Cold and flu season is kicking my butt. Between the stomach virus and two colds, I’ve spent the past two months either being sick or recovering.
But don’t worry about me, because I live the sweet life of a modern housewife. It was different when my kids were in diapers and I didn’t have time to wipe my own nose. Now I can send them off to school, swallow some cold medicine and take a nap. When I wake up, my entire house will be clean thanks to my fully automated house.
Roomba vacuums upstairs. The washing machine tackles dirty laundry and the dryer tumbles the latest load. Downstairs in the kitchen, the dishwasher hums. Meanwhile, the bread machine kneads a loaf of gluten-free bread to go with the bean soup boiling in the Instant Pot. Over in the corner, the Aero Garden ripens a crop of cherry tomatoes to eat with dinner.
When Walt Disney imagined Tomorrow Land, he probably pictured me in my living room being a total couch potato.
Napping while my small army of machines does my dirty work for me should make me feel happy, but instead I wallow in guilt. The whole world is working but me. I should be out grocery shopping in the rain or wrapping Christmas presents, not flittering in and out of a cold medicine coma. I curse my wimpy immune system and add another snotty tissue to the pile.
I wake up an hour later to the sound of beeping. Every machine in the house tries to get my attention: Roomba struggles to locate its docking station, the washing machine has stopped, the dryer is done, the dishwasher has switched to drying, the bread machine has entered the second rising cycle, the Aero Garden has converted to night-time mode and the Instant-Pot might explode.
I rouse myself to deal with my electric workforce, but before I can get off the couch my phone beeps with an incoming text. It’s lunchtime at middle school and my son has sent me a picture of a funny meme. “LOL!” I text back, accompanied by the appropriate emojis.
Unlike housewives of the past, I’m only a thumb click away from my children. I scroll through my notifications and read a classroom email from my daughter’s teacher, a message from the PTA and a reminder about an upcoming event at church.
I update the Cozi app on my phone accordingly to make sure our family’s calendar is up to date.
Looking at our schedule makes me shudder. Once 2:30 p.m. arrives, my sick day is done.
Today we have Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and a dance lesson — all in one afternoon. A coughing fit overtakes me, and I flop back down on the couch.
My automated house is great and all, but what I really need is a cure for the common cold.
Jennifer Bardsley is author of the books “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.” Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal.
Author Jennifer Bardsley will be signing copies of her YA books from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 16 at The Neverending Bookshop, 10123 Main Place No. 2, Bothell. Stop by the store to say “Hello” — and grab some cookies so that she doesn’t eat them all herself.