A Sick Day


I’ve been sick this week, and that always poses a parenting challenge. How do I act at my best when I feel at my worst (or at least, fairly bad)? My darling daughter always brings home bugs to share with me, so the same scenario replays itself all fall and winter long, in spite of copious quantities of fish oil, vitamin C, water and rest.

How can you entertain your preschooler when you’re sick?

There’s always television, of course. Sometimes I relent on a sick day and declare that it is a movie afternoon. We make popcorn and hot chocolate and snuggle on the couch. However, since we try to limit television, the thing can’t be on all day, and there are many, many hours in the day.

Go for a walk. Yes, I know that you don’t feel like it, but often a gentle walk will help me feel better, and it certainly helps kids burn off steam. Being cooped up in the house all day with a child who is running around in circles is not pleasant – being outdoors walking in a park or a quiet street where you can slowly amble along is much better.

Our go-to television-free ways to entertain our daughter for ages are things like water play, as well. She loves to fill up the sink and put a towel underneath, and she plays with her toys in the sink for a long time.

For my child, art activities and puzzles aren’t really up her alley, and we end up with more of a mess than is worthwhile. However, playing with real clay in a totally open-ended fashion is a treat that will keep her busy for a long time. As are paint with water books – those books where you add water to the pictures so that you can activate the paint.

Often, kids feel left out when they know that you’re sick. Yes, they may realize that you’re cranky and not well, but after a while the novelty wears off and the kids just want you to be you again. And you’re not feeling up to it. Games and books are good togetherness activities to do when you’re sick – sit, play and relax.

What do you do when you’re sick?