Sick, Sick, Sick

Sick Kid

We have recently made it through a round of The Creeping Crud here at the House of Wen, one that has attacked all five of us in turn and given me a renewed sense of gratitude for the good health our family usually enjoys.

When my kids were babies, they had one mode during sickness: Pathetic. Seriously. There is nothing more pathetic than a sick baby. But as they’ve gotten older, they’ve developed Modes of Illness that correspond with their individual personalities. Sort of like the three kids in PJ Masks transform at night to become their superhero alter egos, my kids each transform into a modified version of themselves: Picky, Clingy, and Zonked.

Yakko becomes…Picky!

A caveat here: Yakko does not BECOME picky when he is sick, as though the rest of the time he is not picky at all. Hahahahaha. Far from it. From the moment Yakko was born, he’s been on the lookout for Things Which Do Not Meet His Standards, of which there are many, as his standards are high and exacting.  When he is sick, he becomes exponentially more so. Last week, during the throes of his illness, he requested a Popsicle. We have some, even in the one flavor he likes, but these Popsicles once melted and refroze during a fit of temper from our freezer, and he now refuses to eat them because “they taste funny.” He expressed extreme displeasure with my pronouncement that no, I would not drop everything and run to the grocery store to purchase new Popsicles when we had some in—this bears repeating, HIS FAVORITE FLAVOR—that might have been a little misshapen. Similarly, he refused oyster crackers a few days ago because “they tasted stale.” Fair enough; the box had been open a while and they may very well have been stale. But he ALSO refused to eat the apple slices that briefly TOUCHED the oyster crackers because, in his words, “The apples taste stale now, too.”

Meanwhile, Dot becomes…Clingy!

Dot is normally pretty independent, but when she is sick, she wants to be physically attached to me at all times. ALL times. Day, night, it makes no difference whatsoever. She wants to be in my lap, snuggled up next to me, climbing on me, laying on me…it makes no particular difference to her, as long as we are basically glued together. When she was younger and easier to haul around, this was less of an issue. But now that she’s half as tall as I am and no longer a featherweight, getting around has become exceedingly more difficult. Last time I checked, they didn’t make Baby Bjorns to fit an almost-five-year-old (but even if they did, there is no way I would be able to figure out how to use it. Baby carriers always, always, ALWAYS confounded me).

And last, but not least, Wakko becomes…Zonked!

Wakko is my highest-energy kid, my child who, if he is not actively engaged in an Approved Activity, he will FIND an activity on his own that may or not fall under the umbrella of “Approved.” Over the years, Wakko has committed various shenanigans including, but not limited to: decorating the basement walls with Sharpie, coloring himself with marker, painting himself, putting Play-Doh in various kitchen implements, cutting his sister’s hair, cutting his own hair, cutting his sister’s hair AGAIN, etc. etc. etc.. If you follow me on Facebook, pretty much any adventure I relate containing an “unnamed Wenlet” can be traced back to Wakko.

HOWEVER. When Wakko is sick, he completely shuts down. Seriously. All that kid does is sleep. He will occasionally wake up long enough to take medication or nourishment, and then he’s out again. There are times when I have very nearly forgotten that Wakko is even HOME when he’s sick, which is why I’ve taken to putting him on the living room couch. Much more difficult to walk off and forget about him.

The caveat with this, of course, is that when he does wake up, nine times out of ten he is 100% well and back to his usual shenanigan-y self. I’m always glad to see him up and around and feeling better…but I do have to remember to lock up the Sharpies.

YOUR TURN: What are your kids like when they’re sick? Any fun sick kid stories to share?

A Love Letter To ClickList

Last year, our Local Megamart (tm Alton Brown) began a service called ClickList, where you order your groceries online, then pick them up and pay for them at the store without setting foot inside. The ClickList people even load your car for you! Clearly this is the best thing since sliced bread, especially for those of us with small, adorable, but occasionally annoying children who have to come with us. ClickList and services like it mean you are forever free from saying the following things in grocery aisles.

"Stay with me, please."

"No, you cannot have a cake pop at Starbucks."

"Stay with me! I mean it!"

"No, I'm not buying Cookie Crisp. That's not cereal. It's milk and cookies in a bowl."

"If I said no to a cake pop, what makes you think I'll get you a doughnut?"

"I know we usually buy the other brand. But this brand is on sale. I promise you won't notice the difference."

"Okay, fine, you might notice the difference, but until you start buying the groceries, you don't get to decide. The end."


"No. Put that back."

"Stop eating the grapes! Yes, I know we're buying them, but we haven't bought them YET."

"I am NOT buying you a unicorn frappuccino, for the love. That is the LAST thing you need." 


"Why is there goldfish food in the cart? We don't even HAVE a goldfish!"

"No, I am NOT buying you a goldfish."


A bonus, ClickList also frees you from Unpleasant Encounters With The General Public, including, but not limited to:

The Sancti-Mommy, clad in skin-tight designer workout wear, whose cart is full of kale, jicama, responsibly-sourced salmon, quinoa, organic dish soap, and diapers made out of hemp, who silently judges you for the Lunchables, orange juice, and Cheerios you have in your cart. 

The mom with way more children than you, all of whom are way better behaved than yours, who looks at you as though you have failed to grasp some Fundamental Tenet Of Parenting.

The married couple without kids who look at you and your offspring, then reward each other with the secret, smug, annoying smile that only people with disposable income and unlimited freedom can smile.

The woman in the checkout line in front of you who has a stack of coupons three inches thick and who argues with the cashier about each and every one.

and, last but not least...

The elderly woman who sees your fighting, shrieking, squabbling children and tells you to enjoy every single minute with your little darlings, because they'll be grown and gone before you know it. (While this may be true, it is not always helpful in moments like these.

Like I said, ClickList is the best thing since sliced bread.

Of course, to use ClickList effectively, one must plan ahead. As in, y'know, make your list, get on the computer, order your groceries, select your pickup window, and submit your order. All of this requires a certain level of mental acuity, and sometimes, when it's 11:00 the night before you need to go shopping and you still haven't placed your order, you are tempted to just wing it at the store.

I did this last week. I was exhausted, my brain was not functioning, and I knew I wouldn't be able to summon the mental wherewithal to make a menu, let alone a list, so I bought myself some time and decided to just make a grocery run.

Big mistake. Because the next day, all three kids were out of school. Which meant all three of them had to come with me. It was...less than ideal.

 Upon my return from the store, I posted this to Facebook.


My dear ClickList,

I underestimated you. I thought I didn't need you. When I was too lazy to fill out an order this morning, I rationalized it. "It'll be fine," I thought. "I like to pick out my own produce, anyway, and I'll have the kids with me, so they can help. Besides, we're dying Easter eggs, and the kids will want to pick out their own kit. It'll be fine."

It was awful, dear ClickList. AWFUL. I felt like issuing a personal apology to each of the 5,385,471,295,285 other people at Dillons this morning. Families with more children than I could count, families with children who were actually BEHAVING and not running wild in the produce aisles or wearing their Easter baskets as hats. People who were going about their day, minding their own business, actually able to concentrate--or, at least they were until the Wenlets showed up.

Summer is coming, ClickList. Summer, where the Wenlets will be out of school, not just for one day, but for ALL OF THE DAYS, and I have realized my error. You are not a mere convenience. You are a NECESSITY. I have seen who I am without you, ClickList, and it is not pretty. Not. Pretty.

Forgive me, ClickList. I have been a fool.


As you can see, I've learned my lesson. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a ClickList order to fill out.