The Big Sneeze


I have a cold. The kids had it earlier in the week, and what else can happen when three kids are sneezing or coughing directly in your face for a few days? You catch the cold.

However, where theirs was mild and didn’t slow them down, mine has reduced me to a watery-eyed, dizzy mess. The worst part is the sneezing.

Whenever I sneeze, whether or not I have a cold, people ask me if I’m all right. It’s embarrassing to call so much attention to myself. Sometimes my sneeze sounds like a cough. Always, I sneeze about four or five times in succession, loudly. My brother used to accuse me of holding back and told me to just have one tremendous sneeze. Impossible. If I had one tremendous sneeze, especially now after having three kids, the results would not be good. So I do my Kegels and I hold back the sneezing as best I can.

Sometimes I wonder what people would do if I said I wasn’t all right after I sneeze. Who isn’t all right after they sneeze? Are they going to drive me to the emergency room if I say no? Why do they think I’m not all right? Your eyeballs stay inside your head; I saw it on Mythbusters. Can’t I just get a “God bless you,” or a “Gesundheit”?

The worst part? Somebody (he knows who he is) got a Chocolate Lover’s Delight Cake at Costco the other day. The fudge ring with the white icing dripped over it. I can’t taste it. It like pure corn syrup. Blech. By the time I’m better, the kids will have eaten it all. Maybe I’ll lose weight on this cold.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

One thought on “The Big Sneeze

  1. Are you alright?
    Just kidding!

    I think you are so right….. after having babies if you allow too much pressure like a huge sneeze you will be getting as a little surprise.

    >>>>>sending your healing vibes>>>>>>>

    See if you can stash away a piece of that cake and enjoy it when your cold passes.

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