Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learning to be Sick

The patient patient

As a mom and more importantly, as a human being, I feel it is important to know how to be sick. Pearl is sick right now, she is on day three of a fever. Her spirits are excellent and I think I owe this in large part to how I approach being sick. When she was little and threw up for the first time instead of freaking out that this alien substance had just propelled itself up and out of her, we took a moment. She looked at the pool of barf on her bedroom floor and wanted to know what it was. Just short of getting a pointer and actually poking around in it, we observed together the undigested kernels of corn and bits of burger she had just eaten for dinner. The dog sniffed at it and then I cleaned it up. Since then she has thrown up a few times and bounces back really well even using the experiences against me, recalling the times I made her sick by feeding her something that was off. She laughs about it and when she has to barf she gets to the bathroom lickety-split. It's a problem to be dealt with and moved on from.

I am teaching her that being sick means you get to lay on the couch, watch your favorite movies and be waited on. There are some responsibilities, you have to brush your hair and your teeth and keep your jammies fresh so as not become too crusty. Yesterday I introduced her to trashy magazines, she found some 3D glasses in Entertainment Weeky and read the article about Monsters and Aliens. Occasionally she has a weak moment and whines something like "why is this happening to me?" and I try to remind her that the fever serves a purpose and that it will eventually pass. I also keep a box of articulated straws on hand which makes drinking endless cups of ice-water seem more pleasant. And there is the constant love and comfort of your mom. I check on her all the time and get her whatever she needs no questions asked.

Today when she gets up she will watch her favorite kids shows then I will have her stand in the shower and steam herself for a bit. We'll watch Nancy Drew (it's a favorite) and maybe Mama Mia, again. Later on if she is feeling up to it we'll play some checkers. She is learning that getting better takes time and it can be enjoyable even when you feel seriously awful which she does.


syd said...

Poor Pearl, we're thinking of her!

Rowan said...

Day 5 now. It's brutal but I am so grateful I can be home to take care of her.

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