When I look back on my own childhood, I realize that I have wonderful memories of being sick. It wasn't that I enjoyed not feeling well (I distinctly remember not liking that), but I loved the feeling of being cared for... my mother coming in and straightening up my bed, reading me stories, bringing me small snacks and drinks, and providing a little bell so I could call her if needed. I loved that. I loved the cosy, warm feeling that it created.
I try to create the same feelings for my own children. (Though I'm never quite sure how successfully I succeed.) Some things we will do around here for a sick child include:
- Breaking the rules. We don't allow food outside of the dining room and kitchen, but I will often bring a sick child a snack in whatever room they are resting in.
- Stories on CD to listen to. I'll bring the portable CD player to the child and let them choose what they would like to listen to.
- Pleasant smells. Sometimes a cool washcloth is relaxing, but it is even better when it smells nice. I will sometimes spray lavender essential oil (diluted in water) on the cloth. This is particularly good for anxious children as smell can circumvent the worrying. Plus lavender also has a calming affect.
- Attention. I try to often check on the sick child and touch them... stroke their brow (and check for fever) and hair, hold them on my lap, rub their back.
- Soothing foods. Sometimes, like yesterday, you just have to follow the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) for dicey stomachs. (It is a great reason to keep some frozen, cooked rice in your freezer, by the way.) Other times, when I'm just dealing with colds, I will make a big pot of chicken soup. Or if there are sore throats involved, I will make up a batch of J's grandmother's honey and lemon. It's why I try to keep a good supply of lemons on hand in the winter.
Scrub 4 lemons, cut in half, and place in a glass baking dish. Bake for 55 minutes at 175 degrees. Remove and let stand until cool. Squeeze juice into a jar and add 2/3 as much honey (or more or less to taste). Take about 6 TBSP twice (at least) a day... Just sip and hold in the back of the throat as long as you can before swallowing. Holding it in the back of your throat helps to clear the sinuses and also takes some of the ache away from the throat.