Category Archives: sick kid

So many thinks to think . . .

and not a think to write.

My Boy has been home sick since yesterday around 11:00.  The phone rang around 10:35, and my caller ID said, Name of School.  And the school’s just not whom you want to hear from in the middle of the day.  Particularly when your pre-K-kid is in the bathtub and you have a massage scheduled for 100 minutes hence.  I told the nurse she must have some sort of complex because no one is happy to hear from her in the middle of the day.

So, I picked up my Boy from school.  After, of course, shooing the ever-so-easy-going Ruth out of the bathtub ahead of schedule, brushing and drying her hair as quickly as possible, skipping over the waiting-for-the-van, marathon bubble-blowing session to which we’ve grown accustomed, and rushing her over to the school twenty minutes before she was set to arrive for her own school day.  Poor Boy was green.  Thankfully, the nurse–who really is a lovely woman–offered to take Ruth to sit with her sister in the cafeteria until it was time for her school day to start, so that I didn’t have to drive her home simply to buckle her into the school van approximately 85 seconds later.

So, poor green Boy.  So sad.  So very sad.  My Boy is supposed to be full of energy and intensity, not lying like a lump on the couch.  So sad.

A good mother would end the post there.  But I make no claims about being a good, conscientious mother.  This mother, while sad for her poor, sick boy, is also sad for her poor lazy self.  I really wanted that massage I had scheduled yesterday.  I already payed for it with a Groupon-like thing.  And I waited for just the right day for it.  And yesterday was it.  And then it wasn’t.  And then, today I was desperate to just hang out by myself for a while, and my poor Boy is green once again.  So sad!  So sad for poor green Boy who loves food, but whose food is now playing tricks on him and seeking to jump right back out after it’s swallowed.  And poor, lousy, selfish mother who’d like to sit in silence for a while, to stew in her own frantic thinkings about major life changes and class schedules and childcare for two hours each of two afternoons a week . . .

Run on sentences.  They be my thang.

Poor green Boy appears to be less green now.  Actually he looks quite pink.  And he’s now enthusiastically looking at pictures of the Titanic in National Geographic.  I think he’s all better.  And I’m glad.  Because this is my Boy:  enthusiastic, full of non-fiction tidbits, and wild speculation.  That’s better.

I’ll think my thinks tomorrow.  Oh.  Never mind.  I won’t.  Ruth has no school tomorrow and the kids who do go to school will be home a little after 1PM.  I’ll think my thinks next week.  For, after all, next week is another week.

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Filed under being The Mommy, Isaac, Ministry of Reality, SAHM, sick kid, silliness

Two very different girls . . .

I think about this a lot.  This parenting thing.  It’s been my primary vocation for 8 years now.  (I start counting with Isaac’s conception, as that was the point at which I began obsessing about the whole parenting enterprise.)

It seems everybody’s got their ideas, their philosophy.  Rules to follow, guidelines to lead you in leading your children toward adulthood.  I tried to qualify that adulthood:  healthy, well-balanced?  productive?  But every little nook and cranny of parenting-lore has its own goal in mind.  There are some Christian circles where the name of the game is obedience:  raise your kid to be obedient to you so that when they are adults they will be obedient to God.  There are some Non-Christian circles whose goal seems to be adults who are capable of finding their own way, their own path.  And everything in between and a zillion hybrids.

There are some things I’ve learned in these eight years of parenting.  Well, 7 1/2 years with a kid I can actually see and touch.  These rules.  These guidelines.  These “Do XYZ for ABC results” applied to kids?  Bunk.  A whole lotta bunk.  Who are we kidding?  Kids did not come down out of a shoot from a factory.  There is not one model.  There is no model.  They are individual people–hear that.  People.  From birth.–with their own particularities and peculiarities.  Just as different one from another as adults are different, one from another.  Why is it that we expect our kids to fit some sort of mold, follow some sort of rule (if X, then A), when we know enough never to expect the grown ups around us to work that way?  When we encounter adults, we know to expect the unexpected, always prepared to respond to what comes next, knowing that what comes next is not always predictable?  Why do we view adults this way, but not kids?

I can’t talk to my mother the same way I talk to my sister.  They have two different languages.  Two different senses of humor.  Yes, they are similar in many ways, but in others they couldn’t be any more different.  And this is one woman raised by another woman, taught about the world by her from her earliest days.

