Noah’s baby brother is going on a month old now. Man, time has flown.
It takes me back to the first days of Noah. His mom and I used to freak out about every little germ, we’d worry about who was coming over and whether or not they’d had a single sniffle in the past six years, and we’d make everybody scrub down and swish their mouths out with hand sanitizer before they could get anywhere near us or our kid.
Well, now we’re divorced. We’re co-parents. Which means that Noah is at my house half the time and he’s at her house half the time. Which means that mud, and goober, and leftover food, and especially microscopic invaders love to latch onto that kid and travel from one house to the next.
Well, that’s usually not that big a deal except:
A) Noah has a new baby brother over at his other house. And,
B) For the past week, I’ve been sicker than I have been in years.
If you missed my rendezvous with death, you can read about that here. Needless to say, this isn’t a sickness that I want to pass along to my own kid, let alone my ex wife’s newborn child.
And so, I voluntarily went an entire week without getting to see my kid.
That’s an eternity when you’re best of pals.
Yesterday I was feeling mostly better. I seemed to be getting my energy back, my cough seemed to be dry and free from all phlegm and disgustingness. And I was able to sit down and way overtype my daily blog posts once more. So, I called up Noah’s mom and told her I wanted to come grab Noah.
I could hear the extreme hesitation in her voice. “You sure you’re okay now? I don’t want…”
“I know, I’m fine!” I told her, knowing that I wasn’t a 100% but also not willing to go another day without seeing my kid.
I went and picked Noah up and took him home with grandioso plans of a big movie and popcorn night. On the way I had a coughing attack. Before we pulled in I started sweating profusely. Why was it coming back?!
Not wanting to risk it too badly, I plopped Noah onto the couch that hadn’t touched me or my sicky body yet. Snuggling was out of the question. We watched 20 minutes of the movie and then it was bedtime. Noah scooted to his bedroom with a half-arm hug and no kiss until he was properly 20 feet away. I sang him a song from the hallway that night. Or at least I tried to. The coughing started up again halfway through and I had to bail on the idea.
When I woke up, I had to check a couple of times just to confirm that a polar bear wasn’t sitting on my chest.
My sickness was back and it was back with authority.
MAN WITH DEADLY DISEASE SPREADS IT TO CHILDREN AND BABIES. I could see the headline clear and vivid.
So, I called Noah’s mom and told her what was up. She very politely and eagerly agreed that Noah needed to come back before he got this crap. I agreed and took him over.
And now I’m at home again, without my kid, not sure when exactly I’ll be able to be Dad again. And that blows more than anything.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Please comment! How do you feel as a parent when you’re the sick one? How has it affected you in your parenting or co-parenting arrangements? Do you get to where you just need your sickness to be done so that you can go back to being a parent?