The Sweet Side of Sickness

This week I have been struck down by the dreaded Back To School cold, which is lame, because my kid doesn’t even go to school yet. But all her little friends who started pre-school have been gumming up my face and hands with their goobers, which is my own damn fault, since I constantly encourage them to use me as a human jungle gym.

The bummer about getting sick when you’re a Stay At Home Mom without any childcare options is there’s no such thing as a “sick day”. So, I suffered through, bleary-eyed on the playground, sipping echinacea tea instead of double lattes, going to bed at 7pm most nights. I desperately missed my Threadbare Three: I couldn’t go to dance class, my head was too clouded to make art, and spirituality became more of a “Hail Mary” cry for help than any kind of abiding “oneness” with God.

Of course I’m sick the very week of my daughter’s birthday party, in which I will host countless 2 year olds and their people, and we’ll pretend to be wild things and rumpus out. That is, if we get there. My husband came down with the cold today, the first day that I’ve started feeling better, and it took all of my restraint not to howl at him like a shrew when he just got to call out from work and crawl back into bed. Jealousy knows no bounds like a woman without sick time.

The only good thing about being ill this week is that it is bringing out all these sweet empathic qualities of my toddler. She’s repeatedly told me, “feel better Mommy,” while patting me on the back. She woke us up this morning by saying, “I love my papa. I love my mama.” And on the playground yesterday, when a boy fell and was crying on the ground, she went over and rubbed his head until he stopped wailing! It was beyond adorable. I wonder if it’s all the reading on Zen Buddhism she does:

This is Olive’s favorite book, Beyond the Self by Thich Nhat Hanh. I am not shitting you. She carries it around everywhere, and I think she’s learning from osmosis, since if she could actually read it that would be severely creepy.

The other day she was even doing her first therapeutic intervention, psychoanalyzing the villian on Dora the Explorer, the fox known as “Swiper”.

“Swiper sad.”, she told me gravely.
“Oh yeah? Is that why he steals stuff from Dora and Boots?” (Okay, I may have been leading her a little)
“Yeah. He want his mama.”
“Hmm… so his abandonment issues led him to a life of crime? Good insight, Olive!”

Whether she’s going to set up an advice booth a la Lucy from Peanuts or not, she’s turning into one empathic kid. It’s a book I could stand to take a page from, as I’m tempted to begrudge my sneezing husband what I couldn’t have for myself.

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