Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Navigating a Sick Day

Imagine some lovely picture here, which I would post if my daughter hadn't broken the camera lens. :)

Just when I thought I was getting back into a routine, the germs have invaded. My son (age 6) is home from school for a few days while fighting a low grade fever. I'm trying to keep my daughter (age 4) on her regular schedule. She might have been sick last week, possibly, it's hard to tell with her. She's the one who brings the germs home and spreads them around the family yet doesn't get sick herself. Her medical history is the most boring form to fill out, but it's fast--there's never anything to report!

While I am writing this, my kids are running around throwing a large plastic shark at one another. Clearly, my son isn't sick enough to be tucked into bed, so I've been trying to figure out what is going to keep us occupied until he is fever-free and well enough to return to school, other than movies and computer time.
  • Playing Cards- My son would play cards with me all day if I would let him. His current favorite is Rummy 500, although he also likes Uno and a game that we call 'Slap and Tickle'. I'm going to teach him to play Gin Rummy tomorrow.
  • Thank-you notes- We have a few notes to finish up sending to friends and relatives after the kids' recent birthdays. (Will the germs transfer on the notes? Hmmm.... Maybe I should do the envelope sealing...)
  • Lego Sort- My son and I spent an entire sick day last year sorting his Legos by color, and then building one of his sets. He was in heaven.
  • Call Grandma- It's a great time to make some surprise midday calls to relatives to catch up--if they are retired, etc. Although if I get desperate, we may bother Daddy at work.
  • Puppy Show- My daughter and I may hold a Puppy Show (instead of puppets) to entertain my son if everyone gets particularly whiny and crabby.
After his fever breaks and before he returns to school, I have a few other plans in mind:
  • Clothes Shopping- My son is very picky when it comes to clothes. He is very sensitive to tags, collars, etc., and he is very particular about how clothes fit his body. I've been trying to figure out a good time to take him to the store to try things on and this may be the time!
  • Lunch Out- I know that both kids will enjoy going out to lunch one day, if it works out.
  • Baking- If we are making something just for our family, not to share, he can help me bake some cookies, bread, or muffins.
Again, I won't take him out and about in public until his fever breaks and he is fully on the mend. No need to spread his bug through the stores and restaurants if we can help it!

Many of these things are activities that we like to do but don't have much time for in the average week. Instead of viewing these Sick Days as a hindrance to my plans, I try to see them as an opportunity to spend some special time with my kids, providing them with interesting activities while their bodies rest and heal.

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