Being a mum when you are unwell has got to be one of the most difficult things to do as a parent. It is so damn hard! Over the last week our house has been hit with a gastro bug. This wasn’t our first time getting sick as a family but it didn’t make it any easier. It almost always starts with Oscar before eventually spreading to Candice and I. That means that by the time we are at the peak of our sickness, Oscar is usually back to being his energetic and loud toddler self. This is where the struggle begins. All we want to do is sleep all day, curl up and be looked after but that is simply not an option when a toddler is around.
In my attempt to take it easy, I dragged a spare mattress out into the lounge room. This meant I could still be horizontal and that Oscar would be able to play within my sight. I set him up at the coffee table with a paint brush, a shallow dish of water and one of those no mess, ‘paint with water’ colouring in books. I put on the TV and watched him as he ran around like a tornado, pulling out every toy he owns. It’s funny how many of his toys live in the lounge room. Before I had Oscar I was adamant that the living space would never turn into a play room. The thing I didn’t realise is that children simply won’t play in their room unless they have company in there. At this age he wants us to be within sight at all times. It started with bringing out just a small bucket of toys, then we added a few bigger toys that couldn’t fit inside the bucket. Then we moved the large toybox from his bedroom into the lounge room. Now he has 2 toyboxes and a big play kitchen out here! Even with all of these toys at his fingertips, his favourite thing to do while I was cradling my stomach, was climb all over me and poke me in the face.
Something I noticed from being less than a couple of meters from him all day was that there was minimal whining. Practically none. He was so happy to see that I was still there every time he looked back after playing with something. Lately that has been a struggle for us. He will scream or cry when we leave the room, just to use the bathroom or walk to the kitchen. When it came time to put him to bed, Candice said it was one of the easiest bedtimes she’s had with him. No fighting, no crying, not even any rocking. He actually fell asleep while drinking his bottle and she was able to place him straight into his cot. I can’t help but think that maybe the two are linked. That him feeling so secure all day helped him fall asleep easier. Or it could just be a coincidence. Who knows.
All three of us are on the mend now, thankfully. Fingers crossed that it’s a while before I am covered in Oscar’s vomit and poo again. It really wasn’t fun.