So you have a cold. What does your doctor say? Stay at home. Get some rest. What a joke. Did he notice the two sick children you have with you?

This was my dilemma last week. Both my children and I were struck down with colds at the same time. My husband, he had a milder version and wisely realised it was easier to be at work than at home with two sick children. He also had several meetings he couldn’t get out of. So that left me at home, sick with a cold, to look after two children under four, also sick with colds… I remember my time before children… ahhh, those were the days, staying in my PJs, watching trash tv and ordering in food so I didn’t have to cook…

Now we live in the country, no home delivery in sight and absolutely no chance of getting back into bed. However, we did stay in our PJs. Some things work for all stages of life.

So there I was, feeling incredibly sorry for myself and faced with a decision – I could try and crawl into a ball and pretend my children didn’t exist… but then who knows what chaos would ensue… Or I could make the best out of it all and minimise the carnage. I chose the latter.

So here is how we spent our sick days.

 

We picked our battles.

The slogan, ‘Pick your battles’ is something we live by in this house. So I chose not to pick the food battle. Although they were offered an African stew and zucchini soup – both of which didn’t go down well, I also offered weetbix as a substitute. I also might have cooked American style pancakes for breakfast one morning and crepes with lemon and sugar the next… We also might have watched a lot of tv… Just not battles I’m willing to pick when I really should be in bed asleep.

Who doesn't love crepes with lemon and sugar?

Who doesn’t love crepes with lemon and sugar?

 

We did activities that required hardly any preparation and even less clean up.

We painted. However, in the interest of doing as little as possible and creating as little mess to clean up as possible, we painted using those water booklets – you know, you just add water to the picture and it turns into a colour. Do you remember them for your childhood? I do. This could’ve been a pleasant activity… if my son didn’t keep trying to drink the dirty paint water… or insist on painting the same spot until it had a hole in it… then having a tantrum because his paper had a hole in it.

Painting with water... still messy but not half as messy as actual paint.

Painting with water… still messy but not half as messy as actual paint.

 

We baked brownies from a packet.

Yes. You read that correctly. When I’m sick I crave comfort food. My daughter wanted chocolate… I couldn’t resist. Chocolate brownies from Zumbo’s packet mix. So easy. The children couldn’t muck it up if they tried. Twenty minutes later we had awesome comfort food. (We don’t stock lollies in our house. We bake ‘naughty’ things instead.)

Packet brownie mix is almost impossible for them to destroy.

Packet brownie mix is almost impossible for them to destroy.

And yes, that yellow plate is mine. As if we were going to make chocolate brownies and I wouldn't eat any!

And yes, that yellow plate is mine. As if we were going to make chocolate brownies and I wouldn’t eat any!

 

We also dappled in craft that required minimal effort (from me).

I saw on pintrest someone who got her children to do these wonderful designs using different lengths of washi tape. Awesome. Her children were older. But that’s ok. Same principle could work with mine. We would just call it abstract art. We then used these card and layered them with other paper to make thank you cards for people. For some reason most people think the weird ‘art’ toddlers pull together is cute. There the people that get our homemade cards. I love those people. They save me a lot of money and my children think they’re awesome because they actually like their ‘art’.

What did I do? I sat in one spot and cut up tape. No clean up required. And apart from pulling out the box with washi tape and the card – not really any preparation. My head thick with a cold easily managed this and it kept them occupied for almost an hour. This lasted longer than colouring in! You can bet that if you know me and you have a birthday in the next few months, you’re getting one of these cards.

Making the main 'picture' for thank you cards.

Making the main ‘picture’ for thank you cards.

Hopefully you won’t get sick. But if you do, a simple stack of supplies will help you survive.

 

And ofcourse, it’s Tuesday, so make sure you check out the other great blog’s at the link up over at Essentially Jess.

Written by Nadia

27 Comments

nadiamc

Yeah… Today it’s bananas and vegemite on toast for breakfast. They got pancakes because I felt like pancakes! Pancakes make me feel better! I’d love to just sit and watch DVDs but mine won’t watch them. I wish we were feeling better. We are into our second week of being sick. I’ll be bringing out the water painting again… Trying to work out what else we can do from the safety of the sofa!

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EssentiallyJess

I’m a bit the same as Bec! It’s TV, and lying down. Maybe some drawing if we’re really adventurous.
I think the worst is when some of you are sick and the others aren’t. Then it’s hard to work around those that need to do something, and those that need to do nothing!

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Haidee

This was us the other week but you made far more effort than me! We stayed in PJ’s and watched movie marathons! Haha. Though I did make banana chocolate chip muffins at one point so I guess that counts right?

