In a large household you have to share and teach the little Indians to do likewise. If one of them wants to buy some candy, he or she has to be willing to share it with the others, or they simply aren’t allowed to get it. Of course this unwritten rule is sometimes broken by the older kids as they learn the ropes…i.e., conceal their loot and consume it privately. I’m not sure where (in a large family) there is ANY privacy, but they manage to do it somehow. The same thing goes for ice cream… Nobody can have some if there’s not enough for all to have some, so the older ones (sometimes yours truly) have to sneak it after the others are gone to bed. The point is, we try to present the image of being “fair” and share whatever we have – IF they are present.
There is one thing that we don’t want them to share, but no matter how hard we try to enforce the sharing rule, they always share their flu bugs.
One time I talked to a sister-in-law about sick kids. She called to talk to Margaret because she had a few kids in her semi-small household (of 6 kids) with fever, headaches and sore throats. We had the same thing for the 2 weeks previous as the flu bug jumped from one to the other like a wildfire raging through the forest. I’m not sure who the first victim was, but out of the 12 of us at that time, 7 had it for at least a few days simultaneously. It was only a matter of a short time and the rest got it to some degree.
Realizing that it passes from one warm body to another, most commonly from the hands, we are constantly reminding the troops to wash their hands. It doesn’t seem to matter, they all will get it anyway, but you gotta try to combat the enemy somehow. The problem is, you can’t see a flu bug and you don’t know it’s there until it’s tearing at your throat, causing the heebeegeebies (throwing up) or making your head throb. How do you convince a 2 year old that he has to wash his hands and keep them off your face? We gotta live and let live and just tough it out when it’s our turn to give the bug a ride.