ghosts, ghouls and a mons•ter cold

My hubby started it.

He got sent home from work one day a couple of weeks ago and spent two days in bed with chills, fever, and body aches.  This wasn’t the typical “man” cold.  He barely gets sick or misses work so for him to take that time off was an indication that this wasn’t just the sniffles.  I felt bad for him but truthfully, I was more terrified that the kids or I would be next to befall this monster germ.

Fear turned to terror last week as I sat in a meeting at work with my jacket on, hot tea in hand and barely enough energy to type an email to my boss letting him know that I was leaving early.  My super mom powers were no match for this one – looks like whatever took my husband was now trying to take me down.

I spent the next couple of days in bed (for the most part).  Of course when I fell ill, so did my son (who I had to pick up from school and bring home).  He wasn’t feeling well but he could operate an iPad and wake me up for the Netflix password.  He also quietly retrieved a couple of treats from the Halloween stash while I was passed out on the couch (he’s a ninja when he wants to be but hasn’t figured out that shoving snack and treat wrappers under the couch or in the oven of his little sister’s play kitchen isn’t that sneaky – especially with an OCD-ish clean freak of a mom who finds them). I’m glad he didn’t get whatever it was as badly as hubby and I got it.

The germ passed and we survived our first monster cold of the fall – but I am still on edge.  Although we just finished suffering from one germ, colds always hit our house in the days following Halloween.  It’s the sugar-induced cold.  The one that strikes while the immune system is compromised by all those sugary treats and sweets.

As a full-time working mom of two young ones, my worst fear is having two little ones sick at home.  Juggling deadlines at work, plus home and volunteer responsibilities is difficult enough without adding one or two sick little kids into the mix.

So how are we trying to prepare for this year’s Halloween monster colds?

  1. Limit the sugar as much as possible.  It is a fun time and treats are around every corner – birthday parties, Halloween class parties, candy given out at hockey practice and dance lessons.  The kids are already full of sugar by the time they hit the trick-or-treat hour.  We can’t (and don’t want to) eliminate the fun, but we are making sure the kids are getting enough good food to eat at home.
  2. No take-out on Halloween.  It is tempting for us to order-in on Halloween night since the evening is so hectic.  This year, I have meal planned and will have a healthy-ish meal prepped for the kids when they get home. Lots of fibre from veggies will fill their little tummies and leave a little less room for treats.
  3. Water & protein.  We will let the kids have some treats once they get home from trick-or-treating, but we will ask them to drink a glass of water before and after eating their candy and offer them a protein rich snack (e.g. cheese or greek yogurt)  This helps them feel “full” faster and also dilutes the sugar from the Kit Kats and tootsie pops.
  4. Bed. ASAP.  Halloween is usually a later night but we will be trying to get the kids to bed as soon as possible after they get in with their loot.  One good thing about living so far north is that the days are already quite short and we can get away with a trick-or-treating start time of 6:15 pm.  Here’s hoping they are in bed by 7:30 pm this year!
  5. Chicken noodle soup, medicine, and good cuddles.  If all else fails, we’re prepared to take on whatever Halloween germs make it into the house.  Hopefully in being proactive, it won’t last long!

Have a safe and healthy Halloween!