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My Kids Are Sick and I'm Loving It

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I'm not a bad mom; I'm just grateful for a (temporarily) slower change of pace.

kid sneezing

Lenore Moritz: The kids are sick. We've got a lockdown viral situation at my house, and it's all OK by me. I'm not a sadist and, like any of you, I hate to see my child suffer -- but luckily, Tylenol and Motrin are nothing short of brightly colored, impossibly sticky miracles-in-a-bottle.

The reason I don't mind the kids' garden-variety virus is because I'm embracing it as an excuse to slow down. Five days into fevers, you'd think I'd be bananas from being cooped up, but I've conditioned myself to try to find the bright side of things. (I'm not Darwin, but I think that's part of "survival of the fittest" ... or at least "survival of the sanest.") I've been reflecting on what's actually been pleasant about my kids' illnesses.

Consider ...

... The Fountain of Forbidden Liquids: Normally, I'm a "milk and water mom" -- probably because milk goes much better than juice with the Oreos and candy I let them eat. But to the boys' delight, illness means open season on liquids: juice and chocolate milk to their heart's content ... hell, they can even drink bath water, just as long as they're staying hydrated!

... Quarantine:
We can't be around anyone. No activities, no playdates. Some might find this maddening, but a long time ago I took the Myers-Briggs test and discovered that I'm the kind of extrovert who needs personal space to re-energize and regroup. I love our friends, but some forced quiet time is not unwelcome.

... Kid Television: It's really good. It always has a point, and any character who whines too much is silenced with an important and gently delivered lesson. I wish I had the endless patience and wisdom that Big Bird possesses. (Though even he's not infallible: He was going to leave the Street and move to the jungle because a smarmy real-estate guy sold him on it. Hilarious.) Anyway, in the boys' drippy states, we've been logging quite a few hours of kid TV, and there's nothing inane about it.

... Snuggling:
Sure, we snuggle when no one's sick, but it competes with building, coloring, bike riding and other active things that take place when they're not dishrags. I adore more time to snuggle and cozy up, even if that close contact means your sleeve becomes a snot receptacle.

... Appreciating Health:
Their eyes are still swollen and a little goopy and they're still dragging a bit, but as their fevers start to fall to the 100/101 range, my little germy ones are bouncing back -- and it's thrilling to begin to see hints of all their glorious kid-ness. I'm even looking forward to sounding like a broken record: No climbing on the table, no coloring the rug, no throwing your food ....

True, I'm behind on my work and I'm really tired because I'm getting up in the middle of the night to comfort them. But in a warped kind of way, it's not beyond reason to see how a little nonthreatening virus can serve as a welcome respite from the busy routine of life.

next: My Daughter Was Killed By a Window Cord
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mandy March 22, 2010, 1:17 AM

Priceless! Incredibly true!

Pam March 22, 2010, 7:42 AM

Both of my babies have sniffle viral syndromes at the moment. You are sooo right on the money with this post!! I’m actually spring cleaning without any “help”.

tennmom March 22, 2010, 8:06 AM

Funny, but it is the same for me!
Of course I’d rather my daughters be home b/c it is the weekend or summer vacation. I don’t mind having one of them home to heal,though. Now that they are 10 and 12 we don’t have as much snuggle time.

Daphne March 22, 2010, 10:04 AM

Snuggling is the best! That’s why Buddy the Elf (in the movie “Elf”) had it as one of the day’s activities with his newly found dad.

Anonymous March 22, 2010, 4:00 PM

I bet you you’d love it even more if they had the H1N1 flu.

Motherly Law March 22, 2010, 7:10 PM

As a mom to two little boys, I totally agree with you. I laughed when I read this post because I actually had this thought the other day: “I could get a lot done around the house if they were just a little sick and cozying up on the couch with some Handy Manny.” And yes, they do snuggle so much more when they are sick. Otherwise, my two spirited boys are on the go - and so am I! I hope your boys feel better soon!

Motherly Law

Mandy Nonanonymous March 23, 2010, 4:29 PM

Oh Anonymous… STHU!

It’s so funny the mom’s you wanna stick your tongue out at ALWAYS are ‘anonymous’!

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