Yet.  Yet we get these first kids and we open up these books to find out what to do to them, with them, for them, to turn them into the people we want them to be.  Then we have these second kids and we apply all those same rules to them and expect the same result.  “If I do R (this Rule), this child will do Y.”  But the thing is, the child (C) in the equation (R + C = Y) is not a constant.  The child is one, unique individual and, therefore, a variable.  A variable of enormous magnitude.  So, how can we expect to consistently get Y, the results we desire in and for our children, when we add the same R to a completely different C?  Are you following me?  I have at least one numbers-oriented friend who might be.

We have to change the game.  Change the equation.  Start with the variable.  Start with the C.  End with the Y, sure.  It’s OK to have a goal in mind for your kid.  I want my kids to grow up knowing the Lord, loving him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and loving their neighbors as themselves.  That’s my goal.  That’s my Y.  So I have a kid, C, who I want to get to equal Y.  Actually, I have three kids, I want to get to equal Y.  Three different equations, one for each variable.  Because each C has a completely different value and measurement and character and you-name-it.  So, I’m left with a general  ( __ + C = Y), but with each child, I have to figure out what goes into that blank.  I have to figure out the Rules, the tools, the means, that need to be added to each different child to get–to the best of my limited abilities–to the results I’m hoping for.

What does this child, Hannah, need?  What does this child, Ruth, need?  What does this child, Isaac, need?  Those are the questions I need to be asking.  If I go to any “rule” books, I need to do so with these questions in mind.  Seeking not rules, but ideas, possibilities.  Things I can try that might work for Ruth, but not for Hannah, things that hit Isaac just right, but send Hannah off the deep end.  Too many of these people selling these books fail to tell you that.  I think these books tell us more about the kids the authors had than it tells us about what we can do for our own kids.  And in some cases, my heart breaks for the kids who came after the author’s firstborn but who likely had the nerve to operate completely differently.

So not where I intended to go.  Shock of shocks.  My real point in writing this, as may be evident from the title, was to share an experience I had last night that demonstrated just how different my two girls are.  My three kids are so very different, one from another.  And maybe that’s why I’m so sensitive to all this.  Maybe not everyone’s kids are as varied as mine.  Mine barely seem that they came from the same planet, I don’t see how they all could have come from the same womb.  I simply cannot treat each one of them with the same set of rules.  I would have broken them long before they came off the assembly line.

So, in keeping with the title, an illustration of just how different are my girls. . . .

Everybody was sick yesterday.  Well, not me, but everyone else.  Fevers and coughing and general flu-like stuff going on.  I’m pretty sure no one’s going to die, but there are buckets of misery being passed around.  Hannah and Ruth each had a fever at dinner last night (in the 104 range), so I gave them each a dose of ibuprophen at 6:30 and sent everyone off to bed (read, 2 1/2 hours later, everyone was asleep).

Around 2AM I hear a distinctly croupy cough and a whimpering “Mommy” coming down the hall.  Hannah and Ruth sound pretty much the same, so I can’t tell who it is until I am greeted by the messy halo of blond and footed-jammies silhouette with the yellow blankie tucked under my toddler’s chin.  Ruthie.  “I want Mommy.”  OK, honey.  I climb out of bed to meet her in the hall, but realize, Boy I really need a trip to the bathroom before I get involved in this.  “Ry, can you keep Ruth while I run to the bathroom?”  “Sure,” says my most beloved, always-willing-to-help-a-kid-or-wife-in-the-middle-of-the-night husband.

I return from the bathroom to find my Ruthie snuggled in bed with her daddy and chitty-chatting away in a chipper voice:  “Dem was WRobots.  Da wittle one was WRushy.  What dem peas doing?  What was Pa Gape doing?  Dem was singin’ ”  And so on.  And on.  And on.  Ruthie had watched a lot of TV on her sick day, and is retelling much of what she saw.  Chipper and happy and ready to go.   Ry and I are laughing, despite the fact that it’s 2 in the morning and we are both desperately tired.  Ruthie’s just so funny.  I feel her forehead, to check on how her fever is doing and she is burning up.  I run downstairs for the thermometer and ibuprophen.  102.3.  Hot enough.  She’s chipper, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry about bringing the temp down, but I want her to be comfortable enough to sleep well, so I drug her up.  I send Ry off to Ruth’s bed while I hunker down with her in ours.  When she lay down, she has some big, wet coughs and she throws up.  After cleaning up, we both start to drift off to sleep.

