This weekend was the last weekend before M went back to school. I had big plans. We would go sledding in all the wonderful new snow, drink cocoa, go shopping, play, see friends, all of those cozy winter things, have a happy family weekend. Those plans were ruined by the onset of norovirus.
My sickness hung in there for a good three days, and I was useless–flat on my face in bed, unable to do much of anything but moan and sleep. My husband took good care of the girls, and I heard a lot of giggling, but I wasn’t able to participate at all. Periodically, M would show up and ask for my to come down and play, and I just couldn’t. I felt so bad.
Last night, I was laying in bed, trying not to smell the curry that my husband was cooking–it’s usually a family favorite, but not on a sour stomach. M came upstairs and into my room, carrying a cup of water balanced on a stack of books. “Here,” she said. “I’ve come to take care of you. Here’s some fresh water.” She set the cup by my bedside, and added a picture of herself propped up against it. “There, now you can see me, and my smiling face will cheer you up.”
She then clamored up on the bed bedside me. “Here are the rules, okay? If you feel sick, go to the bathroom. Actually, just go to the bathroom whenever you feel like it. Drink lots of water and rest. Avoid spicy foods. Now, just sit back and listen.” She picked up a picture book, and started reading to me. She read like every teacher does, reading the text and then turning the book outward to show me the picture. I noticed she selected many of the same books we read when she’s sick. Eventually, Little A wandered in with a toothbrush, and climbed up to listen to the stories as well. She then took the toothbrush and carefully “brushed” the teeth of every character in each book. She offered to brush mine, but I declined. A then finished off the water M had brought.
Seven story books later, M decided we should pretend to be at the dentist, so we took turns looking at each other’s teeth. My favorite moment was when M asked Little A what flavor toothpaste she’d like, and A responded, “Soup.” We snuggled and played together for well over an hour until they were finally called to dinner.
When they left, I stacked up the books and tooth brush, refilled the water, and looked at the picture of my smiling, kind little girl. You know, I did feel a lot better.