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The Kids Are NOT Alright (A #Mancode Essay)

April 24, 2011

When kids get sick, do men believe it?

That’s the question of the day.

In my home, it takes proof. Otherwise, my husband ships them off to school. Kinda like the army: Be all that you can be, five-year-old! No excuses here, sixth grader!

What IS that?

Let’s deconstruct.

The other day, the little guy (age five) felt and smelled warm to me (I know. It’s a chick thing). Husband looked at me like I was nuts. YOU SMELLED HIM? After much eye-rolling, he said, “He played T-ball. Of course he’s warm. Relax. He’s going to school tomorrow.”

Against my better judgment, we sent him. And…we got the call after naptime. Keep in mind, this fella NEVER takes a nap at school. 103 degree fever. (Of course, I’m not in the least surprised.)

I take him right over to the pediatrician. Strep, baby.


Why do I listen to my husband? He of the ‘until he has a fever of 103 and tests positive for strep he’s not sick’ camp? Clearly, I had pegged it. Clearly, mom knows best. My gut knew. My nose knew.

Why do guys ignore the sick?

When it comes to illness: are men from oblivion and women from recognition?

I don’t mean that my husband is an idiot, cause he’s not. Let’s not get pissy here, people. But he intentionally ignored my son’s symptoms for the sake of getting on with the day. It’s as if he believes he can power through nature just by willing it so. Which, um, excuse me, is just soooo uber-Mancode.

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Cause dude, it never freakin’ works. Mother Nature knows.

As do mothers. #der

Chicks, on the other hand, will nurture that person through their illness. Do what we can to care for that baby, make him feel better, nurse the symptoms, do whatever it takes to make it GO AWAY quickly; and then get on with life.

I recognize that not all men are like this. My dad is not like this. He’s kind of a hypochondriac to be honest (love you Daddy :-). At the first sign of any of his three girls being ill, we were all stuffed with massive amounts of Vitamin C, tea, Hitchcock, and bed. We loved being sick with Dad. Mom was the one who’d tell us to get our asses to school, dammit (though if we begged, she’d make us awesome matzo ball soup).

To be honest, my guy wasn’t always like this. No, wait–yes he was. I forgot. He’s a dude. Even when HE’S sick, we all have to pretend he’s not; until, ya know, he’s so sick I practically have to hospitalize him and by then, we all have to wait on him hand and foot cause THAT’S WHAT GUYS DO (remember Maby, Baby?)

What’s your take on how men recognize – or fail to recognize – illness? Surely it’s not just me living in my own little Mancode bubble? #pleasegodsayitisntso

If it is, then yea. I’m fucked.

Please share your opinion, comments, and stories with me below. Retweets and mentions appreciated and loved.

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From → illness, kids, mancode, men, strep, Women

One Comment
  1. You're not completely alone, I'm like your husband in this regard, even if I know they have a fever I'll push them to go to school. I go to work sick. I'm not saying well if I can do it so can they, but I'm just wired this way now and unless someone is proven contagious, like strep can be, or incapacitated, then it's time to go. I'm not blind to the fact or denying they are sick. I just feel, a little medicine, some more Vit C and as long as they can play they can go to school.
    I'm not so sure its entirely a gender thing though, I developed this attitude after I started working for my current boss. A woman, she's an extremely hard worker, and expects the same from her employees. It just rubbed off on me I guess. She actually jumped my case for being sick and calling in once, but dudes have more of a tendency towards this.
    PS-Yes she's a mother as well so that isn't why she's like that.

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