Touch of spice |

Touch of spice

The sick room

Christina M. Currie

I’ll just say Katie was sick and leave it at that.

OK. Let me add she was the kind of sick where she waited until it was time for work the baby’s packed in her car seat and we’re on our way out the door before the explosion occurred (stop here if you’re weak of stomach).

All things came to a halt and we went back for a bath.

I was late for work.

There are few things worse than having sick kids. I’m not just talking about the fact that the only laundry I did over the weekend was their bedding over and over and over or the dilemma between letting them run naked (there are no barriers to stop the flow) or dressing them (so your couch didn’t get ruined, but you have a growing pile of garments peeling the paint off your deck).

What I’m talking about is the emotional impact.

There’s nothing you want more in the world than to be sick so your child doesn’t have to be.

But it doesn’t work like that. You pace, you lose sleep, you guess at what the problem is because they can’t tell you. You offer medication, warm baths or comfort as the situation dictates and at the end of it all, you still have a little one in pain.

Nikki just wanted to be held, oh, and walked around. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and I promised I would spend the whole night rocking and cuddling her if she would just let me sit down.

She wouldn’t.

I paced until she was sound asleep and then I sank slowly into the chair. I wasn’t even halfway down before she started to cry again. She wasn’t even awake.

Daddy comes to the rescue. He’s the real sandman in the family. He sits down (and she lets him) and a few minutes later she’s back in her bed and he’s back in his. If I weren’t so grateful, I’d be offended.

OK, I am offended.

The problem is the girls know I’m a pushover. They cry, I jump. They know I will walk them around the entire night as well as they know that daddy won’t.

Daddy’s content to rock with a baby, and sleep with her on his chest as long as she wants, but daddy isn’t going to walk for hours at some unGodly a.m. hour.

They know it, so they don’t beg.

I’ve got to work on that.

As the sick recedes, Katie drags herself to her room to find the jar she’s been storing energy in and sucks it all down one big gulp.

From listless a few hours before, I now have a wall climber with attitude.

Time to start filling that little body with food and drink to make up for what she lost. She’s so skinny, she can’t afford the drain on her body for long.

In fact, she’s so tiny (that her father’s metabolism) that dad and Uncle Mike have discussed “sponsoring” her. You know, sending us 50 cents a week to feed her. Little do they know she’s a healthy eater and it’ll cost them a lot more than 50 cents a week to fatten her up. I’m working on a proposal for them. I should film her when she’s sick to gain sympathy. They’re soft. They’d fall for it.

Anyway, she had too much lost time to make up for and she wasn’t going to waste it eating, so I used a little psychological tactic to make her think she wanted to eat.

“Katie, do you want some yogurt?”


“What do you say?”

“Peez,” is her regular response to that question and once she’s said that, she thinks she’s actually getting what she asked for in the first place.

Tricky, huh?

It did work the first couple of times to get some food into her stomach, but she caught on fast.

She broke down when she saw me eating a brownie.


So I gave her a bite.

She liked it so much she gave the brownie a little kiss and laid her cheek on it in her form of a hug.

The next night, I fed her a carrot from my plate. She came over and leaned into my carrots.

“How sweet,” I thought, waiting for her to kiss them.

Instead, she spit a half-chewed carrot right in the middle of my plate.

I ate around it.

Hey. It’s better than what she was spewing a few days before.

But I’m still torn between preferring the cuddly sick phase or the rambunctious well phase.

They’re both dirty jobs.

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