This week was our spring break. We had plans, oh so many plans. We weren't going to go out of town and had no visitors coming to see us, but still many plans. The zoo, butterfly exhibit, play dates, the park, shopping, the list goes on. But when my daughter woke up in the middle of the night with her barking seal cough and 102 fever, all plans were canceled, at least for a couple of days which turned out to be the full week of her spring break. Oh well, disappointment set in for me and I think I took it harder than my daughter did. So, instead we made the best of the situation and spent quality time together at home and at the doctors office, (which we spent at least 8 hours at in the last week). When your child or yourself gets sick, to me, it's a time to stop and reconnect with everything important, starting with your self, your body and sleep. We had been going strong since the beginning of the year with the holidays, school activities, extracurricular activities, family visits and the like. But when you get sick, you have to stop and rest. But, that doesn't mean all the fun and time spent together has to stop. Here are some ideas of what to do when your child's sick:
1. Make the most of the doctors appointments and the waiting in the waiting room - build blocks with your child, do puzzles with them and read the many books laying around the doctors office, instead of burying yourself in your phone checking emails and texting. Catching up on reading with my daughter was on our "to do" list anyway and we did catch up and made the most of "our time" together.
2. Buy a special toy, game or doll for your child to play with, it doesn't have to be something expensive, just something to make them feel better and take away the ickies of being sick. We bought a new doll that needed to be bathed to get clean and with the hot showers she needed to take for steam purposes, this was a hit for her.
3. Pull out a movie that you have been meaning to watch with your child. And actually sit down and watch it. No phone,computer or other life's distraction to get in your way. Grab a sick friendly snack and cuddle up under a blanket and enjoy the show.
4. Do a craft. Even if your child doesn't feel well, doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy spending an hour with you of uninterrupted time of creating something with you. Doesn't have to cost a lot of money either, grab some paint and paper and draw pictures of what you both like to do.
5. Play a board game. You'll enjoy quality family time (and depending on the game), learning something new too. Numbers, colors, matching, whatever, just take the time to play and learn with your child.
6. Do a puzzle together. Just the little things makes them feel special too.
7. Have them help you make their lunch. Everyone needs to eat, so have them help you make the chicken noodle soup and pbj.
8. Create a fun treat together in the kitchen. We made our own ice cream with the ice cream shaker. It makes ice cream in 3 minutes. It was fun and a good way to teach about measuring, mixing and creating flavors.
9. Read, read, read books, kids magazines what ever your child likes. To me this is one of the best ways to spend time with my daughter.
10. As your child is feeling better, have a picnic in your own back yard, if it is too cold, in your basement, living room, where ever in your house that you normally don't eat. Spread down that blanket and make your favorite lunch. Enjoy the time spent together, talking and relaxing.
Ask your child what they would like to do. Children have wonderful ideas too! They also feel special when they decide what to do with your time spent together. My daughter wanted to play dress up. Even though her dress up clothes don't fit me, her sunglasses, hats, scarves and some jewelry does. So we played dress up and had a ton of fun doing it and took pictures to remember the day.
As the week of her illness started I think I was more disappointed than her on missing the loads of activities planned for us. As the week progressed, I realized I needed a break too. I got to sleep in, catch up on our "to do" list and spend some wonderful quality time with her. We made the most of it and the benefits to us both were felt by weeks end.
Take the time to make the difference in your child's life. After all, that is our #1 job. The rewards are well worth it! All my best, Dyan
What I learned: Even though I was wanting to catch up on my techno list of things to do, I stopped myself and spent quality time playing and interacting with my daughter and in the end I felt better and more relaxed.
What we learned: Many things, stopping to smell the roses is what needs to be done when sick. Relax, get sleep and enjoy the quality time that you can have that you might not get if you weren't sick.
What we shared: lots of quality time together, new games and cuddles, cuddles, cuddles.