Whatever germs the baby gets, the nanny gets

…Which leads to the nanny leaving work on a Friday at 4 pm.

Leaving work at 4 might not sound early to you lucky SOB’s who work 9-5, but at four o’clock this nanny is in the middle of wrangling two wide-eyed boys who are protesting bath time and running around the house leaving a trail of old, dried out Play-Doh along the way.

I wish I could say that I left work “sick” as a ploy to meet friends at happy hour or to get a head start on a weekend getaway. Alas, this nanny really is sick and really did go home to bed.

When I walked into the house this morning, Grandpa Bear informed me that Little Bear has a cold. The way I had been feeling the past few weeks suddenly began to make sense: passing out at 8:45 last night without any help from a sleep aid, sleeping more than nine hours the last few nights and waking up each morning with a scratchy throat. I had a cold goddamn it, and I finalize allowed myself to realize it.

I’m sure it’s easy to say “duh nanny, it’s obvious that you have a cold,” but I have a reasonably good argument for believing that I had no energy because I was exhausted. Two weeks ago, when I first started to feel sick, I assumed it was the result of a world-wind 48 hours in Key West for my dear high school friends’ bachelorette. But after a low-key work week and weekend, I couldn’t figure out why this week I felt so bad and how somehow, I was beginning to feel even worse.

Then it hit me: the Germ Twins were the culprit (as they usually are) and had infected me with slimly children’s germs. Between BB starting camp and LB returning to Gymboree for the first time since his surgery two months ago, I can only imagine the strong strain of cooties that were brought back into the Bear house. It doesn’t matter how often I wipe everything we touch with antibacterial wipes and it wouldn’t matter if I bathed the Bears in a Purell bath, slimy child germs always find a way into the home.

There is nothing worse than having a sick nanny taking care of a sick baby. Okay, maybe having a sick baby trying to be taken care of by a sick nanny is worse. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it until I’m just bones in a grave- babies smell fear. When LB’s usually calm nanny can’t take his cries of hunger, he is going to catch on that his nanny is weak. If he’s not feeling good and needs to be constantly held and rocked and snuggled and his nanny is constantly coughing and rubbing her eyes and looks detached? Well, sweetie, no one comes out a winner.

Let’s just say that between Gymboree and morning walks, my mornings with LB usually fly by and he’s taking his now 2 ½ hours late morning- early afternoon nap and this nanny is curled on the recliner with some must read (according to me) book of the week in one arm and a large salad in the other. Not this morning. This morning dragged and dragged and every time I looked at the clock I swore the little hand barely moved since the last time I checked.

By the time Mama Bear came home from the airport late morning (she spent 3 nights in NYC for a work trip) I looked like a hungover creature evaporating into the couch. MB took one look at me and told me to go home and rest. The Bears hadn’t seen their mom since Tuesday morning and we both knew that when BB got home from camp that he would glue himself to his mother’s side and dodge his nanny for the rest of the day.

Now it is 5 o’clock and I’m still in bed. If I was still at work I’d be cooking up some boxed Mac and Cheese (the only thing BB will eat these days) and trying to get LB to eat just a few bites of puree baby food between sticky handfuls of Mac and Cheese he stole off his brother’s plate.

But not today. I will spend the remainder of my Friday night (and what I can only assume will be the rest of my weekend) snuggled under the covers. I can only hope that those strong, slimy child germs hadn’t followed me home.

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