As I lay here with my sweet 5-year-old who is on Day 3 of a bad cold, I started sinking into a dangerous area of dark thought, dwelling on of all the negative things involved in feeling yucky. There is the very obvious factor: My baby feels like crap, and I hate that. It’s torture for most moms to hear their kids with hacking coughs and stopped-up noses, to feel their fevered brows and watch them shiver with the chills. It, quite simply, sucks.
And there are many other factors. He is missing so much school, all the playdates and activities we had scheduled for the week are nixed, there are germy bedsheets piled high for washing (just part of the tremendous chaos that is my house right now), my non-sick daughter is feeling a little neglected (not to mention sporting a worrisome runny nose that could be the start of this all over again). Just to name a few.
But as I thought of more and more reasons why having a sick kid is terrible, I started wondering if I could think of anything good about the situation (thanks, Pollyanna). Here’s what I came up with:
Sick kid PROS:
1) Lots of guilt-free TV, which is a big treat for the kiddos. Not to mention giving me the opportunity to work on my own stuff even while kids are awake (a rarity). We all win!
2) Lots of yummy food, like ice cream and chocolate pudding and smoothies and bagels with cream cheese! (Whatever sounds good to the sickie is pretty much fair game for the household healthies in my book.)
3) Actual snuggle sessions with my 5-year-old who, let’s face it, usually has trouble sitting still for more than 3 seconds when he’s feeling good. Not that I’m glad he feels bad, but I definitely enjoy the calm joy of snuggling with him, germs and all.
4) Not much puking! I have friends whose kids seem to throw up a couple times a week, sick or not, and my babies (knock on all the wood in all the forests in all the world) do not seem to puke much. And who likes to clean up vomit? Not me.
5) A string of survival-mode days, usually reserved for when my husband is on a sales trip. These are the days I somehow manage to let go of all the day-to-day duties that usually take up so much of my time (i.e. cleaning) and just focus on helping my sickie get well. See Sick kid PRO #4 for an example.
6) It’s just a cold. Most days, my family is incredibly healthy (robust, even!), with no serious issues to contend with. And I do know how fortunate we are – I am incredibly and eternally grateful.
Watching my feeling-just-great, raring-to-go 2-year-old, I see how independent she has gotten. She definitely takes advantage of the unregulated television time, but she also putters around the house – cooking up a storm in her kitchen, singing Baby Beluga to her babies, flipping through book after book. Oh yes, and asking for food every 2 seconds.
So even with a (REALLY) messy house to contend with and countless things to reschedule, it can all wait until tomorrow, and I can feel pretty happy just hanging with my kiddos today. I mean, how many more opportunities will I have for this kind of relaxed family time anyway? I guess I can almost (ALMOST) be grateful to the germs for letting us have an excuse to just be together for a few days.