Hello there! It has been a while since my last post and the simple reason is … germs. My children have been busy passing these back and forth; bringing them home from school, the library, a friend’s house. They also spread them around with equal abandon. We put my sister-in-law’s household of three girls out of commission for a week with one runny nose. These pesky body invaders have been a particular burden this winter with my older son starting junior kindergarten. As he was not in daycare, this is the first time his immune system has had to deal with this level of bombardment. This past month has been a cycle of constant re-infection between the two boys. So … as a result of some pretty awful and low days I would like to offer these five tips for surviving endless winter illness with your kids.
1. Get dressed. As a stay-at-homer, sometimes it is tempting to not bother with this simple task each day. Also, it may seem like a wasted effort when you know that your lovely children are about two seconds away from smearing at least one kind of bodily fluid all over your glamorous tee-shirt and jeans ensemble. But it makes you feel human. And feeling human greatly increases your chance of not retreating into the fetal position when your child throws up directly into your mouth. In. To. Your. Open. Mouth.
2. Eat. Eat real food. This goes for the kidlets too. It may be easier to fill both them and you with easy, crappy foods, but this will not aid in their recovery or help your own body to keep you well. As a gluten-free family, this often means that I am spending evening time baking breads and muffins and preparing soups for the days to come. It is so worth the effort to have food on hand that is both appealing to the patient, and supportive to their fight. That being said, a little treat for a sad and sick monkey is not out-of-place either. All my youngest wanted was Mum-Mums when he last became ill so I went out and bought him some. Those along with his other healthier favourites encouraged him to eat when all he really wanted was to zone out to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
3. Make them drink. A hydrated child is a healthier child. Preferably water but that being said, I may as well try giving my youngest mud when he is sick. He would rather drink nothing than drink this sustaining elixir of life. Also, he decided that milk was out too. He is always very phlegmy when ill and I guess milk does not help with this situation. So when this happens I break out the big guns – juice. Typically, juice is an occasional treat in my house reserved for such events as birthday parties and camping trips. But when they are sick, hydration is king. So the juice (diluted) goes into the cup and thankfully into the kid. I count this as a win.
4. Go outside! Yes this seems daunting. Especially if you have not followed through with tip one and are still wearing your husbands old gym-shorts with a rip in the crotch. Especially if your children become limp noodles when you try to stuff and manipulate their little, floppy arms into their
straight-jacket snowsuit. But a breath of fresh air is truly what the doctor ordered. I have seen the amazing effects again and again. Even the crabbiest, snottiest, tired-est monkey will benefit from a bit of sunshine. Even if they are too sick to play, toss them into the sled or the wagon and do a lap of the neighbourhood. 15 minutes is enough. And it is good for you, too. Cabin fever is a secondary infection to be avoided at all cost.
5. A bit of T.V. is not going to catapult you to the top of the bad-mommy watch list. You need a break too and your kids will not be harmed by an episode of Dinosaur Train. Or three. To the contrary, it will allow them to rest and take their mind off of their poor, sore, little bodies. And you can drink a whole mug of tea. At once. All at the same time. Without re-heating in the microwave! A bit of T.V. also provides for some prime snuggle time with the booger-boys while they are not whining or demanding or trying to claw their way up your legs as you desperately attempt to shut the door and steal just-five-minutes to pee in private.
I hope that my list is helpful to some. This has been my life for at least the past three weeks. Maybe longer. Time has ceased to have meaning…