Monday, April 29, 2013
One Mother, Spread Thin.
Alert the glue factory! Kids are going down like flies around here.
This session of sickness with the kids has been a marathon of attention-splitting. George and Ted both spent the first few days sick and miserable in tandem, and I felt so sorry for my middle child. Georgie, cranky, irritable and unable to express her feelings, clung like a barnacle to any adult she could find. I have spent hours this week in the rocking chair, patting and shushing my angry baby, and periodically being vomited on for my trouble.
Poor Ted, sadly old enough to understand 'you're next, I promise', was left to curl, alone and miserable, on his own corner of the couch. Sometimes I put Georgie down to cry while I cuddled Ted and read him a book, or did some washing, or got the dinner on, but mostly I wore the baby like a grumpy jumper and gave Ted lots of sympathetic pats on the head. Every once in a while he tried to climb onto my lap too. Sometimes I was able to balance them both, but his need to burrow in meant these periods always ended in Georgette wailing and Ted being banished again.
My heart hurt when Ted tucked into a little space on the floor and then threw up on himself.
He needed me too, and there just wasn't enough of me.
It was the baby's turn to cry as she sat in her high chair while I cleaned Ted and the floor and the cushions and put another load of washing on.
This juggle went on for a few days. The baby, the boy, the washing. The baby, the boy, the washing. Every once in a while I tried to throw some eyeballs on the poor big girl who missed out, as each day passed, on another school holiday plan. Ivy went down with the pox a couple of days ago too, just possible psychosomatically induced by the need to get some of that sweet attention she was missing out on. She's been clutching a bowl ever since.
We've been watching Nim's Island and Beethoven and Hi Five and Famous Five and classic Buster Keaton.
We've been reading The Magic Faraway Tree and lots of Mr Men books. We've been grating apples and dispensing flat lemonade and crackers. The champion little old washing machine has been in constant motion.
Keith finishes work in the cowshed and heads up to the house every lunchtime and evening to take on his dad duty. Cuddling, cooking, carrying to bed. There's not much attention left for each other this week, but we'll get to that when we can. He's such a a good egg, that man.
The two smallest have been much perkier today. Not a chuck between them, so far. All alimentary fluids remaining internal. Just the big girl to get back to health now. About three more chapters of the Faraway Tree, I think, and some intensive cuddle therapy, and possible a little Mr Bean on YouTube, and she might be all better.
On Wednesday, they go back back to school, pre-school and Georgies day care day, if they are all healthy, and then I can turn my attention to some other aspects of life. Sick kids just distil all the parenting down to its simplest method. The circle of arms that hold you when you feel awful. I haven't had enough arms this week, but we have made it through anyway.