Daddy’s just a big faker

Daddies aren’t supposed to get sick. That must be a rule among little kids because they never believe that Daddy feels like crap and needs to be left alone for a while.

It’s funny how little respect my five-year-old has for my illnesses considering how much attention he demands on his own sick days. When he’s sick, the house is his palace and the other people who live there are his servants. Before the sundry whims which may require action from Mommy and Daddy, there are certain base-line needs that should be met without him having to ask. He needs the entire couch commandeered for his reclining wants, and the TV tuned to cartoons for the duration of his infirmity. Beyond this, he needs a ready attendant to keep the blanket covering his feet should it slip when he changes position. And juice. There must always be juice at hand.

Dangerously exposed feet of an ailing boy

“Um, does somebody want to get on this?”

When I am sick, I mostly need the people in my house to leave me alone. I can get my own juice and fluff my own pillows; I just don’t want people climbing all over me or demanding that I supply juice to maintain them in the pink of health. I want to be left to myself. Apparently, this is a burdensome request.

If I am home from work when my son gets home from school, it likely means I’m ill. To him, it means play time starts early. He greets me with his favorite question, “Daddy, what can we play?” When I tell him I’m too sick to play, it’s a disappointment to him. But he’s a resilient lad, and he sloughs off the disappointment with everything else I’ve told him, so that within five minutes, he sees the world fresh and asks with renewed enthusiasm, “Daddy, what can we play?”

He is not the only one who easily forgets why I am at home at this unusual time. My wife does not think I make a very good patient either. She says I don’t complain enough when I’m sick; therefore I appear to be little more than a slacker playing hooky from work. If I moaned and groaned a bit more, she would perhaps be reminded that I do not need to be whipped up out my laziness with a steady course of housework.

Keep your snot at home

Besides, your family has chores for you to do. (Image: Ontario Medical Association)

There is always laundry to be done, and since I am neither comatose nor moaning, as a truly ill person would be, I might as well use this down time to lend a hand to operational needs of the household. She has this look she gives when the dryer finishes its cycle that says, “If you didn’t want to work today, you should have gone into the office.”

Stay home, do laundry

“Are you guys home sick from work too?”

I was taught to suffer quietly, so I can only blame my parents. If they had raised a squeakier wheel, maybe that wheel could get a sufficient break from playing games and folding towels to get a little rest when it was sick.


21 comments on “Daddy’s just a big faker

  1. It’s the same way around here, but my husband is such a giant baby… One little sniffle and he’s out for a week. So when he is honestly, really, terribly sick, I don’t always buy it. Take a lap.

    • mewhoami says:

      Naptime – Your comment made me laugh, because my husband is the same way. If he coughs once during the evening, then I already know that he’s going to call in sick the next day. Like you, that makes it hard for me to believe him when he truly is sick. Men can be such drama queens. ha!

    • boringyear says:

      Mine is the same. I think that plus the fact that I don’t get any time off for being sick makes me into a big old cynic who thinks Hubs should just toughen up. Sometimes I feel bad for thinking that way. But only sometimes!

    • Wow. Don’t let those big babies pull the wool over your eyes, ladies. Put ’em to work!

  2. mewhoami says:

    I must say that I’m impressed by your willingness to help out even when you’re sick. That is a rare trait among men.

  3. Traci says:

    I hate to break it to you, but those things you’ve got growing around the house (Let’s call them children) are probably going to be self-absorbed for the next dozen years or so. Right now you’re just a juice dispenser with a personality 🙂

  4. I’m with you, Scott. When I’m sick I just want to be left alone. I am an expert at wallowing in self-pity.

  5. Julie says:

    Can you teach my husband how to do a little housework while sick? Or even when he’s perfectly healthy. You’re looking like a rockstar to me now.

  6. stacybuckeye says:

    No rest for the wicked(ly sick)!

  7. pieterk515 says:

    My poor friend. You must be the ONLY man I know who is NOT milking his sick days. Acting is EXTREMELY important when you find the courage and decide you’re too ill to go to work.

    Read this and learn…

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