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“It’s not fair!” The pitiful lament from the sick little one as they sit by the toilet in the middle of a round of throwing up always tugs at my heart. I can’t disagree with them either. As I have always pointed out to my kids, and now to my grandkids, life is not fair! I also often remind them, that’s why we look forward to heaven! Because someday, when we are safe in heaven, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (KJV). Now that’s something to look forward to!
In the meantime though, there are still those sick children and their exhausted and swamped parents. What can we grandparents do to help? A lot will depend on your health and circumstances, of course. I am blessed to be able to dive right in, help with holding, cuddling, and changing, and even rubbing backs while they are at the toilet. I don’t even catch everything any more. Granted, I catch more than I’d like, but it has gotten better. I always figure that so many other people have it as well, such as grocery store checkers, that I’d rather be part of helping. Others may not be able to be so up close and personal due to their own health issues. And still others live too far away to help much (that’s me too for half of my little grand-darlings.) Here are some suggestions for everyone:
- Make grocery store runs for the parents. This will save them time and energy and enable them to have more cuddle time with the sick child.
- Tuck in a new game, book, or movie to tempt a sick one’s interests. Here’s a frugal tip for grandparents – Keep your eyes open throughout the year for great sales. After most major holidays, many games and toys are on sale for as much as 90% off! Keep a stockpile of these to pull from for these kinds of moments.
- Offer to take some of the non-sick children out to your house or to a restaurant playland, to give mom/dad and the sick one a chance to rest peacefully for a few hours.
- Offer to help with laundry. This can easily pile up during colds and flus. Just be careful to wash your hands a LOT to protect yourself from those nasty germs.
- Call and see how everyone is doing. Offer to read a book on the phone to the sick child and/or a health child. This gives the parents a bit of a needed break.
- If they live in a city where grocery delivery is available, see if they need to have groceries delivered and provide that for them.
- Contact a restaurant that delivers and lets you pay over the phone with a credit card and send them a dinner or two. Be sure to ask first to make sure they feel well enough for the food you would be ordering.
- Send get well cards with fun stickers or maybe even a CARE package with cute little stuffed animals, coloring books, and/or a game. (See #2 above.) If you prepare a box ahead of time and just pop it in the mail the minute you know they are sick, it will probably get there while they are still in the midst of it all.
It’s hard to know your loved ones are ill and makes you feel much better when you can take steps to help them. Just knowing you care and are trying to help will usually cheer up everyone in both households.