Remember being sick as a child? I sure do. The normal daily routine (involving homeschool work) was put on hold as mom did everything she could to calm the aches or nausea and as I attempted to ease the unbearable pain with constant t.v. programs (the only time this was allowed in our home). I can still remember the paradox: loving the allowance of a vegetative state but wishing I could overcome the pain to enjoy it more.
But then, after a few days, it happened: the fever broke, the bucket by the side of the couch was taken away, and I could once again enjoy the taste of food. What followed was the best part of being sick--it was the "you better rest for one more day" period. Now I could enjoy those tv shows. My appetite was coming back, and I made good use of the "what can I get you" requests from mom. (You mean I can eat popsicles and 7-up all day if I want to?!) Yes, those were the days!
Unfortunately, as we mothers fill up our days with work or outside activities, I am afraid that most children are robbed of this childhood pleasure: the only good thing about being sick. It is enough of a hassle that the mom has to take a day or two of work. By the time there is any sign on wellness, it is rush rush rush...lets go...time to get back to school (or day care). Time to get here or there! At the end of their sickness, it is all too likely to hear "I am so tired of being around winy, sick kids!" or "Yea, it is about time for them to get back to school." I try to think how I would have felt had my mother voiced her opinions in these ways. Devastated to say the least. It is still hard for me to imagine that my mother got anything but pure satisfaction to wait on me hand and foot when I was sick (probably not true, but that is how she made me feel). It is even harder for me to imagine spending that "not feeling up to par" day in school or day care...or running here or there because of mom's stir-craziness.
Well, Jake (2yrs) has been sick this week. The other day, my husband came home from work and referred to my son's place on the couch (which was set up with pillows, blankets, and other various comforting items) as a throne. Well, yes, I guess it was a little kingly. It gives me great joy to be able to set up a little "sick throne" in an attempt to alleviate his suffering.
Today he is better...for the most part. Today it is his turn to experience the "you better rest for one more day" time of sickness. Am I ready to get out of the house? Am I tired of the wining, the crying, the yelling at his baby brother? Would I rather clean my now disastrous house? Of course! Will he ever know that? Absolutely not. Today I will watch Thomas the train over and over, I will play calm games on the floor, I will allow him to eat only applesauce. Where do I have to go or what do I have to do that is possibly more important this?
I hope you successful, well-rounded mothers will take notice of this the next time you have a sick child. I think it is a good evaluation. Do you have enough time for your children...even when they are sick; or are they able to see how much of an inconvenience their illness is?
Don't get so busy with outside pursuits that you have to schedule motherhood time. If so, there will be a whole generation of kids who are robbed of the "You better rest one more day" period of illness. And that would be sad.
Related Tags: Illness, Sickness, Sick child, Motherhood, Caretaking