Thursday, 28 February 2008

Sick Day

My son dragged his weary legs, white and skinny in baggy spiderman pyjama shorts, up the steps of his white cabin bed. He pulled the duvet up and reached out for the blankie and "cub" that help him sleep. He rested his handsome head on the soft blue pillow, looked at me with eyes almost crying, and heaved a great sigh of relief. I felt his burning forehead and took his temperature for the 10th time today ... 103 again. "I'm sorry this hasn't been the best day ever", I said with a heavy heart, my eyes almost crying too. "Yeah, today was a bit rubbish", came the sad reply.

20 minutes later my daughter, not one to tiptoe when stomping is an option, made her way noisily to the bathroom. We went through the usual routine of teeth, toilet, giggling and a bit of a performance. "You'll definitely be well enough for school tomorrow" I said firmly, "this hasn't been a very good day, has it?" She didn't comment but looked at me intently the way she does: seeing my thoughts, reading my feelings, taking note.

Both kids were home sick today, and I was ill too. As I work until 3pm every weekday and never get anything done, I thought this might be an opportunity to catch up with phone calls, bills and stuff. How wrong I was. The children wouldn't play together, they whined and battled over everything, I felt rough and achieved nothing, and we were bored and irritated all day long. I spent 14 hours seething and cursing under my breath, wishing I was anywhere but here. But then later, as they snuggled their tiny bodies down to sleep, I felt awful for not making their sick day more enjoyable.

Does every parent find parenting as confusing as I do?


  1. Sick days are the biggest test of all. Cheer up.

  2. Yeah, no fair judging yourself and your parenting skills on a sick day. I hope you all get to feeling better. If you're sick tomorrow, maybe y'all should just make a nest in the bed and watch movies all day. Laziness is always my preferred method of handling just about every problem. ;-)

  3. I am way beyond the days when my kids were little, so I can't say too much about cranky children when they are sick, because I have selective amnesia and have forgotten everything that was disagreeable and I only remember harmony and peace.

    I wish to stay in that state of mind forever, no matter how any blogs I read that point out the contrary.

    I will not give you any advice, because we all must blunder along as we do and make it up along the way. I am sure that, like any young motther, you are getting bombarded by "good" advice from the experts through the media on any given day a dozen times over.

    You hang in there and don't be to tough on yourself. Being a mother isn't all it is cranked up to be.

  4. Thank you DM, GM and SI.
    After a good night's sleep I've realised that I should have just done nothing slowly yesterday. The root of all my problems is not sick children, but trying to work too many hours and never having any time at home to get stuff done without the children around, except after 9pm. But enough moaning already ...

  5. I am glad that everything looks better by the light of the early morning. Probably you do have an overcrowded schedule and you just need a little bit of down time and some time to catch up with yourself.

    I think young mothers nowadays have it tougher than when I had my kids. So much is expected of them and there are only so many hours in the day and there is only so much energy to go around.

    Hope you get a bit of a breather soon. Good luck!

  6. My kids, now adults, used to love sick days a bit too much and tried it on many, many times and succeeded. One of my daughter's favourite anecdotes of childhood is how she managed to pull the wool over my eyes re her cough/cold/bad tummy etc., for a whole week, the little minx. And as for her brother, looking back he should have gone to RADA.

    Sick days shouldn't be too much fun, or they'll become far too chronic, believe me. Hope everyone's better now.

  7. A lovely post..your tender, gentle way of caring for your ill children came shining through!

    Sweet Irene and Groovy Mom have some good advice there...I think I'll take a leaf out of there book!

    Hope all are feeling much better today:)

  8. Don't forget that when they're sick they're also whiney and clingy - making it a real case of "only their mother could love them". And when the mother is not feeling great either - you do the best you can. I'm sure they won't even remember your terrible, neglectful mothering in a week's time.

  9. The only thing to do is forget trying to do anything else. It'll all be still there tomorrow.

    Hope you're all feeling better.

  10. I'm with groovy mom. I call them 'duvet days'. Be a bit kinder to yourself. You are only human. And sick too!
    You're a great parent. At least you didn't send them to school with a temp of 103....*blush*

    They will appreciate you. Even if they don't show it now. Believe me.

  11. I hope everyone is well soon .. not a parent but I was once a child and I am sure you are right .. its a tough job but you're up to it!

  12. I agree with swearing mother ..... give them too much fun on sick days & they will invent sicknesses. Yours obviously really were sick but didn't have a good day so they will strive to get better faster! hope you all feel much better soon.

  13. How lucky I feel to be visited by such wonderfully e-supportive new e-friends! I'm going to blurb on awhile now in a new post and then go and visit each of you. Thank you!!! :-)