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Katy England Katy England
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The stages of ick

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Illness manifests in stages. It's like watching a horror movie you see the first insidious signs of infection. After going through varying stages of anger and denial, you have to face facts.

The kids deal with being sick in slightly different ways. During the day, nothing fazes the boy. Stuffed up, goopy nose and sneezing, he will re-enact Thomas the Tank Engine movies in their entirety while bombing around the house. It isn't until the evening that it really starts to take a turn for the worse. Poor dude can't sleep with his nose clogged (show me someone who can).

My littlest girl, on the other hand, acts as though she has the black lung. She can be grouchy and short, but mostly she just wants to be babied with hugs, cuddles and being carried everywhere for as long as your back can take it. And not by Dad at least not while Mom is home.

I've learned that the mom effect is still a thing. And it's come back with a vengeance now that they're 3. If I'm out of the house, they are fine with their dad. If I'm in the house but doing something else (cooking dinner, trying to use my own damn bathroom, helping one of the other kids) and Dad tries to step in, they are rude.

Look, it isn't like I'm not flattered that they want my attention but frankly, if both of us are home at the same time, I'd really rather they weren't jerks when their dad is trying to lend a hand.

Though they are mastering using napkins, they haven't quite nailed down the finesse of using tissues to wipe their nose. Two out of three couldn't care less, and would leave trails through the house if I let them. But the third gets a bit panicky and says in a voice tinged by congestion, 'Wipe mah noze! Wipe mah noze!'

It would be like suddenly your boss loves you and thinks you're indispensable - and your reward for being so awesome is getting more work and being yelled at for not doing it fast enough. Flattering and terrifying.

I'm a little caught, because I kind of like babying the kids. It's a sick little weakness. I've always tried to strike a balance between being too much of a pushover and too much of a task master. But I like hugging them and dammit, they like getting hugs. What else am I supposed to do?

There honestly is so little you can do when your kids are sick. The only thing I found for coughs is something that amounts to a sugary syrup to 'soothe' their throats. Nothing to help with the stuffy noses until they are older. So it's hugs, tubs, humidifiers and big piles of pillows for now.

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 22:45
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