Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tricks for being a sick SAHM

while your husband is out of town on business, and you get the flu taking care of kids with flu. This is the school age kids version. I'm too sick now to remember what I did with preschoolers.

Grocery Delivery service. Yeah, I know it's a luxury. But, you won't really ask your friends to get everything you need from the grocery store, just a few token items to tide you over. And then you're without food again, particularly convenience food. Go online, and place a LARGE order and have it delivered. Large order means the delivery charge is a smaller percentage of the cost.

And get the stuff that's mindlessly easy to turn into eatable food. You know those ridiculous pasta-meal-vegetable sauce frozen meals that cook in a pan in 10 minutes, and cost $7 or $8? This is the time for that. You can't stand long enough to carry a potful of water to the stove, or drain it afterwards. Maybe you could heat bottled marinara, but then where's the meat?

Buy lots of juice and soda or whatever you like to drink while sick. You have nothing to lose by buying too much--you'll stick any extras into food storage. Bottled juices and soda are shelf-stable.

Drive-thru. Your sick kid who won't eat will eat a cheeseburger? If you're up to driving, go get drive-thru. Any calories are good with sick picky kid. While you're there, get two extra large lemonades or sodas, without ice, to provide yourself with drink since the groceries won't be delivered until tomorrow. And, 3 or 4 of those tiny milk cartons they sell, so the well people can make cereal before they leave for school, because the grocery order won't be delivered until tomorrow.

Helpful Bookstore. Sick kid is well enough to read, and runs out of reading material? You can't go sneeze your H1N1 or whatever it is you've got on the public. After the drive-thru, drive to the parking lot of your local bookstore, call the on your cell phone, and buy the next two books in the Percy Jackson series for the child as if a credit card phone order. The clerk will bring your books out to your car.

iTunes and OnDemand movies In the best of times these may save me money because there's no way to rack up a late fee. In the less best of times (like now, sicky) nothing will distract your son from his misery like BBC's Top Gear.

Chicken in the Rice Cooker. Yes, you can cook chicken in the rice cooker with the rice. This was a new one for me. I ordered some boneless thighs in my grocery order, and stuck four of them in with the rice in my fancy rice cooker. I couldn't care to think clearly about seasoning so I threw in saffron, thyme and cumin. Forty-five minutes later I had food, easier and quicker than crock-pot. Meat thermometer clocked 180 F on the chicken, proving this was a safe cooking method.

Know your household minimums. I was good for an hour here and there in the morning before collapsing back in bed, assigning whoever was at home to nap or t.v. while you rest too. Then I could usually get another little bit in the afternoon. I need the kitchen dishes moving along, and some laundry has to happen.

Kids do chores The ones who are well need to do their chores. They will have the exact opposite reaction to the crisis. Sadly, "now I really need to pitch in!" is not how every kid reacts. If they complain that you are mean and picky because you're cranky and tired, so what. They should have done their ordinary and accustomed chores without being asked twice anyhow. So what, I lost my temper a couple times. I think it was worth it for the clean dishes, food being put away, shoes not left in the backyard to get wet, etc.

Everyone showers One of the best things about school-age and older kids. All you have to do to get them clean is to tell them to take a shower. It wasn't always this easy.

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