Monday, March 01, 2010

The Suffering Masses

Not too surprisingly, we were greeted upon our return by a wave of sickness. (Unsurprising because of Murphy's law and the stresses of life, not because of any failing on the part of those watching the children.) They had all had slight colds when we left and managed to sustain that until we returned, then promptly developed more exciting symptoms such as excruciating earaches.

D2 has, unfortunately for him, inherited DOB's pain intolerance, which is not so much a physical sensitivity as a compulsion to project this moment's pain forward into the unforeseeable future. More unfortunately, he doesn't sleep his misery off like DOB does; he mopes around the house whining and feeling bored and frustrated, like me. We tried ibuprofen for awhile which helped his earache, but then he developed a headache that resisted everything. In desperation I finally relaxed my rules on screen time for young children a very long way.

For D3, on the other hand, sickness brings out usually hidden powers of stubbornness. Saturday night, presumably because of a sore throat, she decided not to drink any more. Unfortunately, she was already too dehydrated to sleep. This set off hours of misery for all concerned, as she refused to be coerced, cajoled, or tricked into consuming any fluids, though we plied her with chocolate and saltine crackers. She would drop off to sleep and then wake up crying a few minutes later, but . . . "No! No! No! No! No water! No milk! No juice!" Lacking an eyedropper, we finally discovered we could use the classic trick with a finger over the end of a straw to deposit small enough quantities at a time that she would swallow it before she remembered to object. Once she had enough down her, she voluntarily drank the rest, then dropped off to sleep and, with brief intervals for eating a bite or two and sitting in someone's lap, has slept pretty much since then. She seems a little more cheerful and plays a little longer each time she wakes up.

D4, meanwhile, does not know what sickness means. OK, so there may be rivers of green snot running down his face, but hey! Cars! Outside! More cars! Oh wait, his head is falling over while he drives . . . must be time to put him to bed.

D1 pleaded a sore throat when she awoke this morning, but she seems to not have found it worth pursuing. Her energy is mostly annoying to the rest of us.

DOB and I think we are well, but haven't yet caught up on sleep enough to verify it.

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

This year seems like a sick year for us and I have great sympathy for you. Feel better soon.