute it in the school playground for a dollar a sheet. By the time you come to pick her up, she’ll be a hundred bucks richer.

    Hoping she feels better today. And that you won the monopoly game you didn’t play.

  12. Latte Man

    Oh great, just what my daughter needs, new ways to pull this off. She has the general idea, but had not quite mastered all the details. Now she has a checklist.

  13. Belinda

    Great hoppin’ horny toads, this is fabulous. Thank you!! I’m home sick today, and thinking about dialing down the melodrama now.


  14. jes

    I think you were watching me when I was a child.

    Or maybe, two weeks ago.

  15. Cele

    Chickadee is channeling my husband. But he’s got a few more years of the pitiful whining so it is now down to a fine art.

  16. Jenrigg

    What was my daughter doing at your house??? :D Fab description…. Hope she’s better now though.

  17. shannon

    This just makes me happier that the three I call my “kids” are actually four legged and furry. AND, I don’t have to pay for college!

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