Annie, James, and I have been passing a cold between the three of us for what feels like two months. As soon as one of us gets over it, another one starts coughing. Freaking preschool germs, man. Over the weekend, Annie started to get clingy and whiny and generally out of character. We didn’t know what was going on, and then she started screaming about her nose like a brunette Marcia Brady. After hearing, “AH MY NOSE!” a thousand times, I realized Annie was sick with a Man Cold.

A preschooler with a Man Cold is terrible. Kids that age are already miserable little sick people, but throw in man-sized crankiness and it’s a recipe for disaster. Poor Annie was coughing and sneezing for a solid forty-eight hours, or as Annie called them, “THE WORST DAYS EVERRRRRR AAAAAAHHHHH!”

When a child has a Man Cold, minor problems become terrible inconveniences, your mommy doesn’t wipe your nose fast enough, and your voice is required by law to be 20 decibels louder than usual. A preschooler with a Man Cold doesn’t care if you are also sick; in fact, this is an opportunity to prove that your illness is less-impressive than theirs. The child thinks you are a wuss if you blow your nose; it is much more fun to sniff two thousand times an hour.


A child with a Man Cold is not a snuggly, passive sick kid. No, the Man Cold-afflicted child suddenly has limbs that are boney, ten feet long, and flail about at random. The only flavor of Gatorade that sounds good is the flavor you don’t have.

The good thing is that a child with a Man Cold will nap, sometimes multiple times a day. You know it will likely mess up bedtime, but you don’t care, because silence. Until the sleep-moaning starts. It might be yours, though.

A full-grown man knows to milk a Man Cold for as long as possible, but a child with a Man Cold is only sick for a couple of days, tops. Before you know it your happy, ravenous kid will return to you and after you dole out dozens of kisses, this will all be a distant memory…

…until your baby catches the Man Cold.