Sick Day

Bear Feels SickLily is sick, so this is her sick day, not mine. She is sitting on the couch, sneezing and sniffling and coughing, poor thing. I think she’ll stay home from preschool today, and we’ll do things like snuggle and read Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson and drink lots of juice. And maybe watch a movie. Emmy, who feels perfectly well, is already pestering her sister unmercifully, so I can see it will also be a day of refereeing.

Whenever one of my children is sick, I think of this poem by A. A. Milne, from Now We Are Six:

Christopher Robin
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled him
Into
His bed.
They gave him what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.

All sorts and conditions
of famous physicians
Came hurrying around
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of his throat
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, “If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle
May easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go.”
They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said, “If he freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
Then PHTHEEZLES
May even ensue.”

Christopher Robin
Got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky,
“Now, how to amuse them today?”

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