Julia is doing much, much better. She slept through the night last night and woke up singing. Yesterday she had a lot of energy and did a lot of make-up eating...she made up for the past 3 days of barely any eating.
She still had her moments of bad behavior and tantrums though, so I think she is still not 100%.
If I could give any of you advice out there about what to do when you have a little one who is home sick, it would be:
1. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I called my sister on Thursday to watch Julia when I noticed her not eating much and not being very spunky, when I had to go to VBS. On Friday, when I brought her to the doctor, I asked my Mother in Law to watch Mark while I took her to the doctor's office. She really just needed mommy's undivided attention.
2. Ask a lot of questions at the doctor's office. My doctor knows that when I come in I am going to pepper him with questions because I know that he is the expert and I want to glean as much info as possible (even though I know my daughter better than anyone and sometimes mommies and daddies can overrule what the doctor says when we know what is best for our child). Not only did I ask him what to expect from Julia, what to feed her (since she wasn't eating) how to manage her pain, but I also asked how contagious she was, should we go ahead with our BBQ, and the dreaded question...would Mark get this virus. Being prepared has always been something I pride myself on, and knowing what to expect and how best to handle each curve ball that these sicknesses throw us.
3. Bad behavior has to be handled differently with a sick child. Lots and lots of grace must be given to a little one who is ill. Obviously if your child is hurting others than they need to be removed from the situation, but I've found that when my Julia is sick her emotions are all over the place, she doesn't really know what she wants and she needs lots of TLC.
4. Keep sick child away from other siblings as much as possible. This is so much easier said than done, but of course I tried. Usually Mark and Julia sip each other's sippy cups (I put an end to that really fast). They share snacks, etc...all of that was halted during this sick period. I made sure Mark played in a different area of the room than Julia. I tried to occupy Julia with books, or play dough or coloring, all things that can be done at a table and off of the floor where Marky "hangs out". But, as we all know, siblings usually get each other's illnesses so sometimes it is just inevitable, but it doesn't hurt to try.
5. When all else fails ice pops and ice cream are the answer. I was rather proud of myself when Dr. Shih told me to let her have ice pops and ice cream to her hearts content because the day before when she kept refusing food, and said her throat hurt I did just that. (The sores were in her mouth too, poor girl, every time she swallowed solid foods she would cry in pain, it was awful). But because ice pops and ice cream are cold and liquid-y they were not painful, and rather tasty. With this Coxsackie virus children usually get dehydrated so the extra liquids are another added benefit.
6. Pray, pray, pray. (This should be #1 by the way) Pray over your kids when they are sick, have your friends pray for them, pray for your self to have wisdom and grace and discernment. Pray for your spouse to be patient. Whenever someone is sick all schedules and routines go out the window because the new number 1 priority is to get them well. So pray for patience and strength. And God will get you through it! Well, I'm off to nurse baby #2 back to good health!