What day is it? Wednesday? Sometime in March? You know, sometimes it’s hard for me to tell because OH YEAH, STUCK INSIDE ONCE AGAIN WITH SICK KID.
Seriously. That Girl was back to school, what, a week? And then on the weekend started coming down with yet another cold, which by Monday morning came complete with 104 fever. She’s missed two full weeks of school since February began, at least.
And if you think I am tired, you can only imagine how exhausting this has all been for her.
The cold she has this week is pretty standard issue, although with the Ear Infection From Hell that has been going on through 25 DAYS’ WORTH of antibiotics, nothing is simple anymore. Plus she is getting tired of being sick all the damn time, which is completely understandable.
She’s been stuck inside, feeling crappy, with just me and the TV for company. She’s had enough. She’s tired. And I don’t blame her. We’re both in need of a bit of a break from the grind.
For me, that would just be getting her back to school, for obvious reasons. Not least of which is that she’s missing so much and she can’t afford to get even further behind the eight ball than her disability has already put her. But also because she loves it, and playing, and seeing her friends.
For me, it’s just some quiet time.
The problem is, when you have a child with poor working memory, sometimes having conversations with her can be like having conversations with a small Alzheimer’s patient. She cannot remember having discussed whatever topic is at hand before, although we may have done — maybe even in the past five or ten minutes. And one of her coping techniques, we think, is to dwell on topics that are important to her, so we will go over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over something.
I get it. I understand it. I know that it is happening. But it is exhausting. And, admittedly, I sometimes lose patience.
She will repeat things, to help herself remember, or to validate what she is thinking, or to just make sense of what is going on, tens and sometimes hundreds of times. Maybe it’s a topic, or a person, or a phrase. She will obsess on things and, as it is with all 7-year-olds, no thought goes unexpressed. We’ve talked about coughing this week more than I ever thought possible. Yesterday it was vomiting (which she did, once, because she was coughing so much) to the point that she was afraid to eat or drink anything, in case she might barf. Today’s theme, with the development of a phlegmy cough, is “I think it’s breaking up!” Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Yesterday’s theme of vomiting was particularly trying. Because, when you have a child with a cold and fever, you of course want her to drink plenty of liquids. But she refused. And she wouldn’t eat, either. For two days I asked nicely and cajoled and jollied her along and threatened and pleaded.
Last night it hit a crescendo, wherein she worked herself up into a dramatic hysteria (she often imagines herself acting as a character in one of her favourite movies) and was crying and wailing and getting into some Oscar-worthy gesturing and hands-clasped-as-if-in-prayer self-talk. (Because we were in the bathroom. And there was a mirror in which to see herself perform. I am an idiot.)
She would not brush her teeth. She would not take any cold meds. She would not drink some water. And because she had not eaten in two days, I could not give her any antibiotics to deal with the ear infection we’ve been fighting since what feels like the dawn of time, but in actuality was just February.
So I did what any reasonable-yet-frazzled-and-really-tired mom would do. I got really cross with her, and then I put myself in timeout for a few minutes. To think.
And then, I put her in a warm shower, where the steam eased her coughing and runny nose and playing in water cheered her right up and distracted her. And then I sat her down on the bathroom floor and gave her a popsicle.
Problem solved, for the time being. She took her meds, brushed her teeth, had a drink of water, and went to bed.
I wish I had thought of it sooner, honestly. Oh well. Live and learn.
But now, although I have asked her to lie down for a nap (which OMG I WANT TOO), I can hear once again the sounds of coughing and sneezing, so that means… Time to tear myself away from the computer.
It’s popsicle time, baby.