Sick days as a kid, when you ignore the whole “being sick” thing, were the BEST. A whole day lying on the couch, watching TV, eating chicken noodle soup and being babied by your mom. So what if you were coughing and sneezing and covered in dirty tissues? The fake sick days were pretty awesome too. I remember staying home sick one day because Michael Jackson’s Thriller video had recently come out on MTV and I was the only one in my class who hadn’t seen it. I faked an illness and watched MTV the entire day to make sure I knew what all the fuss was about.

Last Sunday, I asked everyone to share their sick day memories from childhood for a chance to win the Sick Day Swag Bag.

What did you guys remember most?

Watching “The Price is Right” (let’s hear it for PLANKO!), the smell of Vicks VapoRub and weird concoctions involving ginger ale and jello that our parents swore were cure-alls.

Here are 27 sick day memories that make me want to say “okay, fine” the next time Mazzy or Harlow ask to stay home sick:

1) “My mom always read to us, even as we got older. She’d pick a good book and read the whole thing over the course of the day, while bringing us juice and buttered toast.” – Ericka D

2) “I remember my mom always having the lemon flavored cough drops in her purse and being disappointed because I, of course, preferred cherry.” – Rachel R

3) “I have vivid memories of my mom watching All My Children when I was home sick (she watched it for the entire 30 something years it was on). I remember hearing the show, eating yogurt on toast, and wondering how such dramatic events could keep happening to the same people over and over again!” – Rachel

4) “Sick days as a kid were the best – especially when I wasn’t really feeling sick. The Price is Right came on at 11 am and being sick was the only way I got to watch it.” – Carly J

5) “My mom always made me a perfectly concocted drink with warm water, honey and lemon. I cannot seem to get the measurements right on my own.” – Angela K

6) “As the only girl with two older brothers, the best part about sick days was playing their video games! I still remember having the chicken pox— a whole week with Nintendo to myself!” – Danielle M

7) “When I had a sore throat, my mom would fix me a cup of “hot tea.” We’re from Alabama, so this was naturally just sweet tea warmed up in the microwave in a tea cup! I didn’t realize that wasn’t what hot tea really was until I was a teenager!” – Lauren B

8) “When I was sick my mother would cover my neck and chest with Vicks VapoRub. Then she would fasten one of my Dad’s big tube socks loosely around my neck to trap in the ooey goodness. She would read to me for hours and had a little bell I could ring when I needed her. She seriously was the best nurse maid ever.” – Chrissy R

9) “When I was sick and coughing, I was allowed to curl up on the couch and watch TV. I was never allowed to watch TV, so I would try to keep myself awake to watch as much as possible. Right after lunch, my mom would always say it was “her turn” to pick something to watch. She’d always pick a boring talk show….and then I would fall asleep. I’m sure she did that on purpose!” – Danielle

10) “We didn’t get to stay home sick unless we were literally throwing up our entire intestinal contents. So our rituals those days were hugging the porcelain throne and moaning a lot. I wish we had a TV in there!” – Beckie S

11) “I remember sprite and peeled grapes. For some reason my mom would peel our grapes when we were sick.” – Stephanie R

12) “I remember the sick days when my parents had to work and I went to my grandma’s. There I was completely spoiled. She always gave me 7-Up, regardless of whether I had a stomach bug or something else, which was a big treat because we weren’t allowed to have soda at home. We’d play Memory, read the kids’ section of the paper that she’d saved from Sunday, and I got to watch her soap operas!” – Becki W

13) “My mom was tough so sick days meant no TV. If we were too sick to go to school, then you were too sick for TV.” – Meredith H

14) “Saltines. So many saltines.” – Katie M

15) “I remember my “sick turtleneck!” My Mom would slather my chest and neck in Vicks VapoRub and I would wear the sick time turtleneck all day to protect the couch!” – Bryn B

16) “When I was sick, my mom would make a “nest” on the couch. This involved covering the couch with at least one quilt, then I would bring the pillows and stuffed animals from my bed, and she would tuck me in with one or two more quilts. I would rest there and watch TV or movies. It was so comforting to be wrapped up like that. Almost like laying in a hug.” – Melissa

17) “I miss sick days with my dad! He would warm our clothes in the dryer, tuck us in on the couch with a blanket and pillow, let us watch TV all day, make us chicken soup and give us flat coke. I still don’t know why it had to be flat but I just loved that I got soda.” – Cara K

18) “Orange popsicles and green jello. To this day, I cannot have either one without feeling sick.” – Penny

19) “Every sick day, my mom would take my temperature and give me apple cider vinegar mixed with water that I had to drink though a straw. My sister and I called this “devil’s water.” My mom would put on The Waltons in the living room and put my head in her lap, while she played with my hair. She knew we were sick if we didn’t complain about the Waltons being on all day. If we complained, she knew we were faking and sent us to school. We grew up on the property of the school so it was only a few feet from our door.” – Sarah B

20) “If I was throwing up, the only person I wanted to hold back my hair and rub my back was my mom. If my dad tried to do it, I would just cry and cry until Mom showed up!” – Mary Clare

21) “Gatorade and crackers while watching movies in my parent’s big bed.” – Christina L

22) “I distinctly remember snuggling up on the couch with my mom under a blanket, watching The Mickey Mouse Club. There are six of us, so when we were sick, it was pretty much the only one-on-one time we ever got.” – Angelica W

23) “I remember my mom sleeping on the floor next to me.” – Kristin

24) “I distinctly remember my dad being the one who fussed over me when I was sick. He always gave me cold compresses for a fever, wrapped me up in a blanket and took my temperature 100 times to make sure my fever wasn’t going up too high.” – Akhila

25) “My sick days consisted of chicken noodle soup, Vicks VapoRub and Lassie on the tube. I’d always watch out the kitchen window as the bus drove by in the morning. Outwardly appearing sad to be missing school. Secretly thrilled to be staying home.” – Melody

26) “My mom’s sick day ritual always involved trashy daytime TV and lots of fluids. Vicks on our chest and blankets to sweat out fevers! Some days, I wish I could have an adult sick day with my mom!” – Nikki


Congratulations to Shira who is the winner of the sick day swag bag!

She said: “My mom always makes chicken soup when I’m sick. Even now, as an adult, when I get a cough or cold, my mom comes to my house and makes chicken soup. It makes me feel so loved!”

I know the swag bag isn’t quite as good as staying home with mom, but I hope your new throw and pajamas are the next best thing. Plus, you’ve got plenty of Vicks VapoRub to relieve your cough so you can get some much needed sleep, just like it did when you were a kid.

Your mom knew what she was doing.


This post is sponsored by Vicks VapoRub but it really has been a staple in our home since I was a kid.