Coming down with a cold or any sort of illness, no matter how insignificant it may be, can be life-threatening to someone living with SMA. Here in the Silva household, we’ve pretty much gotten avoiding germs down to a science. Friends, family, and everyone in my circle know the drill when it comes to germs: DO NOT COME WITHIN 75 FEET OF ME. Sneezing and sniffling is no joke around here, and my father has probably invested half his earnings into the hand sanitizer industry.

Now, this fact is not to be taken lightly. Seriously. I was leaving the house the other day and discovered my father had bought ten bottles of Purell. Dr. Phil, as we affectionately call him, does not take any chances, and you can always rely on his germaphobic tendencies to get a good hand cleaning in after you’ve just pumped gas or touched any door knob of any public place. But, I digress.

Despite our mightiest effort to live in a sick-free environment, sometimes coughing up a ball of phlegm is unfortunately inevitable.

Just this past weekend, my mom came down with your average cold which interrupted our normal daily routine. A play-by-play when said event takes place goes a little something like this: dad officially becomes Mr. Mom, mom is shunned to her room and only needed for important matters, mom is only allowed out of her room after a thorough hand wash and the correct placement of a heavy duty, less-than-attractive, germ-repelling face mask, dad and I argue over how to put on a dress.

I give my old man a lot of credit here. From working a full time job to balancing my daily routine which my mom usually takes care of, it’s tough to get into the swing of things. I often try to go easy on him with my requests and needs because a) he’s not used to all of this and b) well, he’s a guy. For example, when picking an outfit, my major concerns are usually along the lines of “is there a chance he’ll put this on backwards?” and “how many layers will this outfit require?” Simplicity, people. It’s all about simplicity here.

As seen in this picture, I chose to wear these boots the other day because they were short, incredibly easy to put on, and because, hello, fashion. My objective in the boot selection process was pretty obvious actually, and that was to make my dad’s putting-on-boots job quick and easy. Of course, in my attempt to do something nice, my plan ended up completely backfiring as it took him ten minutes to put these little guys on my little feet.

Hilarity ensued, and in that moment I think we both realized that he’s better off sticking to doing “dad things” like bonding with his kids while watching football and telling really cheesy dad jokes. However I’m very happy to report that he has become quite the pro at putting lipstick and earrings on.

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