Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sick Days

My boys have been sick for a week. I knew it was coming when my oldest got quiet. This kid only takes a break from talking when he's asleep so when he is quiet, something is definitely up. We went to a birthday party and when we got home, he was blazing with a 101 degree fever. He fought through it for a few days watching Thomas and snuggling on the couch. Except that I couldn't sit with him for more than 3 minutes at a time because my youngest was busy exploring the house.

My oldest kept saying, "Mommy, I just need to snuggle with you," just as I would hear something crash on the floor. I would kiss him on the forehead and tell him I would just as soon as I found out what his brother was up to. I would clean-up and pick-up the little one year old offender and try my best to keep him entertained in the living room. But as soon as I snuggled back up on the couch, my little one had moved on to greener pastures. Like my jewelry box. I don't care how kid proofed a house may seem, these little ones can find the one thing you forgot about and break, dump out or swallow whatever it is that they find within 15 seconds. I felt so torn - Who do I take care of? How can I take care of both?

Then, on day three, my little one woke up with a 103 degree fever. He had chills and just wanted to curl up and lay on my shoulder. His little eyes and mouth were red and swollen and it broke my heart just to look at him. My only consolation was that we could all just snuggle up on the couch together that afternoon and I could be there for both of them. But guess who woke up feeling like a new man? My oldest.

"Mommy!! I feel amazing! Let's go see my cousins! Maybe we could go to the mall and ride the train," he exclaimed. The ideas were flowing with enthusiasm I hadn't seen in a week. I told him they were great ideas but his brother was sick and we needed to take it easy for him. He settled in to build a train track and I did my best to take care of everybody with my twenty five pound heating pad snuggled up on my chest. I said a prayer that I could help them both get better and feel loved. The next day, I think my prayer was answered.

My youngest took a morning nap and my oldest and I had a wonderful time playing together. We had a picnic in the garage and built an elaborate Thomas track. He helped me make Christmas cookies then went down for his nap. I had a few minutes to myself before my youngest woke up. He and I the afternoon to ourselves because my oldest took a four hour nap. No joke. We sat on the couch, rocked in the rocking chair like we used to when he was a newborn and spent some time with my mom. By the time my oldest woke up, my husband was home and he helped take over dinner preparations so that I could stay with the baby.

Sometimes, when I am at a point when I feel like I can't be stretched any thinner, I am so grateful for my faith. I needed to know that someone would look out for me, too. I needed to let go of the need for control and just trust. I think that prayers are such a beautiful way to identify what it is that you need the very most and put it out to God and the universe. Once you know what you need, you will find it.

How do you manage it when you have sick children? How do you take care of yourself while you are caring for them?

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