School is officially back in session.
How do I know? My 5-year-old is sitting in front of the TV on a gorgeous day -- sick.
So what's a mom to do, when the kids are sick and even the two hours that a child is supposed to be in preschool aren't granted to us?
These eight things:
1. Turn on the T.V.
Don't be a martyr -- turn on the T.V. Additionally, for a child like mine who does not sit still and is too young to read alone -- and, even on sick days, I'm still constantly chasing the baby -- it's a great way to encourage rest.
2. Eat healthy food.
This one's for you, mom. It's a lot easier to maintain patience and a generally positive atmosphere with whole, unprocessed foods running through our systems. (My personal go-to's are boiled eggs, nuts and spinach smoothies -- quick, easy, yummy, healthy.)
3. Let them eat cake.
Ok, not really. Sick kids need nutritious foods too, but, in my humble experience, now is not the time to stress you or your sick kid out by enforcing strict "eat that" rules.
4. Go on a drive.
This might sound weird, but this was a game changer for my whole brood this morning.
My daughter wasn't up for doing much (obviously -- or I would have sent her to school) and, frankly, neither am I. That said, between my 10-month-old baby walking to everything and anything dangerous in sight, and my sick kid and I both getting a little cabin fever-ish, I threw them in the car and we just went on a short drive with the sun roof open.
It felt like a giant "reset" button.
5. Create new fun.
Watching TV gets old fast, but, again, when the idea is to promote rest and getting better, I think it's important to encourage something that engages a child's imagination -- in order to help them continue chilling out.
For us, it was turning on a cooking show my daughter loves and getting some things from the kitchen so that she could pretend to make soup along with the show.
Actually, as I'm writing this my oldest, not-feeling-so-hot daughter is pretending that two leather ballet-slipper bags are gloves and my baby is playing with the clean laundry I haven't put away yet. Hey -- some days, anything goes.
6. Put on clothes.
Yes, we lounged in our pajamas for longer than we normally do, but what we wear can really set the tone for the afternoon.
Putting on comfortable clothing that we can still relax in, but that makes us feel good is always a great idea, for parent and child.
Not alcohol. (Sorry.) Rather, remember that hydration is an important part of getting that kid well -- and in promoting our own wellness. So drink lots of water.
8. Get out the yoga mats.
Possibly another strange suggestion, but I'm about to do this at my house right now.
I have a 10-month-old baby who is walking everywhere and, while she doesn't practice yoga yet (snort laughing at this vision in my head), she does like to park her tiny tushy on the miniature mat that I set out for her, next to her big sister's and mine. This, frankly, gives me some time to move my body and it also encourages my oldest to do some light stretching and playing that promote immune system health without depleting it.
Do you have suggestions that keep you and your kids sane when the start-of-school colds hit? Leave them in the comments section below!