The Unpredictable Flu

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Influenza” by OpenClipartVectors is licensed under CC by 2.0

To say that the last fortnight was hectic would be nothing short of an understatement. Both my kids decided to catch the flu at the same time. To put it in a nutshell, here’s what we at home were up to over the time span of the last two weeks:

Trying to sleep: Humidifiers were tried in order to release moisture into the air. Hot showers were a daily ritual. Gargling with warm salt water was experimented with too, successfully to a certain extent with the older one and not so much with the younger. All these activities were carried out with one primary goal in mind – to try and get a good night’s sleep; which was still hard to come by (both for the kids and parents).

Hot soup: Before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner, since the kids complained of a runny/blocked nose at all times, taste buds not working and practically no appetite. Chicken noodle soup helped on such occasions.

Fluffy blankets & a tissue box: These two pretty much summed up what we did the entire day, almost three days in a row. I would drag the kids outdoors to at least take in some fresh air on their evening walk but apart from that, they just wanted to sit in their comforters and sniff, sniff and sniff.

Touch wood, both the little ones are better now and have slowly started eyeing doughnuts and cookies, which I’m taking to be a good sign. Hopefully, this flu will take its own course and fizzle out soon.

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3 Fun Sibling Activities to Help Them Bond

In my last post, I mentioned about April 10 being celebrated as National Siblings Day in many parts of the country. Well, guess what I just discovered – today, May 24, is celebrated as Brother’s Day in several parts of the world. Also, my search concluded that there’s yet another Brothers and Sisters Day which is supposed to be celebrated on May 2 every year! I guess these varied occasions just go on to show how special the bond between siblings can be – celebrations galore under different names :)

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Child” by Merio is licensed under CC by 2.0

Talking about brothers, I, unfortunately, was bestowed with none. However, my daughter has been the luckier one in this aspect (ask her though and she’ll vehemently tell you she always wanted a sister). There are times when the two are inseparable. Of course, there are times too when both of them refuse to acknowledge each other’s presence, as if there were decades of enmity between the two of them. And yet, the bond between the two siblings is something special; somewhat similar to the bond me and my sister share with each other since childhood.

Here are three fun ways older and younger siblings can play, learn and bond together.

Build an indoor fort together

Me and my sister’s favorite pastime during the holiday season was to build up ‘elaborate’ forts indoors which served as a safe haven for us right through several days (read: till we got tired of sneaking in there day and night, day after day). Either mum would help us erect a simple fort in the hallway with old bed sheets, string and clothespins, replete with twinkling fairy lights to light up its ‘majestic’ entrance along with a stock of cookies and chocolate milk inside, or if we were very lazy and mum was busy with work, we would sneak in underneath our dining table after covering it with a huge tablecloth which fell to the floor on all sides and had our evening tea parties there. I remember once dad got a brainwave and pitched us a temporary blanket tent over our beds – we were thrilled to pieces each time we crawled in to read a book and then eventually fell asleep – it was our own little castle! For some creative ideas on how to go about it, read more here.

Play board games and video games together

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Board” by Skitterphoto is licensed under CC by 2.0

Depending on what age the siblings are, one can get hold of some board games which the two can play together. For instance, there is Chutes and Ladders for young kids, in which they can have fun going up as well as down the ladders, then there’s Sorry as well as Battleship for slightly older kids. Or else, you could perhaps introduce them to video games like the popular Lego Star Wars where they get to construct bridges and spaceships from the building blocks, or even pet games like these where they need to care for a virtual pet, making sure it has had its fill and taking it on adventures online. The idea behind getting them to play something here is to let them settle down for a while and indulge in the same activity together. Apart from spending enjoyable time together, they get to learn about teamwork and foster the ability to focus too – a win-win situation all along.

Learn an activity together

Arrange for kids to, say, attend a class somewhere in the neighborhood where they can learn an activity together, even if it’s on weekends. It could be a music class where they can opt to learn how to play musical instruments of their choice (my son is presently enrolled in a drums class and the daughter is thinking of joining either piano or guitar classes). It could also be a singing class if they are interested in honing their vocal skills or a dance class where they can just let loose and have fun. Spending some time together away from the home environment will do the siblings good, helping them bond on a different level altogether.

I would love to hear about other new ideas involving siblings too.