I slept on a cold, hard floor last night with vomit on my shirt. After spending the day tending to one child who had a sore throat and cough and another child who was sure she was going to throw up any moment, I was a little surprised when my little guy sweetly, snuggled up against me, turned his head and threw up all over my pants.
Although, it seems to be hitting early this year, we are not strangers to the difficulties of cold and flu season at our house, most families aren’t. According to an article at Healthybaby.org toddlers get sick an average of 8 times a year, elementary school kids an average of 5 times a year, add in complications from those illnesses, like ear infections, the random weird rashes they pick up and multiple children and you’ve got an awful lot of sick days to figure out, even if your blessed to have relatively healthy kids.
Last week, after hearing the stomach bug was in town, I began to get prepared for the inevitable. I read these 2 articles:
“10 Ways to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season” at HealthGrades.com
and “8 Ways to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season” at Care.com
And stocked up on soup, crackers and fluids. But, now after having experienced the real thing, I think there are a few items, I’d like to add to the list. Items that address more of the irrational realities of being home sick with kids for days on end, these are the items I would recommend to prepare yourself for the cold and flu season if the stomach bug has not yet made it’s way to your house:
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1. Find a good desert place.
2. And some friends to meet there.
3. And a sitter or arrange your outing with your helpful spouse.
4. Create a sick day grocery list you can give to someone helpful or create one using your local grocery pick-up service.
5. Print out a list of good movies you might actually want to watch with your kid.
6. Peruse the game section for a good game you can play with them-make sure it’s easily sanitizable, is that a word? Try one of these:
7. Decide on a project-something you can do while your at home for days on end, best to think of it in 15 minute chunks, spring cleaning, house decorating or a craft for the ambitious folks, catching up on your favorite TV show for the less so. I’m not judging either way, I spent most of the day reading a mindless book and watching whatever train show was currently on at the time
- 8. Buy extra books at a local discount book store and hide them around the house, some for you and your kid…and some chocolate.
- 9. Find a local park with no swings or slides so you can wander around in the outside world for awhile.
- 10. Figure out some good places to go to for Drive-thru food or drinks.
- 11. Make some freezer meals or buy some.
- 12. Install some good apps for playing at the doctor’s office.
- 13. Get some good smoothie recipes.
- 14. Buy a bell or a walkie-talkie, they’ll think it’s super cool and you won’t hear “mmmooooOOOOMMMMMM!” every 5 minutes.
16. and some money
17. Practicing saying “no.”
18. Find a good doctor and establish a good repetoire so they don’t think you’re crazy when you bring them in because something just felt off.
19. Come up with an Armagedon plan, in case you need to go to the ER in the middle of the night, when your husband is out of town, you have zero friends and 3 other dependents including a nursing baby, not that I have experience with something that specific…
20. Figure out alternate plans for every important item in your schedule (work, grocery shopping, extra activities).
21. Know how to take care of a sick child.
22. Come up with a de-germifying plan.
23. Practice sleeping upright in a recliner, on a hard surface or with a hard object lodged next to your spleen and another plastered against your face.
24. Buy or designate a throw-up bowl or bag.
25. Look at baby photos. Remember the tiny hands, fingers and toes, the way they smelled, the way they fit perfectly into your arms, their cute little sneezes. Drink in those good vibes and try to project them onto your toddler when he spends the whole day crying or being held-they’re worth it.
What do you do to prepare for sick days? What would you like to do to prepare?
Write it down in a journal, talk it over with a friend or leave a comment below or on Facebook.