You’re going to need a kid or kids for this. If you don’t have one or more of your own, borrow. But make sure he/she goes to some kind of daycare or school. Germs are important for this plan.
First things first. This is Christmas vacation so our plan must be specific to the holiday season. Make sure you run yourself totally ragged over holiday festivities. This apparently is easy to do even when not in America. I made a paper tree with T-Rex, spent only 2 hours on Christmas shopping for everyone in the family but me, wrapped presents, made gingerbread cookies, and made a ridiculous chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. That’s it. And I still went nuts.
Next, make sure your child brings home a host of microbes from his classmates. Instruct him to play nicely with his brother thereby inevitably infecting the innocent as well.
Freak out that both children are sick, one seems croupy, and you’ve got company coming in less than 12 hours. Lose as much sleep as possible over above stressors.
Take 7 trains in 3 days. Bonus: serious snow can ensure that 5 of the 7 trains are late (or just never show up at all). This increases your time at train stations in close proximity to strangers with even stranger germs.
All of this insanity will most likely produce a whopper of an infection for you too. Try to pretend you’re not sick and attempt to travel despite feeling feverish.
Ignore your sickness by shopping all. day. long. Bonus: more crowds, more germs.
Once you feel so terrible that you’re convinced you have the plague and would rather die a dramatic death than take one more step in that stupid snow, beg your spouse to call a doctor for you. Then have said spouse beg the doctor to give you an appointment because all the doctors NOT on holiday are totally booked.
Be grateful for penicillin pills the size of hockey pucks. Be so grateful you follow the instructions and painfully swallow the pills before meals. This will ensure nausea of morning sickness proportions (no, I am not pregnant!) which will put you flat on your back and at the mercy of your visitor. Oh yeah, company. Crud muffins.
Infect your spouse with the same jolly bacteria you’ve got. How is completely up to you. Just make sure he feels like a small porcupine has taken up residence in his throat about two hours before it’s time to ring in the new year.
Hatch a plan to divide the antibiotics. I mean, what are you going to do? Pack up the sick kids and take them to the foreign hospital in the middle of the night? Noooo way. Share. Kiss because now it’s 2011. Go to sleep despite the hour-long DIY fireworks show going on outside your window.
Attempt to plan to make the best of the one week you’ve got left of vacation. Then have your spouse re-infect you. Smack head repeatedly against the wall. It helps to take the focus off the growing daggers in your throat.
Do not check email. Do not blog. Do not call friends. Do not update facebook.
Go to the pharmacy. Tell the truth. You were stupid. You shared antibiotics. Beg for another box. Get scolded. Leave dejected.
Pick yourself up and resolve to fight it. Visit the drugstore and buy a boatload of zinc + vitamin C. Consult google translate for instructions. Try not to cry when you figure out you can’t take more than 1 or 2 of these daily or you’ll have a “laxative effect.” If you REALLY want to ruin your vacation, you could consume these like candy.
Spend another sleepless night drooling like a babe because the pain of swallowing is greater than the embarrassment of that big puddle on your pillow. Congratulations. You are now desperate enough to beg (AGAIN) for an appointment and are even willing to take two cranky, sick kids with you.
Hide under the covers when you realize the only doctor you know doesn’t have any more appointments today. And no, he will not give you another prescription without an appointment.
Talk to your good German friend. Find out about a walk-in clinic at the hospital. Realize you really like and need this German friend. Otherwise you might just go a little crazy with a “why didn’t you tell me this existed before” speech.
Walk in the face-freezing cold to the clinic. Find a very nice, English-speaking doctor who chuckles instead of berates when you tell him the story. Obtain another prescription and the doctor’s permission to share this box too.
Have your three year-old act like he’s three and throw lots of tantrums that send him into coughing fits and bring that blasted croup thing back. Brace yourself because you know the little one’s about to get it again. But maybe not. He still has a green slug generator shoved up his nose.
Sleep off your stress. Then decide you want to go to IKEA to, you know, FINALLY do something. Figure out that it’s a holiday. A random holiday in the middle of the week. Which means everything’s closed. The Germans and their obsession with time off can be so infuriating.
Write DO NOTHING in your planner, preferably in big, fat red letters. Feel better now that you can finally cross something off your list.