I don’t know what it is. But it is being done from centuries. A mother is always a supermom. She has super powers and she can go on hours and hours without any re-charge. Her child assumes this from the day he/she is born. The child at least till he turns 3 or 4, thinks that the mother is the God who can be asked for anything and she will do it.
What the mother and child and the entire universe sometimes forget is that the mother is a human, after all. She gets sick too. She needs to snuggle into a comforter and not get up for hours together, sometimes too.
Well, this is a concept unknown to the child. Especially, for a kid under 3. So I was sick the other day, down with a bad case of flu. As luck would have it, I had no help with the babysitting part either and the spouse was out-of-town.
So 6:30 am in the morning, I am woken up by a terrorist toddler jumping on my tummy. First thing I do is rush to the sink to hurl over the previous night’s contents and I am ready for the day. I feel almost like a 0% charged mobile but the child doesn’t. She expectantly looks at me to begin the day as we usually do. My brain meanwhile Is not getting any instructions at all and my feet felt like jelly.
“I am dying, honey”, I say in exasperation and she just grins and says ‘Let’s get me some duddu (read milk) and read anni book mumma!’ Yes! Mumma you can die some other day, go get the milk and boil it first. Sigh!
The extra active toddler is jumping around me while I get her duddu ready and even looking at makes me giddy. Well! Here jumps in the digital help. A few minutes read hours of Mickey Mouse Club House shouldn’t be bad, right! I know, I know. I am against TV for my toddler. But ain’t I dying here?
But in case of my toddler, TV doesn’t help much beyond 20 minutes. She gets restless and asks me what to do next. 20 minutes also doesn’t give me enough time to take a snooze as I have to answer real important questions about why Goofy’s pants keep dropping. TV is no good.
I turn to books. They are always my saviours and I can at least be on my back while I read them to the toddler. So I get her bundled in my bed with me with a stack load of books. It works for a good hour.
Then we turn to storytelling with less animation and gestures. If required, I get the toddler to animate the parts which she knows like a pro now. She is happy to take over in that section.
Home deliveries are your best friends when you are down and out. But the toddler doesn’t eat much of junk yet. So yes I had to cook something. A hungry toddler is twice more dangerous to handle! I make a leeway and make her favourite gooey cheesy pasta which I know she won’t need to be coaxed to eat every spoonful. She would sit herself on her little chair and have it. That’s 15 minutes of snooze time.
I pray for naptime to come soon. Even though, I am sure that she would sleep less as she was still full of energy. But even an hour would get me a little better.
So these are my tips to all the hapless invincible super moms out there who sometimes can get sick too.
- Find help, any one, if you can. Doesn’t matter if you don’t like them much around your kid.
- If no help is found, stay away from drowsy cough medicines, especially if you are alone with the kid.
- Forget all rules. Get all the gadgets out and let the house turn into a jungle mess. You need to live, to clean another day.
- Sometimes kids understand. Tell them you are sick and need to rest. They ask for lesser even my 2-year-old did.
- Forget housework and kitchen. They can wait for another day.
- Get to the doctor as soon as possible. Self-help is alright when it’s just you but you don’t want to be sick and have a sick baby too.
I am recuperating now and thankfully the spouse is back and has taken over. But I wonder. Will I ever have a normal sick day, ever? Or is it one of those things that as a parent I should sacrifice and call it a privilege of non-parents!
An erstwhile Quality Analyst, Sirisha Achanta, is now a full-time mommy to an adorable 2-year-old girl and a part-time writer. She loves to dance, dream and read a lot!