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Simple projects work for sick child

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
"Ok, today I have to do two loads of laundry, finish sewing the curtains, and do a little baking for the kids' snacks this week. Oh yeah, I have to call the doctor and schedule that appointment and I can't forget to. . ."
"Momma, I don't feel good."
Can those five little words derail a train of thought or what? Suddenly all the plans and "have to" become very meaningless and all that matters is your baby doesn't feel well, even if your "baby" is 15 years old.
It always amazes me what I can cut from my very important and busy schedule when one of my kids is ill or injured. Of course, our first reaction as mommies is to make them feel all better. Unfortunately, it usually isn't that easy and more often than not we simply have to wait it out.
Over Thanksgiving, one of my babies had to have her tonsils taken out. Her recovery had to be two of the longest weeks of my life. I felt so sorry for her and yet I couldn't make it all better, at least not as fast as she wanted. I know in the long run it was the best thing and she'll probably be less ill and feel better than before, but still those two weeks just about drove me to distraction.
So just what do you do when your kids are ill, cranky, uncooperative and just plain unhappy? Well, my first recommendation is to pray. Seriously, pray for their recovery, as well as your patience and sanity!
Next, I recommend always having a few surprises stored for such times. I try to watch for things to go on sale after holidays and such. For example, after holidays you can almost always find coloring books and activity books related to the holiday on sale. So in April when your child has that wonderful spring cold, you can pull out the Halloween activity book. The novelty of doing Halloween things in April is fun. I also try to watch for small toys to go on sale and set them back for sick days.
Crafts are another great way to entertain a sick child. I find giving a child craft materials and letting them decide what to do with it can be entertaining and helps build their imagination. In our crafts, I keep things like craft sticks (Popsicle sticks), beads, yarn, small cross stitch designs, embroidery floss, markers, pens, paper, small pieces of cardboard, etc. A small caddy with sections is ideal for this.
This is also a wonderful time to look back to things you did when you were little. Remember when we used to take a sheet of paper and color one side of it as dark as possible; then lay it on another sheet and draw a picture on the back transferring the color to the bottom sheet like carbon paper?
Speaking of coloring, what about all those broken crayons? Try this–take a small can, like a tuna can, and wash it very well. Take those broken crayons and fill the can two-thirds full. Set it on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven at about 200 degrees until the crayons melt. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Now you have multi-colored crayons! This is a great time to explore mixing colors.
My next biggest problem after boredom is getting an ill child to eat or drink. Most doctors tell you to make sure they get plenty of fluids. Yeah, right. Since you can't really force a child into drinking, the next best thing is to trick them into it. My children generally complain their drinks get watery and they don't like the taste. Well, you can't blame them on that one.
The way I solved this one was to take Kool-Aid and make it up stronger (don't add as much water) then freeze it in ice cube trays. These work great when added to a cup of Kool-Aid because as the ice melts the drink isn't diluted. You can also add these cubes to soda to give it a little pizzazz. It also works well to fill sippy cups half full and then freeze them and add the regular Kool-Aid on top.
What about snacks? I've found taking a six cup muffin tin and putting little snacks in each cup gives the child variety and lets him or her have a choice as to what to eat when. I've also taken cookie cutters and cut food into different shapes just to make it more fun. Like toast for instance–toast the bread like usual then cut into whatever shape you want. I've used stars, pumpkins, gingerbread people, and a whole bunch of others.
I've found when I just take a deep breath and decide today I'm going to not worry about my "have to" list and I'm going to look at a sick day as a day to spend time with my baby, the day goes so much better. The phrase "And this too shall pass" is a good way to think about it. I find my attitude about the day reflects on my children. If I treat the day as a total waste and a major inconvenience, then the kids will feel they have been a problem. Having ill children is a part of having children, so the best thing to do is plan for it and make it as pleasant (well, maybe survivable is a better word) as possible.
Here's a "Mommy Tip" shared with me by M.G. To get those temporary tattoos off, use clear tape. Yep, tape. Just stick it on over the tattoo and peel it back up. It works like a dream! The tattoo sticks to the tape and comes right off.
If you have a tip to share, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640, or e-mail
God Bless!