How To Survive A Sick Day [With Your Toddler]Morgan Shanahan
I thought leaving the baby years behind meant that I could finally take a deep breath for a minute and celebrate this milestone. That is…until I realized that the air around me is filled with a preschool class’s hoard of germs waiting to attack my fragile elderly body at every turn and now I never want to breathe in again.
It started on Tuesday. Wait. I think it actually started in July or August when she was in pre-pre-school and the
class petrie dish incubated their own special breed of summer cold that I caught and couldn’t get rid of. No really…I couldn’t get rid of it until last month when it had hung around so long it revived my childhood asthma and landed me on steroids. Because my immune system is the best.
Anyway, after I started the steroids and thought I was kicking the asthmatic bronchitis despite inhaling half of Hurricane Sandy, my tot came home with the stomach bug from hell. (If you live in Southern California or it’s surrounding regions, no doubt this super bug has made it to you too?) THIRTEEN KIDS in Delilah’s class at school were out yesterday. This kids spread germs thing is no effing joke.
Tuesday afternoon I was the awesome Mom who stood paralyzed in shock as her toddler projectile vomited up halved grapes in Trader Joe’s (good thing I’m still halving those bad boys because it appears the girl barely chews them at all). By yesterday afternoon I was the even awesome-er Mom who was hugging the porcelain teddy bear, praying to any deity that would listen that my husband would come home before what I assumed would be my still-projectile-vomiting kid woke up from her nap on a bed of towels layered with her own puke. It’s not funny. We’re running out of sheets.
Instead, of course, Dee emerged from sleepy-town with a new lease on life, just in time to dance circles around me while I moaned and sweated on the couch. Parenthood should come with an immunity pass for days like these. It’s like you can’t escape it. This particular strain of the plague is very contagious while your kid is ralphing, and well…if your kid is projectile vomiting with the force that mine is, direct contact is difficult to avoid.
It’s been trial by fire over here, but if you should find yourself in the same unfortunate situation with your preschool-aged-infectious-ball-of-cooties, perhaps you can learn from my newfound unwanted wisdom…
Water = Bad? 1 of 4So, I spent the first day of our stomach flu letting my kiddo drink water thinking she needed to stay hydrated. Apparently [per my pediatrician] that is very very wrong. Electrolyte drinks with sugar and salt like Gatorade and Pedialyte taken in small one ounce servings appears to be the way to retrain little tummies to keep things down.
Plastic cleans up easier than down. 2 of 4When we have a sick day around here we blow up the air mattress and make a giant bed out of our living room couch. The upside? Barf cleans off of the plasticair mattress a whole lot easier than our down-and-chenile-pre-baby couch.
Chicken/Rice/Lemon/Mint/Yum 3 of 4Once the wretching has stopped for a good few hours, I just became obsessed with this Portuguese soup combining lots of those doctor-recommended gentle on the stomach foods.
(Two-For: Mint oil rubbed on wrists or a gauze square can help mitigate nausea before weak tummies are ready to eat. Also helpful for parents who are fighting back their own nausea while caring for kiddos.)
Replenish 4 of 4