“And I would have gotten away with it, if not for these meddling KIDS!!!”
Who among us doesn’t recognize one of the most memorable lines from most every Scooby Doo episode? That twist ending where you found out it wasn’t suspect #1, but rather, the groundskeeper or next door neighbor or some other unsuspecting character. Funny how kids never thought, “It’s not gonna be the creepy mean guy. It’s gotta be one of these other really nice people…”
Anyway, that line pretty much sums up how I felt, year in, year out. But not because I got caught doing anything wrong. I’m talking about the ILLNESSES that I caught for 20+ straight years! That’s right, from the first year my oldest child entered kindergarten to the year my youngest (#4) graduated high school.
Every doggone year, I demanded, suggested and even begged these kids to wash their hands the minute they got home from school. And more than anything, to isolate themselves when/if they felt sick. Either THEY do it, or I do it FOR them.
My oldest was the worst at that. I’d come home from work, only to find him sprawled out on the living room couch, half-naked, sweating, hacking and wheezing as he wiped his hands on the fabric and touched everything else within arm’s length. I would scream at the top of my lungs for him to go upstairs, get in the bed and STAY in the bed until his cold/flu passed. Not that it was any use because by then, he’d have already spread the virus everywhere: on the table, kitchen countertop, refrigerator handle, wall switches, doorknob, kitchen chairs, ceiling fans, broom bristles, front left tire of the minivan, behind the electric wall socket, etc.
What I mean to say is, no matter how much my wife and I fought to sanitize the house, he always found something to contaminate. They all did.
And of course, days later, there I was, stuck at work with a runny nose, mucous-filled eyes, a headache, body ache and a box of tough-fiber industrial maintenance wipes because we were out of Kleenex. Couldn’t take time off because annual inventory was beginning or corporate was coming to town (thus, you had to be dead to get out of mandatory attendance). Finally, once I was too weak to crawl out of bed, I was down for at least a week because the 24-hour bug my kids were carrying had morphed into a two-week, life-threatening virus for my adult system.
Every year. Every flippin’ year. ESPECIALLY during flu season.
“Get your flu shot!” people would say.
Nope, didn’t help. Now I’m sick and my arm is sore AND paralyzed from the shoulder on down from the influenza innoculation.
Yeah, every year without fail — sick as a dog.
And how do I know they were the reason for my annual ailments?
Well, the “baby” of the boys graduated from high school in Spring, 2018.
It’s now Fall, 2021…
…and I haven’t gotten sick ONCE!
In fact, aside from the occasional dust particulates, blown from vacuuming, I haven’t so much as sneezed in the past 3 years.
Of course, my sons are denying ever being at fault for what happened to me all those years.
But they know the truth. And they know I know it.
Just like they know they’re going to be taking turns, months at a time, taking care of me in years to come. I’m getting old now and I told them if I get sent to a nursing home, NO one gets any of my inheritance.
What they DON’T know is that my current net worth is about $38, which they get to split 4 ways after taxes and attorney fees.
And they forget that I’m losing muscle control in my bowels with each passing year.
…and they get to wipe my booty, up until the reading of the will.
“Vengeance is MINE!” sayeth the Lord.
Groundskeeper voice: “Those darn kids!!!”
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