Sick Day-Week Six/Fifty-TwoThis little guy developed his first true cold, one complete with a fever, this week. With four kids, we've had our share of craptastic and bizarre illnesses and hospitalizations, but even something as simple as a mid-winter cold can break a Mama's heart. The past couple of nights have been extra trying, so I'm so thankful he can still nap during the day.
"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"
Perhaps not coincidentally, he has also started chasing me down and trying to climb my legs in an effort to get me to pick him up and cuddle. And while it is endearing and heart melting that he chooses me, and only me, to soothe him when he's not feeling great, it also makes navigating the kitchen during breakfast, lunch, or dinner a bit more challenging.
And of course, one of the most challenging parts of having a sick infant, is managing the guilt that accompanies devoting all of your time to one child, even though there are others that need attention too.
While the oldest two are happily tucked away at school for a good portion of the day, my preschooler is still home most of the time. She is the child, who even after almost nine months, feels the most displaced by her baby brother. And it breaks my heart knowing she is watching television, or eating lunch alone, or talking to herself, while I am upstairs nursing, rocking, or soothing a miserable baby.
Days like today, weeks like this one in fact, make me think that next year, as a Kindergartner, she will be better off at school; far more entertained and engaged, then she would be at home with me.
This is a realization that is again, heartbreaking.
But perhaps I'm over thinking, and holding myself to unrealistic parenting standards. I am hopeful that my increased absence while I help the baby will be met with understanding and gratitude. Deep down I hope she sees my nurturing him as indicative of how much I love her too.
I am joining Jodi and her 52 Project at Practising Simplicity