Sniffles and Sneezes Galore

It’s never a good day when your baby gets a cold. Let alone when the cold turns a bit more serious, such as when a fever ensues or a dreaded ear infection develops. (And why are ear infections so prevalent nowadays? I was amazed that our pediatrician was “amazed” that our daughter got her first ear infection at such a ripe old age of nearly 2. Huh? Topic for another day.) Little ones can’t tell us yet what’s bothering them, so as parents we have to play both Miss Marple and Dr Quartermaine at once.

It’s not an easy task, as you moms and dads well know. But what happens when the sneezes jump from little noses to big noses, and infect the whole household? Chaos, I tell you, utter chaos. It’s difficult enough caring for a sick child but worse when one parent gets sick, let alone both! And as CEO of the house, when mom gets the dreaded germs, everything has the potential to go kaput.

Not to bash on men, but in my experience, I’ve not yet met a man who is a “good” patient. Rather, they have turned into little children themselves. We all need some TLC when we’re sick, but with a sick baby and a sick husband in the house, it falls to mom to carry the entire load. Eventually, I too succumbed to the wee one’s germs and got sick, just as the baby and husband were on the mend.

Yet as a SAHM of a toddler, I can’t retire to my bed and soap operas for the day when I’m sick once the kiddies are at school or daycare, and the husband at work. No, I have to keep on going, albeit at a slower speed. (TG for take out!) But it’s days like these, when my head weighs a ton and it feels like a cat is scratching the inside of my throat that I envy those moms whose children are in daycare, because at least when they catch a cold or flu, those moms can rest up for a few hours a day.

Well, my mom once said there’s nothing a good cuppa tea won’t cure, so I’m off to brew myself a steep cup. Then take some cold medicine and keep on movin’.

Ah the joys of having a sick child when you’re supposed to go to work and have appointments scheduled. What’s a working mom to do? Well I could ask my husband to take her to the doctor. But his schedule fluctuates and it’s not quite as easy for him to take our daughter in at the last minute. Plus he gets nervous taking her to the doctor and I need to know exactly what was said.

I’m thankful that our pediatrician has extended hours so if she does get sick I have an option to take her after work but hate waiting around in the doctor’s office with all those sick kids. Who honestly aren’t always that well behaved, sick or not sick. As I sit in the waiting room I start going through my list of who to blame for me waiting over an hour: the doctor’s office for letting sick kids who are whiney in their waiting room; my husband because if he would pay attention and not be so nervous about our daughter he’d be able to listen to the doctor’s prognosis; the doctor for taking so long; myself for working; my job for making me so tired; daycare for suggesting that my daughter doesn’t feel well and “maybe we should take her to the doctor”. The list goes on and on. The only person missing from the list is my daughter, who, even when sick, has a pretty good disposition.

I was speaking with my own mom the other day and complaining about all of the doctor’s visits that my pretty healthy daughter has had over the past year. There was one major trip to the emergency room (febrile seizure due to an ear infection) that cleaned out our health care savings account so now we pay 20% of all visits out of pocket. Surprisingly my mom said that when we were kids even though we were pretty healthy she was always taking us to the doctor’s office and she hated it. She finally got wise and got friendly with the local pharmacist and would give him our symptoms and he would give suggestions on medication or tell her if we needed to go to the doctor. What a money saver! Of course our local CVS or Walgreen’s pharmacist would most likely not do such a thing in this day and age but instead of immediately running to the doctor for a long lasting diaper rash I’m now going to use my Mommy resources and talk to friends who have older children and see what their opinion is. I also have a friend who is a mom and a nurse and I should ask her more questions. I think that since everyone is so busy sometimes we tend to forget to talk to each other and commiserate. It’s how we learn. I’m sure in the days of old that’s what quilting bees really were – an opportunity for women to talk with each other and learn from each other. Sometimes in the hectic schedule that I have I forget. But hopefully I can build a village of teachers that includes her pediatrician, the women at her daycare, my mom, and my friends with children to help teach me to be a better, more sane mother.


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