Next thing I know–and very little time has passed–I hear yet another croupy cough and whimpering.  Hannah.  She whimpers and whines her way up over Ruth, straddles my legs and just whimpers and whines.  I try to tell her I need her to get off my legs so I can go get her daddy to help her–so Ruth can stay asleep–but she won’t move, won’t speak, can only whimper.  I’m trying desperately to quickly get her up and out of my room before she awakens Ruth, but she’s beside herself.  I also know that she’s going to throw up, because she always does when she’s sick like this with excess mucous–she’s always choked and gagged easily–so I’m also trying to get her to get off my bed before she does.  But she can’t do anything but whimper and whine.  She’s just pitiful.  As predicted, she barfs, mostly getting it off the side of the bed to the floor as instructed–though the bed does not go unscathed–and continues to whimper and whine and tremble.  My poor, poor baby.

I carry her off to Ruth’s bed (in the room next door to ours, so as not to disturb Isaac who shares Hannah’s room) while my beloved cleans up the mess and changes our sheets–have I mentioned how wonderful he is?–and Ruth, long since awakened by the hullaballoo, wanders around between both rooms chattering away, chipper and happy, despite her rosy cheeks and glassy eyes.   Hannah huddles into a shivering ball under Ruth’s blankets.  I get the thermometer and ibuprophen.  102.8.  And miserable.  Drug her up good.

I send Ry off to bed with Hannah, so she has someone to snuggle and keep her warm, and again I hunker down with Ruthie who is really ready to go now, chitty chitty chat chat.  And I marvel at the difference between my two girls.  Both with the same symptoms, the same grade fever.  One happy-go-lucky, bubbly, chipper, ball of energy, one shivering, trembling, whimpering, most pitiful creature.  So different.  Neither good nor bad, just different.  And if they can’t even have the same response to the same virus with the same symptoms, how can I expect them to have the same response to anything else?

Wow.  I’ve rambled.  Blame the fact that I haven’t been blogging much lately.  Blame the utter lack of sleep.  Blame the encroaching virus.  But who am I kidding?  It’s my way.  It’s who I am.  It’s one of the ways God made me special.  It’s my own little way of being different.

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Filed under attachment parenting, Hannah, Ruth, sick kid

Ruthie’s new words

Ruthie has added some new words to her vocabulary this week.

tase=Cyber Chase

ruff!=Ruff Ruffman

bvhy (rhymes with eye)=Super Why!

teet=Sesame Street

elmo=well, Elmo.

All of those things can be found here.  Just in case there’s any confusion.  Guess what my house-full of sick kids has been doing a whole lot of this week. Slap that on top of my purposely killing all the good, healthy bacteria in their guts, the Krispy Kremes, their isolation from church for two weeks . . . Mommy of the Year, I tell ya.  Mommy of the Year.

Seriously, Ruthie’s new words are awfully cute.  She’s also added some non-TV related words:

dink=drink, of water

gook=milk.  usually cow milk, though occasionally it replaces her *gasp* f0r Mommy-milk

meemee=Grammy or Grampy, must discern from context.

And, the all important,

ankie=yep, you guessed it, blankie

She’s also been entertaining this week by hanging her head over the puke bucket Isaac’s had to use and sputtering, spitting, drooling and coughing into it.  Nice.

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Filed under Ruth, sick kid

antibiotics ain’t all bad

So I caved. I took my babies to the doctor yesterday. Usually I wait a week or ten days or sometimes more, but this time I went after 6 days from Ruth’s start of sickness; Hannah and Isaac were two and three days behind her.

The fever. The endless fever. That’s what did it. And Isaac’s cough and my concern for how to deal with his horrid cough in the face of his recent asthma diagnosis. So off to the doctor we went. All five of us.  Ry came because he could and, well, frankly it’s much easier to have two parents taking care of three sick kids.

