Top Ten Tuesday: Learned While Sick

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There have been healthier times here in Adjunct Mom land. Heck, the year I had RSV was a walk in the park compared to the past two plus weeks. And that had me laid up for almost a month. Apparently, a month in separated couple life is ten days in married with kids and dogs life. But I have learned a few things over the last two plus weeks that hopefully will help someone else when they get into this situation.

1. When the first sign of impending doom falls on the house, run, don’t walk to the grocery store, and stock up on easy to eat foods, milk, ginger ale, pedialyte, motrin, tylenol, and so forth. Also, stock up on diapers, tissues, toilet paper, and so forth.

2. Do a load of laundry containing pajamas, sheets, and towels. In the first three days, Ben used up every pair of pajamas he has. By day five, I was out of pajamas. Then, Katie is out of pajamas. No one has the energy for laundry when the plague descends.

3. If there is one healthy one in the house, make sure that healthy one gets enough rest, etc. We didn’t do that, and P ended up really sick, too. Of course, at that point, I was also still super sick, so we were barely keeping things together.

4. Realize there will be some backsliding with manners and all other sorts of things. Ben was chewing with his mouth open. Something he knows he’s not supposed to do, and kept getting in trouble for it. I didn’t realize until today WHY he was chewing with his mouth open. He felt like he was suffocating because he couldn’t breathe. Of course, he didn’t say that because he doesn’t usually talk when he gets in trouble.

5. TV is an excellent solution for a kid who needs to rest and be quiet and not move around. However, kids’ shows that focus on movement (Yo Gabba Gabba, I’m looking at you) aren’t. You need the quiet ones or use DVDs.

6. Try to stick to the routines as much as possible, but be open and aware of new developments. We’ve found out this week that Katie will let you know when she’s tired, and it’s usually way faster than we were assuming. She crawls to her room when she’s ready to rest. It’s both adorable and wonderful.

7. Know that when the barfing starts, you MUST let the tummy rest for at least two hours before trying ANYTHING in it. And then try Pedialyte. Do NOT feed juice, soda, or stuff like that or things will only get worse.

8. If you know (as I do) that you’re supposed to go to the doctor after a certain number of days of illness if it isn’t improving. Don’t wait extra days to “see” if you’re feeling better. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

9. Use what you have to motivate a sick kid. Ben has had to take breathing treatments since he got sick and he didn’t want to do it. The fact that I also take them had no impact on him at all. However, I knew that his godfather uses a nebulizer, too, mentioned it to Ben, and suddenly he was completely willing to take his treatments. (The man is magic; that’s WHY he’s the kids’ godfather).

10. Remember that whole family illness is a serious strain on relationships, so try to be extra patient and extra calm. If, as is the case in this house, you don’t have much of a reserve in this area, try to work on this when you’re better because dang, the blow ups were, um, spectacular (on all sides).

Bonus tip:

11. Don’t forget about the animals in your house. We managed to keep feeding them, but at some point during this disaster Peyton injured herself and it was a pretty ugly situation last night until I realized that it wasn’t a major injury. She needs to rest some, but she’s not in need of other attention. Thank goodness.

Here’s hoping that you NEVER need to use these tips,but if you do. There are a lot more useful Top Ten Lists over at Amanda’s. Make sure to check them out!

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Playing Possum

I’ve always been reasonably good at this. Pretending to be asleep to avoid something was an easy way out with my parents for a long time. Now, usually, it only postponed whatever I was trying to avoid, but my mother’s feelings about early mornings and housework, particularly on Saturdays, made me master the skill early and quickly. I have to wonder if we were the only family who divided chores up in what were weird, arbitrary fashions on Saturday so that everyone would be “released” sooner. My dad vacuumed. Easy chore, if you ask me. My mother cleaned bathrooms. Thankless chore, in my opinion. This left dusting and, there must have been a fourth thing because I have a sister and I know she had to clean things, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what the fourth thing was. Dusting wasn’t just dusting the furniture and the knick-knacks, it was also for the baseboards. As in, dusting the baseboards. Yes, I spent many years dusting baseboards, and since this was done weekly, it wasn’t a particularly satisfying task as there was never any dust built up to remove.

I still play possum but it’s now to avoid the two males in my life. I usually wake up when P starts the shower in the morning or when he’s getting himself together for the day. It might be the muttering that he does while he’s getting organized, though he’d never admit that. He usually knows I’m awake. I’ll sneak a quick check of my email account, my twitter account, and so forth. The second I hear the gate on Ben’s room swing, though, I ditch the handheld, close my eyes, and pretend to be asleep. Until very recently, Ben would come in, put his face right up next to me, and call MomMom in his best approximation of a quiet voice (read, you could hear him two states away).

About a week ago, this changed. I realized that I was actually falling back asleep and there was no little voice blaring in my ear to wake me up. Today, I stayed awake, though still with eyes closed to find out what happens now. Today, he got up, ran across the house to peek in my room. Once he determined I was asleep. He told his Sheep that MomMom was still asleep, but they needed breakfast. I popped one eye open to see the kitchen light come on, hear the fridge door open, and the sound of him getting a cup of yogurt for himself. He got out his spoon, settled into his chair and ate his yogurt, all the while keeping up a running commentary with Sheep about the day, what he was eating, what he hoped to eat when MomMom woke up, and so on. I listened for a few minutes and was charmed by both his complete confidence that everything was going to go his way and his attempts to be considerate and let MomMom sleep. He tells Sheep: MomMom is sick right now and she needs her rest, so we’ll be very quiet until she wakes up and can play with us. I did “wake up,” we did play, and a good day is being had by all. Well, so long as I keep taking DayQuil and resting anyway.