My son is home sick from school today with a mild fever and with a nose that has snot dripping freely like a soda from a dispenser that it’s upsetting his stomach (and mine too, ick!). I’m not feeling 100% myself either, but nowhere like the flu I had last month. It’s more jet lag, having just traveled to and from LA in a 48-hour span for work this past weekend.
There was no question that he would stay home from school, but which parent would stay home with him? This is always a dilemma in our household. Since The Hubs had only gone back to work yesterday after a nearly three-week “holiday,” I agreed to be the nursemaid this time. This couldn’t have been at more inconvenient time for me at work with a big project debuting today. Luckily all the heavy lifting has been done and the kudos have been already been received, but out the pride and respect I have for my work I want to be there on launch day. However, to keep my own personal sanity of the whole work/life balance thing, staying home today is something I willingly and lovingly do for my kidlets.
But now what do I do with my son all day?
My boy is 5 ½ and this is his first sick day from kindergarten. I want to make this day easy for him and who am I joking, myself too! What I don’t want it to turn into is a cartoon marathon of “Spongebob Squarepants”…so I’m limiting how much TV he can watch today. I’ve come up with a few activities that will keep us both entertained throughout the day. The key here is that these things can be done IN BED or at least lying down, so he’s not up and running around and able to take it easy.
Napping – He’s doing it right now, or else how could I be writing this?! A few short restful naps during the day will keep him quiet and mom can get some work done!
Stories – Reading lots of books. Right now my son is in an animal phase, so we’re reading about lizards, sharks, snakes and spiders. Once we tire of reading, we’re going to make up our own story and draw pictures to create our very own storybook. Knowing my boy, I’m sure it will be an action-adventure thriller with Godzilla, Ninjas and Monster Trucks to save the day.
Activity Books – My son’s great aunt gave him a crazy maze book at Thanksgiving and he just loves it. He can keep himself occupied for a good amount of time figuring out how to solve the puzzle on his own. I put a gold star on each page he successfully completes. I’m also introducing him to Mad Libs, not sure if he’ll get it or not….
Crafts – We recently took a book out of the library about how to make elaborate paper airplanes. Most just involve paper, scissors, tape and paper clips so we’ll see what aircraft we can create and race against each other.
School Work– Yep, this is in the mix. My son has a spiral notecards book where each week his teacher writes in new words that he’s to learn by sight, such as “so,” “and,” “like” and “the.” To get him to practice, I like to make it like a game show, mixing up the cards and if he gets 5 in a row right, he wins a great prize – which is really just a sticker or a penny. He has so much fun, he doesn’t even realize he’s learning!
Feed a Cold – Sick kids don’t always want to eat, but it’s important that they get enough nutrients and stay hydrated. For lunch we’re going to play restaurant: he’s going to give me his lunch order and I’ll write it down on a notepad and then deliver his meal on a tray. I have a box of silly straws I haven’t opened yet, and I think today might be the day to crack that box open.
As for me, I’ll be dutifully working from my mobile office (aka laptop, Blackberry, iPhone & iPad) in between these activities, checking in to see how the workday is going. All the laundry is already done, thanks to The Hubs and the house is clean, so I’m not going to feel guilty about not doing any housework.
Now it’s your turn to share. What do you do with your kids when they are sick?
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