Dependence Day

sick child

Sometimes we all need to depend on someone else. Today, my daughter was sick with the…well, I don’t think that I want to explain it, actually.

I’ve gotten a little coddled by the fact that I have an independent daughter. In the fall, we went through a very difficult period of time when my daughter did not want me to leave, ever. Since I work outside the home part time, this was rather difficult. She has a lovely preschool class and wonderful grandparents who take care of her, but none of them were sufficient for a few months. I despaired, and then of course that changed.

Although she has never been Miss Independent, lately separation has been a lot less painful. I’m hoping that this trend continues as we move towards the major separation that kindergarten will bring.

Today was a dependence day, though. Sick and snuggly, my daughter wanted me to curl up on the couch with her all day as she sat staring vacantly into space and sometimes sleeping. That’s what she does when she is sick. I couldn’t get up to use the washroom or eat, although I negotiated both around 2 pm when the situation became rather dire.

When my daughter is sick, she goes right back to infancy. She wants to be carried, wants to be snuggled constantly. She won’t sleep, either – and that’s a trip right back to when she was a baby. And I need to go right back to my coping skills from that time of her life, too. I am not a cuddly person, not a person who is patient with those who are sick and needy. Dependent times teach me to be more patient and giving to my daughter, and these are useful skills for me too.

What do you learn about yourself when your child is sick?

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