So there we were, in this teeny tiny exam room that was about 300 degrees fahrenheit, with three kids coughing and sniffling all over the place.  Hannah had finally begun to return from the dead–hey, her fever had dropped as low as 101, she must have felt like a brand new girl–so she was hopping all over the teeny tiny room, hiding behind the curtain that creates a microscopic changing space.  Ruth was whiney and wanting to nurse and nurse because it was her nap time.  Isaac simply sat draped across Ry’s lap, head back on Ry’s chest, arms hanging limply at his sides, whooped.  His fever was nearly 103 and his cough had wracked his body for a day and a half.  He had nothing left to give. So, got the picture?  Boiling hot room/closet.  Hannah hop hop hopping.  Ruth cry/whine/*gasp*ing for milk.  *cough* *cough* *cough* *sniffle* *snuffle* *snuff*  When the PA finally arrived I felt like offering her a gas mask.

Patient, wonderfully nice PA.  Checked on each one of my babies, asking all the questions, taking good looks, swabbing two throats–she refrained from doing a strep culture on Ruth, declaring it torture for poor Ruth to have the swab stuck in her throat–admiring Hannah Artiste’s masterpieces (Ry had the good sense to pull out some paper and crayons for crazy girl).  PA’s advice:  antibiotics all around.  I didn’t argue.  I didn’t ask why.  I didn’t say, “Shouldn’t we wait for the strep culture?”  Nope.  I said.  YES.  Thank you.  We’ll take three bottles please.  And make it snappy.  Oh, and by the way, how long after I start to get sick should I wait before I call you for my bottle?

This morning’s positive results to Hannah’s strep culture confirmed the wisdom of that decision.  I admit I did heave a sigh of relief.  The antibiotics really were necessary.  Doing my part to squelch the super-bug population.  Well.  Trying to, anyway.

The best part about our trip to the doctor?  Well, any trip to our doctor, really.  A mile-and-a-half straight shot to a Krispy Kreme donut shop.  And yesterday?  The Hot Donut beacon was blazing! Jackpot!!!  Is it wrong that we bought two dozen donuts for a family of five people?  Can anyone say, Comfort Food?  We all needed them.  We needed the donuts, really.  For our sanity.  For our health.

Of course, now I’m going to think about how the bacterial environment of my children’s guts is all out of whack due to the antibiotics and now I’m filling them up with sugar to feed the bad yeasties and beasties and whatever else is in there ready to wreak havoc in the absense of all the good bacteria.  Nice.  Really nice.  Kill the good, feed the bad.  Now I have to go read about probiotics in small kids.  Kill the good, feed the bad, make them eat some more good.  I’m dizzy.

What happened to the days of my youth when I just had to cough funny and my mom would call the doctor and he would–sight unseen–call in a prescription for an antibiotic (anteebeeotic as my mom pronounces it) for me and I would take it until I felt better, saving the rest for later?  Um.  Yeah.  The super-bugs.  They’re all my fault.

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I’m not sick yet . . .

but my poor, poor babies are still sick.  Hannah’s fever started Sunday morning, this afternoon she had a fever of 103.8.  Isaac’s fever started Monday, his hit 102+ this afternoon.  Ruth’s fever started Friday afternoon.  She was a slightly elevated 99.9 today.  Misery all around, these poor kids.  Actually, Ruthie is not too miserable anymore, which is somewhat unfortunate.  Well, let me put that another way before you lock me up.  Since Ruth was the first to get sick, she’s the first to get better.  So, now she’s mostly better and raring to go and the other two are pitiful couch lumps that Ruth keeps torturing.  Climbing on them, trying to steal their water bottles, trying to bite their toes.  Nice.  That last one, particularly.  So these poor pitiful creatures, moaning and whining out, “Noooo, Ruthie!”  *cough* *cough* *sniff*  And Ruthie screaming at the top of her lungs.  A battle cry?  Perhaps.

Poor, poor babies.  They’re going to the doctor tomorrow morning.  Normally I wait a week or more, but my sister had a fever for a week, was totally flattened, and our best guess is she has strep throat.  That and Ry called the doc today about asthmatic Isaac’s coughing and, after describing the whole thing, the guy there said “You need to bring them in.”  So.  We are.

