the time you lose.

This morning I woke up thinking it could be the afternoon…of last Friday or maybe it was still Monday because Tuesday was a blur and I didn’t sleep much or really, any, this past weekend.

When your smallest children are sick it’s a mess. The house, your nerves, all your good intentions. It feels like waking up on the wrong side of the bed and slipping your human suit on inside out, nerves outermost. The reptilian part of your brain swelled up and took over the rational all-fire-isn’t-bad part of your brain in the wee hours of what you suppose was night. It probably was night because there was less traffic. 

I have been the mama in a small children with the flu sandwich. There’s much in the way of consulting the trusty children’s health books, staring at the ceiling and longing to watch that season of House of Cards due back at the library.

Older children are perking up, wiping their eyes and noses, playing card games. Well enough to maurade around the house, starting projects and half eating snacks but not quite well enough to traipse around outside, do lesson work or be consistently cheerful. It’s the way of the illness game. You don’t get to skip a step. You have to slow down to a creep, using all the clean towels and sheets, dis arranging the books to find a read aloud everyone can agree on, peek in the kitchen and behold in horrified wonder all the dishes higgely piggely on the counter.

As the chorus of junky coughs echoes down the hall, I am grateful for spring, dishwashers and electric clothes washers, grocery stores and the internet.

inspired by this quote from a section on preventing illness and promoting health

These third children, however, are often the sturdiest and healthiest later on. This typical experience speaks for itself and may be some consolation for families with many children.

-from A Guide to Child Health by Glockler & Goebel


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