We’re just coming out of my worst nightmare – myself and my two boys came down with gastro and my husband skedaddled to Europe for a week on a business trip. When I was with my 5 year old the baby screamed … and vice versa. Lucky mum could come to help, but she wasn’t “Mummy”, which meant I was being split in two for a few days whilst my stomach was turning itself inside out.
Rhythm? No way! Ok, this is an extreme scenario (though I shudder to think how I would have gone on my own or with more children), but I’m wondering about next time … how do you keep rhythm during sickness, and what sorts of things can be INTRODUCED into the daily rhythm when children are sick? Obviously it depends on the illness and its severity and age of the children, but it would be interesting to hear some thoughts/experiences.
Just some of my ideas and more questions:
If appetite is a goner, then mealtimes are sometimes replaced by special drink times (e.g. a special herbal brew).
Then of course there are "medicine times" or treatment times (hot water bottles, tummy rubs, etc.).
When the child simply can’t partake in any activity and says they need you to be with them at all times (and you have another that needs the same thing and the dinner needs making) how do you cope with this? In hindsight I could have said ok, I’m here for five minutes, I’ll come back in 10. And just keep that constant backwards and forwards flow.
I’m wondering about the breathing in and breathing out rhythm (for example when they’re well, doing inside/outside play, active/passive) – do you think this expansion/contraction is necessary when children are sick or do you think it’s a constant contraction. Is there a way to do this sensitively? My five year old slept a few times during the day when he was at his worst – I guess this is part of it. I tried to be conscious of having curtains open some times and closed at times of more rest. So I guess there was some rhythm.
Anyway, love to hear ideas.