School is back in session, which means running errands a little more easily and maybe getting around to cleaning my house. As sad as I was that school and routines were back in session, I quickly got into the groove of the school year.

However, after only six days of school, illness struck. My kids had croup back-to-back, and for eight days our schedule was complete chaos.

Asking for their illnesses to happen on the same days would be the same as solving world peace — impossible. However, the main issue with the kids being sick during those days wasn’t having to reschedule appointments for myself, taking my kids to doctor appointments just a few days apart or even having sick kids for days on end.

No, the issue was how to help the sick kid while entertaining the kid who wasn't sick.

I’m all for letting my child who feels miserable watch some extra movies or play on the iPad, but what I don’t love is when the sibling who isn't sick is also engrossed with TV for hours on end. With a 3-year-old, a streak of watching TV for two full days could end up in a routine that is nearly impossible to break without resistance and tears (from both of us).

I’ve struggled with this balance the last several times I’ve had a sick kid, and have yet to come up with the perfect solution. What I do currently is try to put limits on how much TV I let the sick kid watch. I also try to not be the bad guy to the kid who isn't sick. With the nice weather, I’ve let the non-sick child play outside and/or play games. However, the enticement of the TV is sometimes too great, and the ease of giving in is just too easy. We're still working on it.

I know this probably is short-lived once everyone is school-age and they won’t be home at the same time. But still — bad habits are hard to break.

So really, now that I think about it, world peace may be easier to solve. Or I just let my electronic policy go by the wayside and pour a glass of wine when my 3-year-old pushes back the next week when it comes to TV. Better yet, I think I’ll just put in a short order to never have my kiddos sick again. That’s easy enough, right?

Parents: Have you experienced this? What solutions have you found that work?


Jaime Wyant is a 33-year-old Omaha native, wife to Bret and mother to Marin and Liam. She writes monthly for Read more from Jaime here.

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