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Sickies: Young vs. Old

We've have the flu in our house recently. Yuck. One thing that always remains consistent is that having sick kids is the worst. I have never felt more helpless as I do when my kids are sick. They don't feel good, they are cranky, there isn't much you can do for them, and anything you had hoped to accomplish for the day has gone out the window. You spend your day snuggled up, or fighting a cranky alligator. There is no in between.
When your kids are little a lot of times they are unable to tell you what doesn't feel good. They cannot tell you their head hurts, their tummy hurts, or their throat hurts. They cry, whine and drive you to the brink of insanity before you figure out they are running a 102 degree temperature. Then when you discover they are sick there aren't many medications you can give them. If they are old enough you can give them Tylenol and Ibuprofen for their fever. You can go to the doctor and get a prescription if appropriate. But, if they are suffering from a cold, or another basic virus, there aren't any options. There aren't many cold medications you can give them to help ease the symptoms like you can with an adult. Which, makes me feel helpless. I want to make my babies feel better. If there is a medication you can give them to help, they spit it out because it tastes bad. I end up making homemade remedies with hot teas, vapo rubs, diffusers and bubble baths. Also, when little ones are sick you cannot tell them they need rest and fluids to help their body heal. You cannot send them to their room to lay in bed, because to them that is the worst punishment ever handed down. You can't force your little one to drink more than they want. We spend our days snuggling and watching movies; I get nothing else accomplished. There are no trips to the gym, laundry done, dinner made, or groceries bought. Which is fine. I stay home so that I can be here for all the sick days; that was the plan when I left my job.
As #1 has gotten older I have discovered sick days are changing. She had the flu last week. She had the milder strain that is circulating and the doctor cleared her to return to normal life as soon as she was fever free for 24 hours. After two solid days she was stir crazy and back to her old self. The difference when she is sick now is that she doesn't want to sit in my lap all day. I can tell her that her body needs fluids and rest to heal, and she will spend her entire day laying in her bed watching TV or napping. She is old enough that if I need to run an errand or do something I can leave her home alone for a little bit. It is both sad and liberating for me. She is not the little baby who needs her Mommy 24/7 anymore. I can tell her she needs to drink fluids so she doesn't get dehydrated and she gladly drinks "special drinks" all day long. I may not see her for half the day. When she was home sick last week I still did a few errands, got the laundry done and a few other projects around the house I wanted to do.
I find myself torn between wanting my kids to stay little forever, but really liking these new stages we are entering. The boys are still little enough they want their Mommy 24/7, but #1 is old enough now that she is turning into an independent person that you can talk to and reason with. These differences have become extremely clear with our recent sick days.

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