Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sick Kids

Yesterday was possibly my least glamorous day as a mother yet. Three of my kids were sick. Things were coming from nearly every end -- never making it where they might be somewhat easier to handle. From the bathroom floor, to the insides of the car, to the store parking lot (and pretty much everywhere in between) there was disaster! Mike is quite the man for coming home early (which sadly for us only means 6:00 pm), and sending me off on a run after hearing me cry over the phone, in detail, of the misfortunes I had faced. Had the situation been reversed, and I'd heard the shuddering details via phone, I might have stayed away even longer than usual.

But, can you imagine if you were a poor mother living in a log cabin trying to take care of sick little ones with out passing germs on to other un-sick little ones? To have had no quick access to clean water and fresh soap? And that isn't all. We have showers to throw kids in and washing machines to throw clothes and sheets in, AND we have Clorox wipes for crying out loud!! I was wiping up the entire house -- door handles, light switches, toilet seats, faucets, all to ensure no further spread of the germs than was absolutely unstoppable. I was so terrified of anything reaching Jesse and must have scrubbed my hands a hundred times (which was super great on my eczema and cracks), but oh, with all of my complaining, I can see how it could have been so much more awful. I want to cry to think of a mother stressing with five little ones in circumstances like I was in yesterday only with no modern conveniences and no way to even help her little ones if their sickness or fever should get too high.

Today we are seeming pretty well back to normal. The kids stayed home an extra day from school but have mostly just lounged and read books with little sign of ill health. I have been doing a lot of disinfecting due to the nature of their sickness, but am feeling so grateful that they all hit it on the same day (rather than making me deal with it for a week!) and that I can keep pulling out my little Clorox wipes.

We have an ancestor who had nine of her eleven children die to some illness or other. My mom once told me how when she was feeling frustrated or upset about something one of her kids had done, she would occasionally feel like she could hear this great grandmother saying, "But Sharon! They are alive! You can hug them! Who cares if they are hard! They're alive." My kids weren't misbehaving or driving me crazy, they were just sick -- messy sick, but it is almost like I feel some sweet ancestor looking down on me and gently chastising me for all the complaining I did yesterday as she thinks back on trying to rock, clean, and care for sick little ones with dirt floors and no clean water and the fear of them actually dying in her mind.

9 comments:

Rhonda said...

Wow, it seems almost impossible to take care of that many little sick people! Poor things! You are such a great mother with such a positive attitude. I hope no one else gets sick!

Karen said...

I found myself weeping as I read your post. I have been there and I have thought the same things about my anscestors. Then there are other days when I could swear they are there caring for a child while I am caring for another.

I hope all are well and better at your home. If I had known, I would have dropped off flat Sprite and crackers.

Tia Juana said...

Well now doesn't that just put it all into perspective. I am proud of you for being able to do it. It is not usually the person who is in the situation that is able to see so clearly and put it all into perspective.

Isn't it interesting that I don't think I've ever really read about any ancestors ever getting the flu bug barfs, it is usually only the big stuff like malaria or cholera or some big other epidemical thing that they wrote about. You never hear much about the little flu bugs for them.

I wonder if it is because they would just send the sick person out to live in the barn until they were better. And when they would do so, they'd think "Isn't it so great that we have such a modern convenience like a barn with a straw floor unlike our great grandparents who didn't have any place to put their sick kids."

Maybe that is why sometimes they died of just the simplest things like the common cold. They were sleeping in their conveinent barn after being banished there by the family.

Sarah said...

Oh, I was so sad when you said you had sick little ones. Yes, with a baby it is extremely stressful. You don't realize how much hand washing you have to do! Glad it was gone quickly.

Now about getting together. Yes, things just seem busy. I'll talk to Sarah again. We'll get it together sometime soon.

Perla said...

i'm so glad to hear that they already feeling so much better. 24 hour bugs are much better than other bugs. and thanks for the good reminder about our ancestors. as i was thinking of a poor little mom in a cabin with all of these sick kids the thought also came to me that her husband was probably away in England on a mission, too. we do have so many blessings living in the time we do!

jami said...

oh nancy, what a day! there's nothing quite like sick kids, but you are right in that we really are blessed to have the modern conveniences we have. how lucky we are... and thanks for sharing your ancestor's words :) because it's true ... we are lucky to have what we have but sometimes we dno't remember that. :) xoxo

Ashley said...

I, too, like to think of our pioneer ancestors and those who came before who had it so much worse than we do when I find myself complaining or being a wuss about something--like childbirth, for example. I've always wanted to have a lot of kids and still do, but sometimes when I consider getting pregnant again, I sure dread morning sickness and losing my body, and labor, and having no personal time whatsoever, etc. At those times, I mentally slap myself and think how infinitely harder it was for the women crossing the plains, and then I know that I can and will suck it up and have as many children as the Lord sees fit to send me.

On a different subject, when I think of people being sick and throwing up, I recall a time in Alabama when Adam had the flu. He must have been about 16 at the time. Anyway, I remember him once racing out of his room but not quite making it to the bathroom. We came upon him bent over in the hallway, hurling his guts up. I remember feeling so sorry for him that in his weakened state my mother would be so frustrated and impatient with him, but at the same time, I was so sorry for my mom having to ladle spoonfuls of vomit out of the carpet. Kind of a sad little story.

Thanks for the sleep advice. Love you, Nanners.

Krista said...

I agree. Sometimes we are grateful to have our own trials and not someone else's. My favorite modern convenience for being sick is all the medications we have available, even little ol' Tylenol for Kids (and grown ups).

Amy said...

Oh that was a sweet little blog. And I am glad for the reminder of how blessed we are to have so many opportunities to keep our little people well and whole. Found out a good little trick: A few weeks ago I was tending Priscilla's little Maddie while she took Nik to Primary's. Maddy was sick and throwing up. But I used those nice blue plastic bags your newspapers come in on wet days rather than the normal bowl. It worked so well. Maddie threw up five times. I didn't have to look at it or clean out a bowl, just threw out the bag. Dear little Maddie was so sweet she would tell me she was sorry after each episode.

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