I don’t think any of us will forget the first time we experience what it's like to have a sick kid. With my son, it was the week he turned 5 months old. Despite our best efforts to keep him away from the germs, he caught his dad’s cold, and spent a pretty chill day on my lap, sniffling, and sneezing adorably. I was concerned, but not overly scared as he was in a pretty decent mood otherwise.
Until dinner time, that is. That’s when what we thought was a simple head cold turned ugly and messy. I'll spare the details (because, well, they're kinda gross) but we called our doctor’s office and were advised to take him to the ER. To make a long story short, it wasn't anything serious, and he recovered in just a few days. But damn was it intense to take an infant to the hospital.
He’s been sick a few times since then, and every new cold or bug gets slightly less terrifying. I mean, it’s still heart-wrenching, but not in an "OMG WHAT DO WE DO? CALL WEBMD AND GOOGLE THE WORLD IS FALLING APART" kinda way. In fact, having a sick little one gives me a chance to do some extras for him that aren’t always necessary on a day to day basis. Like...
Double The Snuggles
I think this is the universe’s way of balancing things out for parents. Like, your kid will be uncomfortable and your heart will hurt when you look at them, but at least there are some extra nuzzles in it for you.
Give In To Requests A Bit More
Is he asking for another book to be read? An extra snack? A few more minutes in his swing? Yes, of course, to all of the above. As he starts to feel better and show signs of being his regular self, you can be certain that I’m going to be giving in to a few more requests than usual to make sure he’s comfortable as he recovers.
Keep Them Extra Cozy
When our little is under the weather, he spends much of his time in his footie jammies. And, should the need for him to go outside arise, he will resemble a walking sleeping bag with a pillow on top.
More Gentle Songs, More Rocking, More Of Everything Slow And Quiet
OK, maybe he fell asleep ten minutes ago, but is it really such a bad thing if I’m still holding him and rocking him next to his crib? If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Allow Them To Wipe Their Noses On Us (Ew)
During my little’s last cold, I was a walking, talking tissue. (Hmm, no wonder that I've been sick a lot lately.)
Spoil Them However You Like To Spoil Them
I practically throw popsicles at him while he’s sick, but I’ve managed to elicit some smiles so I’m not apologizing.
Stay Close While They Sleep
We have a fluffy green couch in our son’s room that’s actually a relic from when the space was a home office. I was all for getting rid of it before he was born, but it was my partner who insisted we keep it. Now, I’m so glad we did because I’ve dozed off on it approximately 3,000 times, most recently when my kid slept on me as he recovered from his cold. I’m careful not to make it a routine, but when the need arises, I’m so glad to have somewhere soft to hang out in there.
Watch All The Kid-Friendly Movies
We almost made it two whole years with very limited screen-time, you guys. We were so close. However, when some sort of plague swept our entire household, we pretty much had no choice but to camp out on the couch and veg. I’m not sorry.
Extra Forehead Kisses
I mean, what better way to check for a fever than with your own face, right?