I generally try not to think too much about germs. Around here, I generally encourage some hand washing and try to prevent the girls from doing anything too disgusting like licking the toilet, but otherwise just let the whole germ thing play out naturally. What this really means is that you will see my kids eat food off of our floor and there may be a fair amount of dirt-eating occurring. Whatever happens, I try to be chill about it.
Well, until everyone starts losing their ever lovin’ minds about influenza.
Initially I try to ignore the reports. Flu? What flu? There’s no such thing as the flu? We go about our business as usual–shopping trips, playdates, doctor visits, etc. But after a few weeks of the spread of influenza it’s hard for even me to ignore the stories.
Rationally, I know that our little family is healthy and therefore unlikely to have severe complications from the flu. But I think fear wriggles into any parent’s heart whenever they hear of children dying from influenza. So I get nervous and start questioning leaving the house. Should I reschedule the well-child visit? Should I find a babysitter for the girls while I go grocery shopping? Should we just give up and stay inside until May?
Ultimately, I’ve decided to go with some slight precautions with prayer. So this past week my husband and I were trying to make a plan for his day off. “What should we do on Friday?” he asked.
I thought and then said, “Well, I need to do the monthly grocery run. We could make it a family outing and go to Chick-fil-a afterward. The girls could play in the play area since it will be cold again.”
My husband replied, “That sounds okay.”
I made a face. “Oh wait, flu. . .”
We decided to avoid the indoor play area. Instead, I just took Babykins to Aldi with me so we could have a Mother-Daughter outing while my husband had some bonding time with Sweet Pea. Babykins is mostly over the put-everything-in-mouth phase, so I figured the grocery store wouldn’t be too bad.
We got through Aldi without an incident. However, as we were driving back I heard Babykins’s little voice say, “Look, Mommy, look!” I glanced in the review mirror and saw this:
The moral of the story: Kids are gross and we’re all going to get influenza.
‘Twas the week before Christmas and unsurprisingly, one of our kids wound up sick. Poor Sweet Pea caught a little cold, which then turned into an ear infection, which then lead to thrush. Several sleepless nights, 1 trip to the doctor’s office, and 1 trip to urgent care later, Sweet Pea and I were both so done with her not feeling well. She and I missed both services on Christmas Eve and she was a miserable grump on Christmas Day. It was a difficult week for our family.
I don’t think either girl had been this sick before. Most of their illnesses have been little colds and an occasional fever and they’re generally over the worst of their illnesses in a couple of days. The whole miserably sick-for-a-week thing was a new experience for us. Now that Sweet Pea is back to her healthy, happy self, I have a chance to realize we really are fortunate that this has been our girls’ worst illness. There was no ER visit, no hospitalization, and no chronic illness diagnosis. Even though it’s not a bundle of laughs for a pastor’s family to be dealing with illness the week of Christmas, Sweet Pea is healthy now and we can move on with our life.
After a few days of acting off, Babykins woke up vomiting this morning at 5:40. That made it clear that she and I would not be going to church today. She went back to sleep at 7:30 (because who really wants to be up for the day at 5:40 a.m. when they are sick?) and now I’m watching this quiet Sunday morning unfold from the living room.
It’s strange having time like this in the morning, it’s even stranger to have time like this on Sunday morning. There was no rush to wrestle Babykins into her dress, there was no panic to make myself presentable. By now, I would be wrangling Babykins into her car seat and grabbing everything we need to get through the service (have you ever forgotten a child’s beloved pacifier and then try to keep them calm and quiet? I did, once. Never again).
I should probably do something to make up a little bit of missing church, but sitting on the couch reading my Bible–which, truthfully, is sorely neglected in these days of pregnancy and toddler-wrangling–really isn’t the same as singing the liturgy with others and hearing God’s Word spoken to me. Well, hearing as much as a can between hushing the toddler and stopping her from escaping.
At any rate, I guess I’ll turn on some hymns and clean up the kitchen. There’s a puke bucket that should probably be rinsed out as well.
Yesterday I woke up with a headache that began to turn into a migraine while I showered. My migraines are few and far between. They are also quite manageable as long as I can take some Tylenol and lay down for a half hour. Unfortunately, a half hour of rest when Babykins is awake isn’t doable these days.
My husband promised to relieve me once he was done teaching the women’s Bible study, so I hunkered down for a couple of hours of toddler-minding. I let Babykins clamber over the couch and armchair for awhile, read her The Very Busy Spider 10 times, and gave her a snack. I thought I was feeling better and tried to start laundry, but the migraine resurfaced.
Admitting defeat, I tossed some toys on the floor for Babykins and laid down next to her. Of course, this wasn’t particularly helpful either because next thing I knew, one of our cats was trying to snuggle on me for warmth. Babykins thought this was a game a proceeded to pat my head again and again, giggling.
Next time I’m turning on the T.V.
Never fear, my husband returned soon after this and I got to rest. Fully recovered, Babykins and I spent the rest of the day doing Pinterest-worthy crafts, enriching activities that will make her into a genius, and cooking a feast. Just kidding. We went to the library where she licked the toys and then she cried when I tried to take her outside to play.