Do you know one of the things I’ve learned through all this?  A mommy home with three small sick kids has no desire whatsoever to read or think intelligibly.  I’ve done my Calvin.  I have.  But mainly skimming and mostly failing to think about a single thing.  I’m playing facebook games and reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Many Waters from her “Time Quintet” that includes A Wrinkle in Time.  I’m reading through the series with my niece.  Enjoyable.  Nothing too taxing.  And that’s about where my brain is at this point.  That and a stimulating Dear Abby in today’s paper.  That’s what I’ve got going on here.  bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  That’s the flatline of brain activity.  Well thought activity, anyway.

Do you know a second thing I’ve learned through all this?  There is a positive side to this sick kid thing–not that I would wish my kids sick, just trying to be a bit of an optimist here.  Sick kids?  Two of them were fast asleep by 6:45 PM.  Nice.  Ry is still up with Hannah who likes company while she falls asleep, but at this point he’s just sitting on her floor reading a book.  Nothing too taxing.  Of course, this would be remarkably good stuff if it weren’t for the fact that sick kids also means lots of waking up in the night due to fevers and pains and aches and coughs and lonesomeness.  So, early to bed, early to rise and rise and rise and rise some more before finally negotiating with spouse over who must drag himself out of bed first and who gets to catch a few extra z’s before starting all over again.  *yawn*

Here’s to better days:

A Halloween Snowman

A Halloween Snowman

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Filed under being The Mommy, Family Life, sick kid

Waiting for my turn . . .

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, are sick, sick, sick kids.  Count ’em.  Three.  Three sick kids.  How sick?  104+ fevers, sore throats, pale faces, dark circled eyes.  Whining.  Wow, lots of whining.  And pitiful whimpering.  And sniffling.  And whimpering and sniffling and whining simultaneously.  And it breaks your heart.  It breaks my heart, anyway.  Oh, so sad.  I think Ruth started it Friday evening.  Then Hannah on Sunday morning.  Isaac today.  Sick, sick, each and all.

PBSKids is our friend.  A comfy couch and blankets and sippy cups with water/juice cocktails.  As soon as Ruthie hears the word fever she pokes her finger in her ear, asking to have her temperature taken.  Motrin all around.  A cup here, a cup there, a dropper-full over there.  Sad.  Very sad.

And now . . . now I wait.  I know it’s coming.  I can feel it, sense it, nearly hear it.  Creeping up behind me.  I turn to look and it quick! slithers under the ottoman.  It’s there.  Out there.  Stalking me.  My turn.  My turn for the fever and the sore throat and the exhaustion and the aches and pains and whines and whimpers and Motrin.  It’s not a matter of if.  No.  Ruth’s spitty coughs in my face and drool on my shoulder and runny nose drip-drip-dripping all over the place guarantee it.  My turn.  It’s coming.  When will it arrive? . . . Ohhh, please don’t let it be over the weekend.  Definitely not Sunday.

Oh.  Did I say the whining was on its way?  Never mind.  The whining has already begun.  Now I’ll just kick back and wait for the rest of the fun to start.

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I haven’t been around this week . . .

I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been distracted by our reunited familial bliss.

I’d like to say that.  I’d really really like to say that.  But I can’t.

Everyone is sick again.  Ry was horribly, taken-to-bed sick all day yesterday and Hannah’s fever returned with a vengeance around lunchtime yesterday.  And Ruth hasn’t slept well for two days.

I need some real things to complain about, I realize.  But whine whine whine anyway.  In addition to the sickies, nobody has slept as well as they did when Ry was away!  Why?  Why why why?  Why?!  Ruth’s been getting up in the night again.  Hannah too.  I guess I saw it coming.  But part of me was really wishing, hoping beyond hope, that since they both slept straight through while he was gone they would say, “Hey!  Why haven’t I been doing this all along?  Last night was the first night of the rest of my life!  I found a new way to be!  A new way to sleep!  No more night-waking for me!!!!”

Um.  No.

Apparently Ruth was sleeping because she was sick.  And Hannah was sleeping straight through because she just likes to sleep with Daddy and he wasn’t there, no reason to get up.  But now he’s home, so we’re back to “Daddy, will you come lie down in mine bed wif me?”

Ahh.  Yes.  Everything is back to normal.

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Filed under Family Life, sick kid