Perhaps one of the more difficult parenting tasks I have undertaken is the care of one sick child when the other one is feeling fine. You parents with only one child do not have to deal with this, which is why you are big jerks. Nevertheless, I will try to explain to you what you are missing out on.
You see, when you just have one child, it is either sick or well. You either nurse it back to health, or you chase it around the living room, Gangnam style. Sure, you would prefer for the kid to be feeling good, but if they do get sick, that just gives you more time to get stuff done around the house while they nap. Either way, it is a parenting win for you.
The problem comes when you have multiple children, and only one of them is sick. This happened to me yesterday. My daughter stayed home from kindergarten with a stomach bug, and my two-year-old son spent the entire day trying to attack her. Now, I will concede that it might have been better the other way around. If he had been sick and she had been well, she would have gone to school and we would have been fine. Or at least she knows how to occupy herself without trying to kill her brother (most of the time). Her brother, on the other hand, has no idea how to do anything except bother his sister.
At first I tried to just put them in front of the television, like any normal parent. When you’re sick, you like to sit in front of the TV all day, right? But Ruby just lay like a lump on the floor, completely devoid of energy, while Edward tried to, at different times, sit on her, jump on her, pull her hair, feed her his breakfast, smoosh her, and tackle her. After a while the living room became a constant cacophony of whining moans and maniacal cackles until I just couldn’t take it anymore.
Luckily for me, Ruby decided that she wanted to go back to bed. Perfect. She would be on a separate floor, up in her loft bed, far away from her brother. Resting for her, playing for him, getting stuff done for me. At least this is what parents of only one child might think. The rest of us know better. The instant I’d turn my back on Edward, even for ten seconds, he would be racing up the stairs and I would hear “Daaaa-Aaaaddddd! Edward’s climbing into my bed!”
Up the stairs I would run, trying to get to Edward before he severely damaged his sister, or before she puked on him. Down the stairs I would drag him, attempting to lure him away with promises of a game or some toys. We would play a game, or maybe play cars, and I would be satisfied that he had forgotten about bothering his sister. Foolish me. If I tried to then, say, put the dishes away, I would get maybe two things back into the cabinets before hearing “Daaaa-Aaaaddddd! Edward’s in my bed and he’s pulling my hair!”
This went on pretty much all day. Thank goodness for our neighbor who was outside playing with her kids and let Edward come hang out with them for half an hour. On a normal day that’s what I would have done with a rambunctious kid anyway, but I couldn’t take him outside, or to the store, or anywhere at all, because I had to be in the house taking care of his sister. That’s why, if one of your kids gets sick, make absolutely sure that they both do. Trust me.