Has anyone else noticed that it takes a LOT for a child to actually rest when he or she is sick? My kids have to be really laid out before they will crawl in their bed and chill. In December we had just that happen to my 3yo daughter. Our whole family was passing a GI bug around...back and forth...each time with a new mutation and new symptoms. But it was Christmas! And Anna had received a tea set that she was dying to try out.
I fast-realized that the appeal of having a tea party was mixing. She didn't want to pretend there was tea and milk and sugar. She wanted it to be there. She wanted to scoop sugar, dump it into water, and mix it together. It seemed like almost the entire appeal of having a tea party was the process of mixing and stirring. But I didn't want her binging on sugar water. She needed bananas and toast and to stay hydrated.
Inspiration struck. Pedialyte could double as sugar for the mixing necessary in a tea party! We were happy. She got to scoop and dump and stir Pedialyte powder into her tea cup. I got to rest easy knowing that she was not binging on raw sugar water but keeping herself hydrated.
Not only that, but tea parties are AWESOME places to learn some pre-STEM. The tea pot, sugar bowl and creamer each contain a different material. Combining them looks like pre-chemistry to me. Pouring, scooping, and dumping are all wonderful studies of technology (tea pots, spoons) and volume. And the way powder dissolves in liquid is endlessly fascinating (and, in fact, something that Albert Einstein pondered at great length).
So take a small amount of comfort in times of stomach flu...there are wonderful compromises to be made, learning to be done, and rest to be had.