It’s almost Halloween, guys! The candy! The costumes! The cocktails! And most importantly, the release of season two of “Stranger Things”!
Truly, it’s the best time of the year.
If you’re single.
But if you happen to be a parent, October really does live up to its reputation as the scariest month (and not just because your kids won’t let you binge-watch “Stranger Things” no matter how much you beg them).
Forget the mountain of treats that turn your offspring into manipulative and heartless sugar addicts. And all the idiots ordering that stupid zombie drink at Starbucks that takes the barista three hours to make when all you want is a giant-ass dark roast so you don’t collapse on top of your toddler. Or even the fact you can’t find a decent Halloween costume because they only make slutty costumes for women and you now have mom boobs that look ridiculous in a skimpy “Rainbow Brite” outfit.
No, this is the scariest time of year because this is when it all starts. The season of the sick. The marathon of mucus. The tsunami of tsissues.
That relentless march of germs that invade your children’s bodies and doesn’t quit until that one beautiful week in May when everyone in your family is finally healthy again. (And then promptly begins again that beautiful week in June when everyone suddenly comes down with an awful summer cold).
It all starts NOW.
My kids don’t even have to be around other kids to get sick this time of year. If anyone within a 23-mile radius encounters even a single germ, my children somehow know (probably via mucus telepathy), and they immediately start ripping through tissue boxes like we own stock in Kleenex.
True story. We just got back from visiting family in Ohio. Now, my extended family has approximately 18,000 small children as members. Of those 18,000 children, approximately 17,999 were sick. Or just getting over being sick. Or just starting to come down with something. Or coughed sometime in September but we weren’t taking any chances.
So, we quarantined our children, even though it interfered with all our plans. We hunkered down at Memaw’s house and hosed down their tiny bodies every three hours with a gallon of hand sanitizer followed by a blast of Lysol directly to the face.
And yet, AND YET, my little one still woke up one morning with a fever. Which she kindly passed on to her older brother because she licked his eyeballs during a fun game of “Wrestle Until Someone Cries.”
And then she broke out in a horrible rash. But he didn’t. Which made for a particularly rousing game of “What’s The Amateur Diagnosis?”
We specifically avoided any and all people, healthy or sick, going as far as to jump on top of anyone under five feet tall like they were a germ grenade if they even THOUGHT of approaching our babies.
But it didn’t matter. Because it never matters. Because life is short and cruel and full of snot.
WHY ARE CHILDREN ALWAYS SICK? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, their immature immune systems and other science “facts.” But seriously, WHY ARE CHILDREN ALWAYS SICK?
It’s never when you need them to be sick either. Like when you need a viable excuse to get out of your friend Dave’s “Make Your Own Calzone” party. Or when, say, the latest season of “Stranger Things” becomes available and you need a guilt-free reason to put them in a Benadryl coma so you can watch it.
Oh no. Then they are the picture of health and pestering you endlessly to go to the playground or the library or “parent” them in any discernible form.
They only get sick when it is the worst possible time. Like, oh, I don’t know, on vacation.
And then they stay sick forever.
And ever and ever and ever and then a brief recovery just in time for you to begrudgingly attend Dave’s “Game of Thrones” wine tasting party, and then ever and ever and ever and ever.
Here soon I won’t even be able to remember a time when one of them wasn’t sick. They will just pass germs back and forth with each other all fall and winter and for the next one hundred million months. And they’ll be miserable. And I’ll be miserable. And Daddy will be miserable (mostly because his wife is an asshole when she’s miserable).
On the plus side, however, maybe I will finally get to watch “Stranger Things.”
Where did I put that damn bottle of Benadryl?