I’m going to start off talking about every parent’s favourite time of year. It extends from September straight through to about the end of April. The joys of back-to-school with the sales, new outfits, a long list of very specific items some of which you can’t buy where you live because its rural Alberta so you have to drive to the next larger centre with a van load of fighting children.
After this is the fun part when the children go to school and meet up with their friends, make some new ones, have new teachers that you’re not always sure about or like until two months in. Then there are all the fun activities and events at school. This all comes crashing down as the horror dawns on you that with the great freedom of back to school comes the Season of Sickness.
Having children is so much fun, and I love hearing them laughing uncontrollably and seeing them learning and applying themselves to activities and subjects that they are both good at and enjoy. Those fun times seem to exist to help us forget about sickness. We thought that teething was bad and made for long nights; boy were we wrong. The Season of Sickness is the real test of your parenthood. I am also not looking forward to phase three, puberty, but for now I’m stuck in the time when I now have two in full time school and one in pre-school who goes one half day a week.
One half day. That’s all it takes. One half day of learning things he already knew because of YouTube. One half day to bring home THE sickness. It is actually the second sickness of this season, but the first one was nowhere near the calibre of this one. The first one was a gentle fever that made its rounds, ending about a week before round two. Round two, which morphed into round three as it circled back to our pre-schooler, saw us running in and out of the boys’ room every night for three weeks with at least one puking per night. I lost count of how many loads of bedding I had to wash. Then there was the other end throughout the day. You come to wish that you could take your children’s pain and sickness…and pass it on to some hated politicians.
While round 2/3 made for a long three weeks, it made us appreciate the one night of good sleep before the baby got it, after teething through a good portion of her brothers’ sickness. We learned a few things during this season. First: stomach bugs don’t last only 24-48 hours (all hope for the future is gone). Second: disinfectant wipes are an easy and effective way to wipe down bed frames, toilet seats, garbage pails, floors around beds, etc. Third: don’t you dare think that you are prepared for the night.
After all this there is one small fact that I am trying to ignore: this was all before Christmas, and we didn’t even get to enjoy the concerts this year.
It won’t last forever.