We have been sick with various illnesses for too long. Finally we are getting to the heart of it all, the stomach bug. Incubation seems to be just long enough to be lulled into hoping the other kids won’t get it, then wham! One more bites the dust. I’d rather get it all over with in one fast, miserable weekend than space it out over two weeks. Call me nuts.
We are currently at DEFCON 2, with Maya being almost over it, Griffin cresting the hump of the worst of it, and the baby toddling around behind them sucking on their popsicle sticks, toothbrushes, pacifiers, and faces. Yeah, we haven’t seen the last of it. I thought I’d share some of our best remedies for boredom when your family, too, is nutty with cabin fever but still sick and viral.
How to keep kids from killing each other after a week of serial stomach flu:
Tubby with glowsticks (Playmobil whale optional)
Shaving cream painting. Trust me, just get naked from the start. Spread paper on floor, give kids cans and paint and leave them while you wash every towel, sheet, chux pad, and pillow in bleach. Again. Brushes to offer them include standard bristle and foam ones, zucchini, sponges, and cars. I’d advise against screamer balloons since the inclination, once they are covered in paint and foam, will be to, well, let them scream all around the room. Sigh.
Popsicle body painting. This one we kind of fell into, but why not, since the entire house was covered in waterproof pads already to keep the damage from surprise expulsions minimized.*
Quarters. Ah, memories. Replace the actual coins with little rubber cars, and the beer with ginger ale. This will only help the kids later in life so I think it counts a homeschooling. Since they will likely attend college and play drinking games, why not arm them with the necessary skills to win? Also, I get a giggle when I think of them bellying up to the sticky frat house card table to play, being told the rules and thinking, “wait, my mom taught me this when I was five.”)
Find the Crane! First, explain what a dollar can buy. Then fold one into an origami crane. Then drop it into the mound of toys where your living room rug used to be and announce that whoever finds it while cleaning can keep it. Then doze on the couch to recover from being yo all night holding your kid’s hair out of her face.
Hello, Spring! Lead the kids around the yard with plant pruners, clipping branches from the early flowering shrubs. Bring them inside, arrange in cans of water and check every day. We cut forsythia, pussy willow, river birch, and quince. They started to open the very next day. This one is good for day 3 or so when they are starting to feel better but still want to stay in their jammies. Bonus: any vomiting due to too-much-too-soon is outside on the grass. No extra laundry!
Enjoy these suggestions, and please, add your own in the comments. It takes a village.
Speaking of a village, my dad took Maya to the park this morning while Grif was busy barfing, my mom had a playdate at her house with Maya in the afternoon while Truman and I dozed and Grif watched TV, and mom sent dad over at 6 pm with a treat of mild flavored but healthy dinner for those of us who can eat. My village is here, and I am thrilled. I just hope I get through this before they return to their other house.
*recipe for home made electrolyte pops: 3 c juice, 1 c water, half ts each of salt and baking soda. Freeze in pop molds.
**have you not bought Dripsticks yet? Hasten to Amazon and improve your life immeasurably. I bought a bakers dozen and gave them out at a birthday party. So easy to be clean even the 12 month old can do it.