Parenting can be quite a tough gig at times, and one of those times is when you’re sick. The amount of energy and enthusiasm toddlers have is incredible; when I had the flu this week it became abundantly clear that Rosalie had a hundred times the exuberance I did. I had so little energy I was basically unable to play with her.
When you’re a mummy you don’t really get time off or sick days; nappies need changing, clothes need laundering, food needs preparing and there is always a little voice calling “mummy, mummy, mummy, do you want to play with me?”
And in those moments, there was nothing more that I wanted than to be able to play with my baby girl, but I was just too exhausted. Instead I let her watch hours of Maisy and Peppa Pig because it was the one thing guaranteed to keep her occupied and out of mischief.
So that was how I parented when I had the flu – we watched a lot of TV. I could let myself feel bad about it, but I won’t. I did what I had to do to survive looking after myself and my two year old.
But you know what? Something great did come out of me being unwell – seeing Rosalie playing nurse.
After explaining that I was too sick to play with her, she told me she would fetch me something to make me feel better. She sped off to the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with a pot of mandarins and one of her plastic spoons. I suddenly felt really proud that I’d raised my two year old to be so caring – she got a huge hug, and I ate those mandarins with a big smile on my face.
She quickly learnt the colours on the thermometer too, regularly taking my temperature (and hers, and Teddy’s) and reporting whether it was green, orange or red.
My little Florence Nightingale.