Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Favorites: Sick Family Dinner Edition

So, tonight I was faced with a truly daunting task. Upon arriving home from work, my David announced that he had caught something at work. Now, a little sickness is normal, but in our house it's like a very unpleasant view into the future. This future includes a few days of a very grumpy, very medicated Dave. In order to stay functional for work (because no real man would let a cold make him stay home), Dave must recieve equal measures of Claritin, DayQuil, NyQuil, Water, Sleep and Babying. Don't let the last three fool you, though. If he doesn't get these as often as he gets the others, the sickness will rage on well past it's time. All this isn't too bad, I mean, babying your husband isn't always easy while the kids are awake, but it's rather nice to do things for him and then hear in a scratchy, grumpy voice "You're the bestest."

The problem comes when, invariably, the kids get sick.

With Dave, I can pretty much tell you exactly what will happen when he gets sick. He will be unexplainably irritable for a few days, will come home with the realization that he's sick, we will pump him so full of medicine he sweats NyQuil, he'll avoid all greasy foods, and then in about a week he'll be back to normal. But with the kids, anything goes. They may get grumpy and tired, they may get grumpy and excited. They may eat like horses, and they may hunger strike. They may sleep twice as much, they may sleep twice as less. And they may each choose to do different things at the same time. No, folks, it's no picnic.

And guess who never gets sick? Me. For some reason, my body must operate on some insane performance level because while the rest of the family is sick and gross, I get by with nary a cough. This could be because at the mere sign of Dave getting the grumpys I toss back a glass of AirBorne like it's a shot of schnapps (which I don't actually care for, but you get the picture, right?). But it could also be God's way of ensuring my family survives because I'm pretty sure that I'm a bigger baby than David.

All this to say, that tonight Dave's sick beginnings let me know that I'm in for a long few days.

And so, I bring you this week's (belated) Tuesday Favorites. These are four dinners that your very own Unsinkable has deemed perfectly acceptable when one or more of your family is sick and you are too busy tending to their needs to fix the delightful and rounded meal you normally do.

5. Lunchables. When your kids are sick, you want nothing more than to get something in them so that you can get them to sleep as soon as possible. And Lunchables are where it's at. Yes, they have an insane amount of sodium. Yes, the preservatives would probably preserve a cow for a decade. No, there is nothing in them that resembles either a fruit or a vegetable. But my kids will EAT them. And there is something to be said for the utter convenience of offering your children, who up until now have refused every morsel of food you've offered for the last 48 hours, something they will gobble up until their bellies are full enough to sleep long and hard. And there is nothing better than sick kids sleeping.

4. Papa John's Breadsticks. I understand that you may not see this as a full meal, however, do let me explain. When your sickie has been draining all day long, what they need is a good solid hunk of bread to soak all the nasty up. My husband informed me that a giant sub would also work, but since we couldn't agree between Subway and Quizno's (meatball availability vs. all around superior quality) we just went with basic bread. Also, as a bonus for the non-sickie, you get all the special garlic dipping sauce.

3. Any Kind Of Pizza That Can Be Delivered. The ultimate low effort meal. The grease may be too much fora gippy tummy, but it will do wonders for your spirit. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times "Grease makes my heart happy."

2. Lipton Noodle Soup and Cherry Juicy Juice. This is probably a personal preference, but every since I was teeny tiny, this was my sick food of choice. Sometimes Mom would mix it up a bit and buy some Ginger Ale, but the Liptons and Juicy Juice were key. The Liptons is easy on the belly and makes you feel full (and it isn't too bad if the kids throw it up), and the Juicy Juice gets you that vitamin C and it tastes great (alas, it is not the easiest to clean up if it comes back). And seriously, soup and juice for dinner? Awesome. And almost no dishes.

1. Popcorn and Dr. Pepper. Technically, this isn't a dinner. And it's not for the whole family. This, my mothering/wifing friends, is your reward. When all the sick ones are finally asleep, when you have a quiet house for the first time all day, and when you are so wide awake that you can't even dream of falling asleep with your family, this is what you break out. You pop that corn (and please, no "low" anything. There is a time for the big guns, and this is it) and you pop that tab and then you plop those buns in front of the TV. You snuggle down for some uninterrupted YOU time and you find the funniest thing you have around and you laugh the day away. In fact, if you'd like, I have a feeling I will be doing exactly this tomorrow night. Feel free to join me - all you need is a snack, a drink, a sleeping family, and something hilarious. Okay, then? It's a date.

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