Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Longest Week Ever

A little over a week ago, these were my children:

Running crazily through the yard, laughing at each other, full of energy...

Then "the virus" hit on Saturday, and this is how Miss E. looked the majority of last week:

Can you find her little brown head amidst all the pink blankets and pillows?

Did you ever know of a little girl who owned quite so many shades of pink (or should I say "blush" and "bash")?

Have you ever considered paying hundreds of dollars in the middle of the night to somehow make a replacement pink ballerina pillowcase magically appear because you had to toss the original in the wash due to a 2am tummy issue and a particular two year old little girl was less than thrilled about such events transpiring?

As mentioned, "the virus" began last Saturday and was with us a week. By Wednesday when there was no change in Miss E.'s condition, I found myself with both children at the pediatrician's office. Due to the fact E. had been running fevers, we were sequestered to a smaller waiting room and handed a mask for E. to wear.

Raise your hand if you have a two year old who will happily wear a surgical mask when she is running a high fever and is mad because she has been forced to sit in the only section of the doctor's office that does NOT have a view of the fish tank.

Bless you if your child fits such a mold (email me your tips!), because my child does not. There is no way E. was going to wear that mask and I didn't have the heart to force the matter. I held her instead and kept us far away from all the other children (which was not an issue since the other two mommies in the waiting room were glaring at me and shielding their children from our corner as if I had brought in a case of leprosy).

Much to the surprise of our doctor, the flu test came back negative and we were sent home with instructions to treat the fever and allow E. to rest. 1:30am on Saturday was her last fever and we are hoping this bug has departed for good. Isaac has been a little under-the-weather this afternoon, which we hope is more allergy-related as opposed to eternal-fever-that-brings-down-the-whole-family related.

What originally was supposed to be a very busy week here at casa de phillips turned into a homebound week. MOPS, playdates and school for Evelyn were all scratched from our to-do list. Instead we watched large amounts of Strawberry Shortcake, drank gallons of apple juice and attempted to rest indoors. Evelyn did not sleep well at night due to fevers so by Thursday afternoon she and I were pretty sleep-deprived. Due to her fevers, any plans I had set aside for Friday were cancelled. Thursday night as I went to bed I found myself dreading the next day.

I am not sure how Ma Ingalls survived in the dead of winter on the prairie with young children itching to burn off energy. If I were in her prairie boots, I would have run off screaming to the barn by about 10am every morning. On Friday, I was not looking forward to another day inside (it was raining which prevented all outside activities) with one sick child and one terribly bored child. I needed an activity. I needed something simple, engaging, and located to one general area of the house so I could attempt to restore casa de phillips to its pre-fever state.

Enter the kitchen sink.

I filled the two sides of the sink with soapy water, constructed a make-shift bench with kitchen chairs (which I covered in bath mats to prevent little feet from slipping), rummaged the Tupperware drawer for odds-and-ends and set the children loose.

They played in the sink for almost two hours. By the time all the fun came to an end, both children were soaked (tip: leave kids in PJs to do this), soap covered a large portion of the kitchen, E's fever was beginning to return and I would eventually have to move the microwave to clean out the small pond that had accumulated underneath it. Despite the mess and the extra load of laundry such a "project" generated, the children had fun and there were minimal tears and tantrums that morning.

Wonder if Ma Ingalls knew about the kitchen sink technique?

How do you survive those long days when a child is sick?


Specks said...

So sorry that E got that yuck virus! It went around B's classroom and it settled into an ear infection for him, so I HEAR YOU. A week-long fever is for the birds!!! I think the sink fun is a fab idea and it looks like they were loving it.

Robin said...

Girl, you earned yourself a week OFF. If you figureo out a way to have one of those, let me know. :) So glad E has kicked that mean bug. Hope Isaac escapes!!

Love the kitchen sink idea. Did you try asking Isaac to mop after they were done? Worth a try...