Monday, January 23, 2012

We Are Sick, We Are Sick, We Are Sick Sick Sick

As a mom, I am finding that there is one thing worse than having sick kids: having sick kids and being sick yourself. Taking care of a tired, cranky, whiny, snotty-nosed child is never fun, but it’s even less fun when you’re tired, cranky, whiny, and snotty-nosed yourself. And today, that is exactly what the two kids and I all are: tired, cranky, whiny, and snotty-nosed.

My son Ryan started off with this cold a few days ago and just had a runny nose, which then turned into congestion and trouble sleeping. He passed it along to me, and it lodged in my eye which is now swollen and runny, as is my nose. And apparently one of us also spread it to baby Katie, who is now also congested and groggy. Last night, Katie had a terrible time sleeping, which meant that I had a terrible time sleeping. She would snooze for 45 minutes, then half wake up  and toss and turn and cry for another hour before dropping off for another 45 minutes. I ended up fleeing with her to the couch in the basement and letting her snooze on my chest so at least when she woke up I could comfort her without having to get out of bed myself. It meant my not getting much sleep, but probably more than I would have gotten otherwise. At 6:30 I stumbled back to my own bed and tucked her in her crib, and fortunately on her next waking (about 30 seconds later) my wonderful husband got her and my son up and brought them downstairs for breakfast. I slept in until 9:15, grabbed a quick shower, and jumped in the car to take my son to gymnastics.

I should have known I was in for trouble when just getting him into the car created a minor meltdown. He didn’t want to put his shoes on, he didn’t want to put his coat on, he didn’t want to go outside. He wanted to stay and play with his trucks. I finally got him into the car by letting him tuck a couple of toy tractors into his pockets. Bad strategy on my part, because then when we got to the gym he threw another tantrum when I told him he couldn’t bring them onto the gym floor. Within the first five minutes of class he’d had as many meltdowns (what my husband refers to as “The Sniper” – when he suddenly throws himself on the floor as if he’d been shot). After numerous warnings and threats, I took him upstairs for a little “come to Jesus” talk and he promised to behave. Two more snipers later and this cranky mom had had enough of this cranky child and bundled him back into the car without stopping to look at the front end loaders parked in the parking lot, which is just about the worst punishment that either of us could conceive.

Within two minutes of coming home, he had somehow found a crayon and colored all over the wall. Again. As in, the second time in 24 hours. I frog marched him up to his bedroom and locked him in, hoping he’d be at least a little less destructive there. After about an hour of letting him play alone, I went to check on him and discovered that he’d managed to pull out one of the support rods of his fabric laundry hamper and split it into pieces, so instead of freeing him, I turned right around and marched back out, leaving him to his own devices once again.

Fortunately, before he could cause any more mayhem, his cold got the best of him and he fell asleep on the floor under his bed, snuggled in a spare blanket he’d pulled out of the closet. At around the same time, his baby sister had finished her lunch and after a mercifully short caterwauling session, had cried herself to sleep as well. Even with my bleary, germ-addled brain, I knew a good thing when I saw it and I immediately crawled into bed myself, with a cozy blanket and a box of tissues close at hand.

Two hours later, we all woke up, all in much better states of mind which were improved even more by the immediate application of juice and lunch. Being sick is no fun, but eventually it passes, as long as we all manage not to kill each other in the interim.

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