Our family has been out of commission this week with what turned out to be a completely draining and thoroughly methodical stomach bug. (Hence the lack of blogging yesterday; Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts came to you via WordPress’s scheduling feature.) It hit me first, and just as I recovered, John went down; just as he was on the mend, Jacob took a turn for the worse. Thankfully we’re all back to 100% now, and as with any parenting experience, I was amazed and enlightened by a couple of things along the way.
The first is the kindness and generosity of my parents. Thank goodness they live so close, and thank goodness this thing struck the week after my teacher-mom finished her school year. When I called to tell her I was sick and to ask if she could come help with Jacob when John went back to work on Monday (or not), she and my dad instantly got in the car and she was ringing the bell before I knew it. Sometimes even a mommy needs her mommy.
For two days, she took care of whomever was sick; kept whomever was not, well fed (and bathed, in Jacob’s case); kept our apartment clean; and with the help of what must be a superhuman immune system, didn’t get sick along the way. I’ve always known my mom is an incredible woman, and I’m beyond grateful for how she helped us this week. She didn’t flinch when another one of us bit the dust, and she did it all with so much love for her “babies,” as she calls us. Once a mom, always a mom.
The other amazing thing was how Jacob led the way in caring for him when the bug bit him. The day he got sick, he didn’t really want breakfast or lunch, and he took an extra long nap in between. When he did get sick, we looked back and saw these were warning signs. After he was sick, we were hesitant to give him anything other than water or Pedialyte to drink—according to doctor’s, nay nurse’s orders—but in the afternoon he seemed ready for some milk and sleep. We followed his lead, I nursed him, he fell asleep, and he slept as he normally does until morning. The next day, he led the way with what he wanted to eat again, nursing more than was normal, but I believe, getting everything he needed to recover.
As an aside, I wonder when we lose this certain sense of what we need. John and I struggled to figure out when we should try some Gatorade, when we were ready for something more than soup, and so on. Thank goodness Jacob knew what he needed, because we had trouble determining what we needed for ourselves!
And finally, I don’t know if the antibodies from my milk were really that strong, or if Jacob inherited his grandmother’s immune system, but he handled the whole thing like a champ. Besides about two hours the day he was sick, he spent the whole three days of apartment-turned-infirmary all over the place, like normal, giggling his head off. He capitalized on the opportunity to play with Grandma, and he kicked the virus way before John and I did.
I’ve never been in the driver’s seat during a family sickness before—and I wasn’t entirely alone this time, of course. I definitely learned how to keep my cool by following my mom’s, John’s, and even Jacob’s example. I can only hope that I keep these things in mind next time around. . . . And that next time is a long, long way away!