The theme on this week’s #WASO – Weekly Adoption Shout Out – is Survival Strategies. Mine have been a little tested over the past weeks. Here is what has been happening and how we have survived, in list form:
A chronology of recent weeks:
- Grizzly had gastric flu and was laid up on the sofa for a good week. He got well enough (ish) for work and went back the following Monday.
- On Tuesday night Little Bear started with a vomiting bug. He recovered quite quickly and managed a couple of hours in pre-school on the Friday.
- That night, Big Bear caught the vomiting bug (you see where this is going). He got the flu symptoms too and was out of action for the whole of half term.
- On the Friday of half term, Grizzly got the vomiting bug…
- Somehow we managed one whole week at school/ pre-school/ work
- On the Friday night of that week, Little Bear started vomiting again. This time he had a high temperature and when he woke in the morning, had a non-blanching rash all over his face.
- Cue to a trip to the out of hours GP (Little Bear was still vomiting!) who sent us to the hospital. 6 hours later they were sure it wasn’t Meningitis, he was keeping fluids down and thankfully we managed to get him back home.
- I deep cleaned the entire house. Why oh why would the germs not leave?
- On Sunday night, Big Bear was up in the night with a very high temperature, dizzy head and feeling generally pretty unwell.
- Cue a trip to the doctor the next morning. Diagnosis: virus. Isn’t it always? I wished I hadn’t bothered dragging him out in his pjs with a 39.8 degree temperature.
- I rang my mum in law prior to the doctor trip to see if she could look after Little Bear for me, only to discover she too was laid up in bed.
- This week I have kept both bears off school in the hope we would finally rid ourselves of germs. Big Bear is still poorly and Grizzly has returned from work and announced he has a temperature and feels weird….. AAAH!
- When Little Bear was ill he was very brave and angelic. When he was half ill, he was entirely disregulated. This meant more aggressive behaviour than usual and that his main aim was to irritate Big Bear. This worked well as Big Bear has been grumpy and very much lacking in patience..
- At times it has been better to separate them on different sofas to reduce the risk of it all ending in tears. However, this meant that I then had to decide who I was going to sit with whilst the other one got jealous.
- It would be better if I could be in two places at once and doing two things at the same time.
- I have missed my precious alone time that I usually get when Big Bear is at school and Little Bear is at Preschool.
- There has been a lot of getting up in the middle of the night.
- We all like to get out and about so Cabin Fever is at an all-time high.
- There has been A LOT of washing.
- I have washed my hands A LOT and they are sore.
The Silver Lining:
- Little Bear does seek comfort from us when he is poorly so it has been good bonding time.
- I’ve had loads of snuggly boy cuddles.
- We’ve had some lovely moments of me and both boys tucked up together watching a film or snuggling in bed.
- Neither bear has had much energy so I’ve managed the odd cheeky snooze when they’ve been watching something!
- My lovely parents have helped me A LOT.
- We have done some “wholesome” activities (my term for activities that make you feel you are doing good parenting and that your children might learn something from)
- Little Bear is saying more every day.
- We’ve watched some good films.
Our favourite family films:
- Mr Peabody and Sherman
- Madagascar (all of them)
- How to Train Your Dragon
My favourite wholesome activities to entertain busy boys when you can’t leave the house*:
- Baking – I like to prep 2 sets of everything before we start so they can both join in equally and it’s easy to manage.
- Motion Sand – it sticks together so children can make perfect sandcastles without any help (great for experiencing success and for those who struggle with resilience), it doesn’t dry out and it doesn’t stick to your carpet.
- Sticker books
- A massive cardboard box that can be decorated and turned into a rocket/ car/ den.
- Painting – a bit more rock and roll than drawing or colouring. I would love to draw all day but neither bear is really down with it
- Mosaic sets – good for Big Bear when he wants to do something but hasn’t the energy to move off the sofa. Ditto Top Trumps and a Beetle drive game.
- If in doubt with Little Bear, the washing up.
*When we are all too tired/ cranky/ disregulated for wholesome tasks, I just resort to lazy parenting: Ipad or TV. Not sure anybody learns anything, but who cares? Sometimes it’s just about survival.
Strategies to maintain my own sanity:
- Getting a break. Even a 20 minute walk around the block helps. A little wander round the shops and a coffee definitely did – thanks Parents.
- Not even thinking of all the other things I could be doing helps me be more present and find the silver lining.
- Having a little plan in mind of what I will do when the children are finally asleep. It’s never anything big – new pyjamas and an episode of Location Location Location will do it. Just something nice to look forward to.
- Having a good old de-brief with Grizzly when he gets back from work.
- My big men’s woolly jumper for days that already feel a bit too hard when I’m getting dressed. It’s like a woollen hug.
- Writing. Thinking about writing.
Shared on #thelist and #WASO.
See #thelist at www.youbabymemummy.com