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).
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!