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The 6 Stages of Sick Children

So far this year we have been lucky. We have managed to escape most of the dreaded sicknesses that have been making its rounds through Northern Colorado. 

Well, that is until about a week ago. 

Then it hit.

It seemed like a normal Tuesday. My alarm went off bright and early so I could get me “Me Time” in before the kids woke. I went downstairs, made myself a nice hot cup of Crio Bru (my coffee replacement), and cracked open a new book. I treasure this time as it sets me up for the rest of the day. Plus, I was just about to begin my brand new book and call me crazy but I was really excited.

I barely had time to break the spine on my new book when I hear the call.

“Mama! MAMA!”

It was my daughter—wide awake and crying. 

That was it. That was when I knew we had been hit. So, I closed the cover of my unread book, set down my hot drink, and climbed the stairs knowing what I was about to find.

There in bed was my daughter curled up in a ball, clutching her stuffed unicorn, and hot as hot could be. I scooped her up, carried her downstairs to the couch and that became our home for the next week. 

Last time we had a nasty bug trickle through our family and we emerged on the other side, I realized there are always six steps that we go through when illness rears its ugly head. So, as soon as I heard my daughter’s call of desperation, I knew what exactly what we were in for.

Stage One: Penguin Mode

Also known as the cute and cuddly stage. 

This is when I get the, “I don’t feel well. Please hold me,” loves. I grab the fluffiest blanket I can find and we sit together on the couch with their feverish bodies leaning on me while we figure out what’s going on. Pure snuggles, and love.

The 6 Stages of Sick Children

Stage Two: Mirror Syndrome

If you have more than one kiddo like I do, chances are the second one starts to recognize the sick one is getting a little more attention than they are. 

Enter the, “Mama, my tummy doesn’t feel good either” comments. Good thing our fluffy blanket is extra big. There’s always room for more snuggles. 

Just don’t touch each other because I do not want this thing spreading!

Stage Three: The Dreaded Night

Everyone knows nighttime is worse. Symptoms flare up and sleep becomes impossible. 

What no one knows, unless you’re a parent, is that you also get no sleep. Every cough, every shift, every groan you are right there to help them through it. 

The “newborn sleep deprivation” stage has nothing on the “running between rooms while the kids take turns crying out in discomfort” stage.

Stage Four: The Ripple Effect

I wish when one kid would get sick the whole household could get sick together. Not that I want everyone to be ill, but three days of misery is way more doable than spreading this out person by person over the course of a week and a half. 

This is the stage when the fake complaints of the second child become real. Oh you thought you would be able to sleep finally now that the first one is starting to feel better? Ha! 

Time to switch that coffee substitute to the real thing—extra strong.

Stage Five: Send the Reinforcements

Sound the alarm! Light the Bat-Signal! Mama hasn’t slept in days. 

The kids are feeling better thankfully, but that means they are up and ready to go while I look like something that climbed out of a swamp. 

It always amazes me how quickly kids bounce back after being under the weather. One day they are sick, the next day they are ready to run a marathon. I wish that I could chug a cup of joe and join them but this body doesn’t have the spring. 

This is usually when I call a sister or a friend to come double team the kids with me. A brain and a half is way better than trying to fight through the day on half power.

Stage Six: Sweet Relief

Ah the husband is back from work, the kids are thoroughly worn out from a day of fun, everything has been sanitized, and everyone has clean sheets. 

It is finally time to sleep. Oh wait, I’m pregnant and this kid dances on my bladder all night. Hey I’ll take what I can get! I will take all the z’s I can get.

The 6 Stages of Sick Children

Luckily for us it seems we have one tough bout of illness a year but it’s a doozy when it hits.

What does your family do to get through the “sick season?” I want to steal your ideas and put them in my bag of tips and tricks for next time.

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