Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sick Children (and Husbands) Aren't Much Fun - A Study In Patience

Sweetie's sick again, with a mild cold. Not enough to totally incapacitate her, but just enough to make her cranky and indecisive about what she wants to do with herself. Happy and content one minute, crying and whining the next.

My husband has a cold too. He started it, in fact. His way of dealing with his sickness is to tell me, blow by blow, how it's progressing for him. He started with a sore throat - that's it - so he knew for sure he was doomed to be deathly ill within 24 hrs. Then he woke up feeling fine - thought he was getting over it - then by mid-morning he's drippy and scratchy again in the throat, but eating makes him feel better; he remembers when he was a kid being sick meant ..... etc., etc., etc.

It's okay, though. I don't mind listening to him too much - it's just his way and it's helping him work through it.

Just the same, though, with crankypants and analytical boy, I'm up to my eyeballs in miserableness. Having to listen to and take care of them, while trying to maintain my patience in the face of their feelings of "yuckiness" is incredibly trying. My only saving grace is that I myself have not caught the bug, and today both Sweetie and Hubby do seem to be creeping closer to health. There's light at the end of this tunnel - I can almost see it.

More about patience - with sicknesses in the house this week, along with a couple restless nights for Sweetie, my patience is being tried more than ever! I have always been a very patient person. My co-workers tell me I have the patience of a saint and they commend me for staying cool and calm in the face of deadlines, faulty machinery, and all the other factors that keep my job from running smoothly. Likewise, at home I pride myself on my ability to deal with Sweetie's antics much more calmly than her father. I am usually able to look at her behavior practically and understand that she's not doing things for the sole purpose of annoying me, but because she's growing and learning about her boundaries and life rules. Stepping back and realizing this has helped me a lot in getting through some of the tougher moments in raising her.

However, like I said, this week has really opened my eyes to just how impatient I'm becoming. Granted, my worst times of impatience lately have been around, oh, say 3:00 a.m. when Sweetie's wide awake, screaming at the top of her lungs about all the things she wants to do right then - except sleep. Then, out of desperation and looking for anything to calm her down, we give in to some of her wishes - only to be emphatically shot down because of course now she doesn't want that at all!

She wants milk - REALLY wants milk, ANYTHING for milk. We get her milk - she throws her cup on the floor because now she absolutely does NOT want milk - how could we possibly think to offer her that?! She wants to go downstairs - PLEEEAAAASSSEEE, go downstairs at 5:00 in the morning. I take her down - but NOOOO - she wants Daddy to go with her and pick her up. Just pick her up for the sake of doing it. She doesn't want a thing to do with me and what I can do to help her out.

(Maybe this is my big problem. I can't patiently deal with her when she's like this because, unlike past times, now she's simply not allowing me to help her however I can. She's looking more and more to her Daddy to pick her up and comfort her in her times of distress. I can't pick her up, and she knows it, so to her I'm no good at these times. But with hubby being sick this week, he's not been able to do what she wants of him so much. But she won't let me help her. Thus - the big problem).

Anyway, you get the idea. That's just a bit of what we've been through this week.

I think she's done having naps. Her hysterical behavior this week has only happened after days when she got good naps. But on her no-nap days, she's both gone to bed easily and she's slept soundly the whole night through - except for maybe the brief whimper or two in the middle of the night, which is quickly and easily dealt with.

Now if we could only get Nana, our daycare provider, to go along with our new no-nap routine.

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