Top 10 “Benefits” to Having a Sick Toddler

Top 10 “Benefits” to Having a Sick Toddler*

10.   If you’re a working parent, you get the “day off” (insert maniacal laughter here).

9.    Guilt-free TV and movie watching for the entire quarantine phase.

8.    Nothing says “morning cocktail” like a sick child, especially if the night before was an all-nighter because your child woke up every 30-40 minutes.

7.    Your 4 year old magically understands and behaves while you shower with your 19 month old to soothe a coughing fit preventing her from falling asleep for her nap.

Lil Diva transfixed by the magic of TV - broken only by random nods and opening and closing of her mouth as she watches.

6.    It gives you an excuse to NOT: shave your legs, put on makeup, brush your hair, sleep, or cook dinner.

5.    A trip to the grocery store is “fun” because it’s the only time you escape your house.

4.   Forget working out at the gym since you can’t use the child care. Instead enjoy convenient home exercise as you run up and down the steps during nap time and most of the night. As an added bonus, your sick child demands to be used as a weight you are not allowed to set down – strengthening your leg and arm muscles.

3.   You can finally catch up on the backlog from your DVR/Tivo when your child refuses to go back to their bed and will only sleep upright on your chest.

2.   No one expects a clean house if your child is sick.

1.   When it’s all over you will appreciate your everyday chaos, insanity, boring routine, and ability to sleep longer than 45 minutes a million times more.

*This is completely tongue-in-cheek. Except for #10 & #8 (and #1, because Lil Diva is still sick), all of these things were “experienced” by me within the last 48 hrs. I predict #3 later tonight, as I already spent 30 minutes calming her down after evil coughing fit following her first 45 minutes of sleep.
I’m currently accepting chocolate, liquor, and caffeine. Also: anyone willing to take the night shift so my husband and I can sleep. Or the day shift. I’m not picky at this point.

What other “benefits” do you receive when your child(ren) is/are sick?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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24 Responses to Top 10 “Benefits” to Having a Sick Toddler

  1. John says:

    When CJ was about 6 months old (well before toddler stage), he was sick. My wife was 8 months pregnant, so I had the “fun” of dealing with him. The only way he was satiated was if I was actively walking him up & down the stairs. That was, seriously, the best workout I ever think I received.

    And, I remember the first time that I “worked from home” after I had gotten over a stomach bug that my two kids and wife picked up. I got near-immediate emails back from my coworkers, laughing at me . . . if possible, I actually did negative work that day.

    • Oh, the “stair workout” – that’s a killer. My children usually prefer the “walk around outside and don’t set foot indoors” or the “dancing around” carry.

      Yes, “working from home” can be a challenge, but attempting it with the entire house sick – impossible.

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Leigh Ann says:

    Poor Lil’ D and poor Mom. Sick kids are a double edged sword. When Claire was sick, it was like a vacation bc all she wanted to do was watch movies, and the others complied. When Rachel and Zoe were sick, we still watched a lot of movies, but they (Claire) got more restless, and Zoe of course was very needy. Hope you get some relief soon! I remember being exhausted when things actually got back to normal and I had to run around refereeing play time again. 🙂

    • My son is now much easier – he just watches TV or reads books. Nights can still be rough, especially with a nasty cough waking him up.

      He was just as challenging at this age.

      I spent 2 hours with her on my lap today in desperate attempt to get her to sleep. She woke up a lot, but I managed to get her back to sleep each time, then after 2 hrs I laid her down and she napped another 45 minutes.

      She was SO tired.

      I have explained to my husband I need tonight for me. Three days and no nap break with night wakings is killer.

  3. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    I catch up on TV when the kids are sick too. I
    hope Lil Diva feels better soon! Hang in there.

    • Sadly, I cannot catch up on my TV during the day – most is not appropriate for my son to watch. Lil Diva is just getting to point where I can’t watch some shows either…

      But sitting awake, waiting for the next cough over the monitor? Perfect time to catch up.

  4. Theresa says:

    My favorite benefit comes when my generous littleman shares his disease with me and I get to start either the “I can’t breathe or taste anything” diet or the “I can’t hold anything down” diet. See also the “I’m to exhausted to feed myself” diet.

    Hope Lil Diva feels better soon.

    • I am usually blessed because I am immune to the “I can’t hold anything down diet” unless pregnant. The other two are very common. The latter was quite the problem last week…

      We think she’s on the mend, but just discovered an odd rash. At least she’s sleeping at night and during nap time again – thank god.

      So far (knock on wood) none of us got what she did, which means it could have just been allergies or a bad round of teething (canines just popped through). Or something we’ve all already had at some point.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I did not truely appreciate this post until this very day. I am currently home with my sick 5 year old. I am looking forward to: sleep interrupted by the sound of dry heeves, jerking up half asleep to hold a bowl under her, the wonder if I will get this too (dear go no), the days after she is sick and used to being / and getting everything and is now “spoiled”, the joy of giving her fluids to keep her hydrated knowing that it will only come up in an hour. Fun times!!!!

    • Oh my. I hope you managed to avoid it.

      Stomach viruses are evil, we had our last round in January. With three days left of our second ever “for fun” vacation with the kids.

      Everyone got it but me (I’m somehow immune), including the poor friends and their children whose house we stayed at for two nights. I felt SO horrible.

      I hope your 5 year old is feeling better and there is nothing for you to recover from.

      It’s amazing how the dry heeves can pull us from a deep sleep instantly..

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. #11 Blog posts write themselves? (Which is good, since you’re too tired to come up with anything).

    Great posts. Sending the health and sleep angels to you!

  7. Bellymonster says:

    Hoping everyone feels better. My two were felled by the H1N1 flu last winter – oh. my. GOD, I thought I’d never survive (Guide to H1N1 at my blog) but I did.

    You’ve kept your sense of humour throughout – although I thought #6 also applied to Fridays. Perhaps that’s just me!

  8. Erica M says:

    I’m 1-10, and my baby has nary a sniffle.

  9. My 16 month old has been sick for nearly a week, so I completely love your list! Not so much the fact that our kids are sick of course….. hope everyone gets well soon!

    • Yes, I wish the list did not have to exist at all, but have found viewing such things with humor goes a long way to reducing the stress. and frustration.

      I think it’s going better now. Maybe. I don’t want to jinx it.

  10. Anastasia says:

    Poor baby. She looks so puny. Poor you! I think all of it sounds pretty true to me!

  11. My 4yo and I were recently quarantined with Strep Throat (read this: ). My only real perk was getting to eat cake for dinner because it was so soft.
    I never see cake for dinner as a negative.
    Hope Lil Diva feels better soon!

    • Oh, cake for dinner is an excellent benefit!

      I see you also have a Tangled fan. My daughter LOVES it. She’s watched Toy Story 3 too (because for her big brother) but Tangled holds her attention much longer.

      Loved your survival list.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  12. Carrie says:

    Ugh, my youngest was super sick over Christmas break. Puking, no sleep, it was NOT fun. And she couldn’t drink chocolate milk, her MOST FAVORITE thing in the world, which made her even MORE screechy.

    I hate sick kids. There’s nothing you can do but push on through 😦

  13. Ok, when they can’t consume their most favorite thing in the world (or keep it down) that’s BAD.

    Part of my Christmas involved a 1 AM shower with my Lil Diva because she had the scary stridor croup breathing. Most of it was spent with one of us taking the night shift, then tag teaming in the AM as the other went to sleep.

    I didn’t see a lot of my husband. Not an experience I care to repeat.

    Pushing through is all you can do – it’s just so hard when you’re helpless and have to “wait it out”.

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