Dealing with a sick child - All you need is love
Last couple of weeks were quite challenging, or rather, very challenging. A had been sick simultaneously twice for week long each with week's gap between the two. Yes, yes, yes, immunity is building, physical organs are developing, mental resistance is not yet at reach and obviously cannot self-soothe at this age. Well, it's been quite difficult more so, when we also needed to go out of town for 2 days with the sick child.
Handling a sick child is no less than the world's greatest challenge that requires both mental and physical balance.
A has got too much phlegm down her throat, that doesn't come out nor does it go down easily, A doesn't know the way to get it out. All that she knows is, there is some obstruction in her throat and she just cannot take in any food/milk down her throat. That's all, she says no to everything hence causing weakness due to improper diet, and, not to forget mood swings too.
What do I do?
I keep requesting, requesting and requesting for milk/food until I am tired. I question her what she wants to eat, when she wants to have it, I realise I am tired yet, continue to request, but upon observing her and the way she coughs that gets the phlegm until the start point of her throat and how she gulps it back, I do realise that it is not me who is having a tough time, but it is she who is really having a tough time. When we are sick, we at least know what went wrong and how to get out of it. What about young children? They don't know why there is water running out of their nose continuously, why they need to cough, why it pains while coughing, why they do not want to eat anything, why they are physically not very active as their usual normal days, why they do not feel hungry and many more of which we know but they don't.
It is not about feeding alone. Every minute she wanted to be carried (all through our out of town trip) and to also account, the number of times she pulled my hair while hugging me tightly? All she wanted was comfort. The child has immense trust in the parent (mother/father) as a comfort-provider. They want to be carried because they want to hug you. Getting down to child's level and giving a hug really soothes them to a great extent. Sometimes, it took a little more than one complete hour to get her to sleep with the level of discomfort she has. There were many instances where I felt like giving up and start yelling to get my tiredness out. Also, there were few when I quickly thought of how A would react if she was yelled at or spanked for not behaving or eating well or for that matter for pulling my hair so badly that my head started aching!
Many questions quickly ran in my mind. What does she want? What does she expect of me? How long can I hold her? Does yelling at her serve the purpose? Yes, she is tired, needs comfort. How should I react to her when I am tired myself? How should I be behaving with her when I start to lose all my energy and feeling like giving up?
Whatever the state of mother be, child has been developing a sense of trust in the mother, the kind of trust that she can never develop on any other being in her entire life time for that matter. That relation is what we as parents are responsible for. We are responsible for the child's trust. We are responsible for soothing the child. We are responsible for this parent-child relation that plays a vital role in future years to come.
To add to all this, as I always say, when you look at the beautiful soul residing within your child and you do not attribute any of her physically irritable behaviour to the divine soul, you realise that all the physical pain is only temporary and all that matters is having inner peace and immense patience when dealing with kids. When the inherent love is realised, there is no time to feel the physical pain caused by tired body.
When your eyes look at the child's physical being, you smile when the child smiles at you, you are happy when the child's happy and you may feel like giving up when handling tantrum or a sick child.
Whatever be the situation, look at the person as a whole, not merely a physical being reacting to the environment. When a child is crying, what do you see? Do you see up to the extent of her physical body with watery eyes, screechy voice, adamant body moves? Or, do you look beyond it like her mental state, what is in her mind, what does she want, what does she expect of you, what should you be doing? Well, this post is slightly moving its pivot from handling a sick child to handling tantrums which I would be writing about in another post in a while.
For now, this post it to cheer up all the mothers and fathers who are battling with sick children. You are definitely doing a good job. And, continue to have that patience to soothe your child until she develops the ability of being on her own.
P.S. A is still not very well with phlegm within, I would be thankful to anyone who could suggest remedy to get that phlegm out ASAP. I am only waiting to see a relieved A.
P.P.S This period has been challenging, more so, when the mother also has developed a sore throat/cough while already handling a sick child. (Yes, with deep pain in throat and heavy head, I am still calm, telling the same bedtime story 10 times in a row, huff :-) )
P.P.P.S Just to mention, this post is not to talk about either me or A, but, to reinforce the fact that we should always look at the child with love whatever be the situation. Yelling may be easy and give quick results but whatever the child experiences, there are neurons that are quickly making new connections and storing all the environmental responses in the child's little brain. :-)