This may sound strange, but some of my fondest childhood memories are of "sick" days spent home with my mom. Obviously, not the days when I was truly "sick sick" and feeling terrible. But the days when I was just a little bit sick, too sick to go to school or out to play ... maybe just with a slight fever. Those days I got extra special treatment from my mom.
I got to stay in my pajamas all day, and my mom would bring into my room a portable television and prop it up on the chest at the foot of my bed. (These were the days before cable television and laptop computers, mind you.) And she'd bring me cinnamon and sugar toast and hot chocolate on a bamboo tray and I'd have breakfast in bed. Later, we'd snuggle together under a blanket on the couch and watch black and white movies.
I'd take naps and read books and generally be pampered and fussed over. She'd place her cool hand on my warm forehead and check my temperature periodically. If I had a cold, I'd get Vick's Vapo-Rub on my chest and sleep with a vaporizer in my room at night.
The smell of Vick's still triggers that nostalgia. And I hope it does for my little girl too one day.
My toddler was sick recently, and home with me for more than a week. She spiked a high fever which led us to the pediatrician where it was discovered she had a urinary tract infection. She went through a couple different types of antibiotics until the right one was found, and fought fever off and on for several days in the meantime. We managed her fever by alternating children's ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and giving her room temp baths and cold compresses. It was a rough week. But we had some special times that week as well, my daughter and I.
I have a dear British friend who commented once, "there's nothing sweeter than a poorly baby", and it's true. It seems that children get extra cuddly when they're not feeling well, and our little girl was no exception. When her fever would spike, she'd usually get sick to her stomach; and all she wanted during these times was her mama. I'd strip her down and hold her close and rock her until her fever broke. Sometimes we'd get in the bath together, or snuggle together under the covers. We piled in my bed and read at least 100 books (or the same few books 100 times). We had Pedialyte popsicles and barley soup and toast. We played with her baby doll and loved on the family pets. We took videos to send to her daddy at work. We bonded.
And when she had to go back to the pediatrician for tests, I held her while she cried and told her I understood. And I knew she didn't blame me.
Now there was never a happier mom than I when her fever left for good and her infection was finally gone. And I would love for nothing more than for her never to be sick again. But we got through it together and it brought us closer. We survived.
What memories do you have of being sick as a child?
Image via Brooke Kelly.