I haven't figured this out yet . . .
I’ve written a couple of times on sick kids and the perks of having sick kids. Obviously, it sucks having sick kids. You worry, they cough, you worry, they don’t eat, you worry, they vomit, etc. Since my kids are sick yet again, I thought about some of the less obvious negative aspects of sick kids.
1. As pictured above, my kids love to climb into my bed. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who’s experienced this. So when I have two sick kids lounging in my bed for a good portion of the day, my chances of staying healthy are slim.
2. I’m forced to be patient when I don’t want to be. Anyone who’s experienced the toddler years is well acquainted with what I like to call, nonsensical mind changing. It goes something like this:
Child: “(Mommy or Daddy), I want some water.”
Parent: “Ok, here’s your water.”
Child: “No, I don’t want water.”
Child: “No, I want the water.”
Parent: “Here’s the water.”
Child: “I don’t want water!”
Parent: “Are you sure? Because you keep asking me for water.”
Child: “No, I don’t want water.”
Parent: “Ok, the water is going away.”
Child: “No! I want the water! I want the water!”
And so on and so forth until by some miracle this circuitous madness ends. Somehow, this incredibly frustrating exchange becomes more extreme with illness, either by becoming lengthier, or by the pleas asking for whatever they don’t want becoming louder and more desperate.
When my kids are sick, I find it necessary to exert patience during this exchange because it’s not their fault they feel rotten, and losing my cool isn’t going to help them get better. It’s really hard, though.
3. Sick kids waste a lot of food. When you’re just trying to get your kid to eat something, you may offer several options just so they can put anything in his/her stomach. When your kid finally says yes to something, it’s a safe bet they won’t finish it. G has done this before with a piece of bread and I while I can save the left-overs, bread only lasts so long. If he doesn’t want his bread before it goes stale, what am I supposed to do with a tainted, half-eaten piece of bread? I could eat it and risk infecting myself, but I’m already taking my chances with the dirty sheets. I’m going to end up throwing it away, like so many other half-eaten, tainted foods.
4. My kids end up watching much more t.v. than I’d like. This goes against my number three perk of the last sick kids post I wrote, but what can I say, I’m a complex individual. I’d prefer my kids don’t watch any t.v., but when they’re too sick to move, what else can I do? In the old days before t.v., I’m sure parents just read to their kids, or the kids just managed to find a way to suffer through the boredom until they got better. That’s unrealistic now. My kids can see the t.v., they know what it does, and while they may be willing to read some stories, eventually t.v.’s going to enter into their brain as an entertainment option. I tried to get G to play with some toys today, but he just sat down and stared at the ground like a zombie. At that point, letting Sesame Street engage his brain is better than the ground.
5. I can watch my kids all day when they’re sick, and they still want mommy by the end of the day. It’s a little disheartening when I feed, administer medicine, coddle and attend to my kids’ every need and still have them shun a hug from me in favor of mommy at the end of the day. Um, hello, I was taking care of you all day you little mongrels, how about some love for daddy?
That’s my peace. If any of you reading this have some thoughts that I haven’t thought of myself, feel free to share in the comments.