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nadiamc

Of course it counts! Yum! I’m wondering what we’ll do to survive another week of being sick… I wish mine would be happy to watch tv. After about 30minutes they’re destroying the house and I’m the only one sitting on the sofa watching Peppa Pig…

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Mumma McD

The kids and I all had gastro together a few weeks ago and it was hell. We all sat on the sofa under a doona and watched hours and hours of Ben and Holly – I’m very impressed at your efforts while ill!!

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nadiamc

Ooohhh, gastro is a different story entirely. I just had a head cold. My brain didn’t work but the rest of my body was ok. Hence why I could sit and watch them do things, or sit and cut up washi tape.

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Kaz @ Melting Moments

Did you sneak into my house to take those pics? We have the same mat, same table and fdrink bottles! I had to look twice!
You’re amazing for attempting craft and baking with a sick house. Good on you!

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nadiamc

Perhaps you shop at Ikea and Costco too! I bought that mat years ago when the company just started. They are so expensive now!

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Maxabella

You are too good! I remember when our family all came down with rotavirus at the same time and we just moved all the mattresses, pillows and blankets (and lots and lots of towels) into the lounge room and literally camped there 24/7 for three days straight. x

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nadiamc

But camping in the living room sounds like so much fun! Mine are still too young to appreciate the tv for anything longer than 30mins. They get bored and destroy the house. Activities are out of necessity!

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Luisa @ Looking for mama me

Mummies dont get sick! But good on you for keeping the kids entertained while you were under the weather! I got gastro a couple of weeks ago and my little girl (who luckily didnt get it like I did) was also sick… thank god for grandparents! My mum looked after bub most of the day, I dont know what I’d do without them!

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nadiamc

It didn’t take much to stick a container of water in front of them and watch them ‘paint’. Much less energy to do that, than walk after my son trying to put back together anything he’d destroyed in boredom! Or listen to my daughter’s wails. Anything to keep them quiet so I could pretend I was somewhere else (like in bed)!

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Tracy

The last time I had children at home sick at the same time I was sick, I think the younger two (the two who were sick) were about 7 and 9 and we all had the proper flu (not just a bad cold). We landed in a heap on the couch where we slept and watched TV all tangled up together. They weren’t interested in eating and I couldn’t be bothered making them. We slept through meals I think. Certainly none of us had the energy to be doing anything but laying on the couch.

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nadiamc

I would’ve loved to lay on the couch… sadly my son doesn’t understand the necessity of conserving energy when you’re sick. Partly why I think it took him so long to recover. But he’s only two. I’m sure as he gets older he will discover that staying on the sofa and watching tv all day is the perfect way to recover… TV just doesn’t hold any interest for him. The first day I tried to get away with sitting on the sofa, the both of them just cried continually, feeling sorry for themselves. So I knew the second day I had to do something. Anything was preferable to constant tears. Amazing what a motivator that can be!

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Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages

I was here a few weeks back and oh my goodness it is hard. Especially since the kids didn’t seem as hard hit as me because they still had energy and wanted to do something. Though I did get away with a lot of TV watching while mummy lays here, and lazy yes’es to pretty much any food they asked for. Somehow we survived.

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nadiamc

I wish mine would watch tv! We tried that the first day, and it worked quite well today. But after a few days of being home they just got bored. And it was like you said, they had more energy… but they were using it to make havoc then tantrums started and that is worse than having to think of activities to do! Being sick, with sick kids is just awful.

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Renee Wilson

Oh you poor things. There’s nothing worse than looking after sick kids when you’re sick yourself. I hope you’re all fighting fit again now.

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Renee Wilson

Oh you poor things. There is nothing worse than looking after sick kids when you’re sick yourself. I hope you’re all on the mend now.

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nadiamc

Too, too easy. Although, as they get older they get better at creating proper pictures with it, rather than just randomness. But the random is still cool. We (I) experimented the following day with different lengths of washi and washi cut into triangles and parallelograms. Let’s just say cutting up washi tape got a little boring…

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Katie

Fabulous post! Those little guys (in the generic sense of the word, obviously!) are so lucky to have a Mum who can think on her feet even with a stinkin’ cold. It looks like you had a great mix of “chill time” and play time, and did some fun and useful things as well. I loved reading this! (Came over here from your comment on Holly’s blog at simplifycreateinspire.)

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nadiamc

Thank you! Luckily, having been a primary school teacher for many years, it doesn’t take much thought to come up with these activities. Holly has such a great blog! Glad you found me ūüôā

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