There’s a bad strain of the flu and a looong drawn out version of the cold making the rounds here in sunny southern california. A few of our friends have contracted one and then the other, making for a terrible and drawn out illness. We’ve managed to escape the flu but M and now R have been infected with the cold. Runny noses, coughing, sneezing, fevers, bouts of cranky crying, fatigue, and extra whininess have settled over our house. One of their preschool teachers described the girls to Mr. Cartigan in hushed tones as “teary-eyed and fussy” yesterday, which was putting it kindly. “Oh,” Mr. Cartigan laughed quietly “that’s not how we say it at home.” I promise we never say anything crazy to them, but the occasional “My God. Make. It. Stop.” text is known to flit from his phone to mine and vice versa.
When sick, the girls usually have a day of being ridiculously sweet and cuddly; they’re totally irresistible. This evening, although she’d just developed a low fever, R did a dance around the living room, told jokes, and talked animatedly about blizzards, dogs, and popsicles. M, who has had the cold for a week and seems to be past the fever, just slept on the couch, waking occasionally to sip water and let out an angsty wail, I imagine because she’s so frustrated with the ongoing aches and pains of this marathon illness.
Before I began kindergarten, my mom started working as a registered nurse. Her school of thought with illness is that it is something to be combated from every angle. Seize the treatments; trust least to the future. I like this because when my anxiety is running high, the “combat it on every front” philosophy gives me a place to direct my energy. Find all applicable medications! Administer them according to instructions! Make med schedules! (My mom would probably make an excel spread sheet for that. I’m not that skilled.) Prepare extra fluids to be taken regularly throughout the day! Create meals rich in protein so that the body can fight the virus! Steam baths! Naps! Visualize recovery! Etc. etc. etc.
I’m not as thorough as she, but I do take comfort in making sure M and R are getting medications, fluids, nutritious foods, and lots of sleep. I also like to make sick time feel a little special. Sick time growing up meant I got extra time with my parents because I couldn’t go to school. I liked school, but one-on-one time with my parents was way better! I loved being snuggled up on the couch with Sesame Street on as my mom brought me sliced apples and graham crackers. I knew all the kids back in Mrs. Ake’s kindergarten class were trying to differentiate vowel sounds and color inside lines. Suckers!!!
The thing M and R love lately is coloring, cutting and gluing things in their personal notebooks. They work on these notebooks with impressive focus. I shouldn’t be surprised. I love coloring, cutting, and gluing things into my notebook too.
Tomorrow, as the girls recover, we’re going to rest, color some valentine’s cards, and watch a little Finding Nemo. Chances are good we’ll listen to some Winnie-the-Pooh, too. I’m looking forward to some cuddle time with my growing girls.
There might also be some texts between Mr. Cartigan and myself referring to the unbearable whininess of being.