Cold germs are my kryptonite

Before I had children, I prided myself on my iron-clad immune system. For nearly two decades, I enjoyed years with only one, maybe two colds, looking on with disdain at my sneezing, sniveling friends and co-workers. “Foolish mortals!” I would proclaim as they reached for their hundredth Kleenex of the day. “Why must you be so weak? Surely you are unclean, to be so sick so often!” And then I would usually laugh a maniacal laugh as I savored the joy of breathing through my nose.

But then I had kids.

Foolishly, I thought my track record of health would protect me. Surely I wouldn’t fall prey to Addie’s runny nose, or Rosie’s raging case of pinkeye. I had done my time in the trenches of ear infections and barking coughs in my youth! But apparently, today’s illnesses are different, stronger, more wily. Or maybe it’s just that my kids have a penchant for sneezing directly into my open mouth, but whatever the reason, I am powerless against their germy wiles.

When Addie was a toddler, she once had a cold that lasted from August until April. Rosie has been a little more hardy than that, but even she tends to have a permanent dried snot mustache most of the time. As for me, I have a low-level cold about 70% of the time, which I mostly manage to keep under control with Airborne and coffee.

It does come with a handy side effect, though– I have grown so used to having a cold that when it finally abates, I feel like a god-damned superhero. When your baseline is a foggy head and achy muscles, the dissipation of a cold means you can smell colors and lift cars off babies (maybe, I’m assuming, I have yet to have the chance to try, but it seems like it would definitely be a thing). I’m in the midst of a cold right now, but I’m expecting to come out of this one with the ability to fly.

Which might come in handy, because once you get to 10,000 feet, there’s no one around to sneeze into your mouth.

Meet the cast: Rosie

Hi! My name is Rosie Oja. You may have seen me in such performances as Massive Freakout at the Library Because You Wouldn’t Let Me Drink Out of the Drinking Fountain Anymore After Thirty Uninterrupted Minutes, or Panic! In the Kitchen.

Like many casual fans, you might know a few key facts about me– I am two years old; I have the upper body strength of Mr. T on a cocaine bender; I love cats and dogs, particularly if they are small enough for me to pick them up and carry them around by their heads; and when I am excited, I stand on my tiptoes and shout HOOWAY!, because I am the cutest toddler that ever lived.

But since we may be spending a great more time together this year, let me fill you in on a few tidbits that you might not know:

  1. I am a nudist. IMG_3870

The moment I return home from anywhere, I immediately remove all my clothing. It starts innocently, with just the socks, but as soon as you turn your back I’m going Full Monty on your ass, because I just want to feel free, man. The social construct that is clothing does not apply to me. So don’t be surprised if one minute I’m standing next to you fully dressed and back from a hard day at school, and the next thing you know I’m completely naked and scrubbing your toilet, because that is a totally natural thing for me to do, Judgy McJudgerson.


2. Riley bite me. She bite me on my back. Don’t worry if you forget, because I will remind you at least eight hundred times a day, even though it only happened once, and it was about two months ago. This is basically my go-to topic of conversation. Also, Gogo bite me. Point is, I get bitten a lot, and I want you to know about it.

3. For a little while when I was a baby, I was essentially deaf, thanks to a series of debilitating ear infections. I have tubes now, and can hear just fine, but because I couldn’t hear when my brain was developing, I am speech delayed. But don’t feel sorry for me– I have learned to communicate just fine through a series of grunts, squawks and well-placed kicks. And I can talk– as I may have mentioned before, Riley bite me. She bite me on my back– I just can’t really be understood by anyone except my mommy. And even she only understands about 30% of what I say. She is gonna be pissed when she find out what ME GACK DOUGH means.

4. I want to be a grown-up SO BAD. Specifically, I want to be my older sister. I don’t want to be like her. I literally want to be her. So I’m sort of Single White Female-ing her– I am constantly demanding to drink from her cups and wear her underwear, even though I have mastered neither drinking nor not immediately peeing myself– basically, anything liquid related, I am a failure at. Anyway, don’t tell her this is happening. I’m hoping just to start showing up at her kindergarten and seeing if I can snag a seat at circle time. I just hope no one bites me on my back.

So now you’re an expert on all things Rosie! And if you ever see me out in public, please don’t hesitate to approach me. I’m not like those other Internet celebrities– I love having my picture taken, as long as you immediately hand over your phone to see how the picture turned out, and then let me scroll through every other picture in your camera roll, and then let me somehow disable your iPhone for 2565 minutes.

Also, don’t bite me. I swear to God, I will go apeshit if you bite me.