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Top Ten ways to survive cold and flu season

It's fall again, and you know what that means.

No, I'm not talking about apple crisp and pumpkin carving.

I'm referring to the hell that is virus-stricken children.

We just suffered a full week of Serious Crud and I had many idle hours with a feverish three-year-old on my lap to think. And think I did. I came up with 10 ways to get through your child's virus without permanent mental scarring.

1. Popsicles. Lots and lots of popsicles.

2. Library books. Having a well stocked supply of new reads helps keep both of you entertained.

3. Relax the rules on how much TV is okay. Sometimes when you're sick, all you want is to zone out in front of Blues Clues. (Well...I would chose something more along the lines of HGTV, but, whatever.)

4. Set up bedding for yourself in the sick child's room the night before the fall out, if, that is, you have any inkling what might be coming. Stumbling around in a stupor trying to gather a pillow, blankets and glass of water most likely means you'll end up huddled on the hard floor, covered with a thin throw using The Little Engine That Could as a pillow. Thirsty.

5. Don't be afraid to dip into that stash of Cadbury if you need a little comfort food. It's hard to be at someone's beck and call all day. Particularly when that someone has a hard time using his or her NON-WHINY voice.

6. Chewable Motrin. 'Nuff said.

7. The internet is for reaching out and making connections. If you're feeling isolated staying home with a sick kid, log on and read a few mommy blogs.

8. Get some help. It's especially hard to ask babysitters to come look after your barfing child, but if you have family in the area, or your significant other can be flexible with his or her work schedule, try to fit in at least a couple hours of R & R for yourself.

9. Make sure you have plenty of laundry detergent and heavy duty carpet cleaner.

10. Remember that this too shall pass.

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