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Katy England Katy England
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The cool of the evening

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The kids got sick again. I know, it's been awhile, so I can't really complain. I read on one of those parenting sites ( that most kids get anywhere between six to eight times per year. It boggles my mind, kids getting sick that often. We had one nasty cold before their first birthday and managed to dodge the flu, RSV, pneumonia and all manner of other nasty bugs through a grim regiment of no going anywhere or doing anything. 

Yes, there's a little hyperbole in there, but not as much as you'd think. With the girls getting car sick and ice storms followed by snowstorms followed by more snowstorms putting a kink in holiday travel plans, we've been home bound for much of the winter. But some kind of bug found us.

Seeing one kid get sick is like watching that first domino fall. I found out about it in a roundabout way. One of my girls was fussing early in the morning because, as usual, she had thrown out her toys on the floor and was unimpressed with their cooperation in returning to her. I went in to return her wayward friends when I came to the sudden realization that someone had thrown up. It was too dark to see, but I determined it wasn't the girls it was in fact my little dude. I never would have known; he was pretty chill about the whole thing. He talked to me about which books he wanted, which buddies he would like to have near him and gave me a play-by-play of his diaper and PJ change. But he was hot (we think the fever + PJs = hurling) and a little more laid back than his typical high-powered self.

Then my husband caught it. In adults, it manifested like a cold with fatigue (probably the flu, but who knows it seems like everything has similar symptoms). My eldest daughter caught it next and we weren't quite prepared. She had been fine all day. In a wonderful mood, smiling and not too violent it was nice, really. She skipped her nap, because she defies convention.

When my husband came home, I went upstairs to get some work done. About an hour or so later, he called me downstairs. She was getting sick - from chin to toes in sick, with the saddest look on her face. The combination of no nap, plus barfing is apparently a recipe for early bedtime, and after she was changed she basically fell asleep on top of me.

Threads of fear worm their way into your belly when your kids are sick. It doesn't matter if it's just a little bug, you worry. But there is some gentle trade-off that comes with sleepless nights. Around 3:30 or 4 in the morning, she woke up again. I gave her some Tylenol, and we went downstairs and hung out for 10 to 15 minutes waiting for it to take effect while she drank some pedialite. She sat on my lap and drank out of her sippy-cup and we cuddled and chatted. Then went back upstairs and back to bed.

She was feeling better the next day (which was great, I cause my other daughter got, then I got it). But it was nice hanging out.


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