It amazes me that after all the scare tactics around the H1N1 flu, “don’t eat pork” to “vaccines are running low!”, and “we’re all gonna die” (hmmm…. ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad). But when my son coughed at preschool recently, and one of the other mothers started telling her son loudly right in front of us after they walked by one another, “Wash your hands  – wash your hands, now!” in an urgent tone, I thought for sure we were all getting a bit manic about it.

And here we are … a mere six week later. And after living with my little 2-year old and 4-year old petri dishes, I can tell you a simple truth: apparently, there is only one thing this year worse than the flu. Knocked down by the H1N1, then the regular flu, and finally a plain old cold right courtesy of a bitter Santa (not enough cookies, maybe?) – I can tell you the plain old common cold has hit my family harder than anything. The amount of Kleenex alone we’ve gone through is crazy; at least five boxes between four people (two of which are very, very small).

That’s what you get for buying into the hype of the “new” disease. Knocked on your ass by the common cold. When the doctor innocently asks you after five days of no sleep, three Kleenex boxes, and almost as many Sudafeds as a meth addict, “Have you tried pushing fluids and getting rest?” At that point I cough and shove my children towards him. He smiles, “Do your best”. It’s at that point that I may have tried to use my Kaiser card as a shiv, leapt over my wee ones, held it to his throat and threatened to rub my runny nose on him if he didn’t hand over the amoxicillin.

Oddly enough, two days later on antibiotics and we’re all feeling remarkably better. My partner muses that it may have been a cold and an additional virus, but we both agree – the swine is so overrated this season. Common cold is a nasty, mean, hacking wench of  a way to break in the new year.