I often question why we had our kids so many years apart. Granted it is only five years but that seems like a lot when you are changing diapers again after two years of being diaper free and when baby girl is starting kindergarten my son will be ready for middle school. They will never go to the same school and when my son is in college my daughter will be in high school.
There are advantages to having an older child and a younger child especially when you have food poisoning and you may or may not be lying on the cool tile of the bathroom quietly crying in pain. Softly you hear from the other side of closed door, “Mom? You okay?” and you don’t have to completely lie because they are old enough to understand.
Having an older child when you are sick means that they are able to make a PB&J sandwich for their three year old sister while you are praying to the porcelain gods and he is able to heat up a piece of leftover chicken for himself.
Another advantage of having an older child means he can put the clothes that were in the wash machine into the dryer so you won’t have to wash them again later and it means he can fetch a glass of ginger ale without spilling it all over the kitchen.
Of course having an older child while you are sick means that the illusion that you are super woman is dashed and there is no going back. He has now seen (and smelled) me at my worse. He knows that I get I sick and it is not pretty. But he has also learned that he can manage, for a few hours, on his own and help his mom out when she is not able to help herself.
I too have learned that he is not helpless and can do some things on his own. He can work a microwave and manage to dry a load of clothes. He can even get along with his sister long enough for me to sleep before they are off to bed. Sure it also means that they hung out in the same bed I was sleeping in and I may have dreamed about the Bubble Guppies for four hours but worth it. And it means they still need me, even while at death’s door step.