Parenting, like the last two minutes of a basketball game, has a lot of set plays ready, depending on what the score is. And, in general, the whole day is structured to get into a good position for those crucial last moments.
I'm talking about getting the kids into bed. Daily activities, meals, school work, treats, baths, etc. all line up for that crucial final struggle to bed. On regular days I have things in place for the following exchanges:
Can I still...?
But I just...
But I have to...
Well, you had plenty time earlier. Lesson learned, right?
But I'm still hungry.
You didn't seem hungry at dinner.
And so on.
But when the parents are sick, all of our answers tend to be a mix of "unh" "ack" and "okay, whatever," making bedtime more and more prolonged and the kids less and less rational.
"I wanna sleep in my swimsuit on the dining table."
"Can I have some brownies now? And then use the rest of the brownies as my pillow?"
"I'm cold. Do you have some fives I can set on fire?"
In other words, don't ask about last night.