My grandmother used to say time flies, my mother says it all the time too and lately I feel like I can’t blink without missing a day. One day it’s Monday and the next it’s Friday. Last week in particular threw me for a loop – not one thing that I had planned actually came to fruition thanks to the domino effect that is a sick kid. I had all these plans and it started out promising but once daycare called on Monday morning at 11am, I knew I was screwed. For the week. My little guy came home with a fever and he was complaining of a sore throat (something he never gets), so after 1 day home we decided to go have it checked out. The fever was gone but in the time it took (10 minutes) to get from our apartment to the doctor, little red bumps started to appear around his lips and hands. One quick look at him by the nurse practitioner and she immediately said “oh, this is hand, foot and mouth disease”…in other words Coxackie virus. Now, my two boys might be identical in looks, but they are NOT identical in how they get sick. The big one gets mild cases of everything, the little one gets it all to the extreme and this was no exception. In a matter of hours, his face, mouth, throat, hands, arms, feet and legs were covered in little red swollen bumps and of course they were itchy. Of course! Now he’s 4, and while he tries his hardest to listen to us tell him not to scratch the itch because it might make the bumps bleed, that lasted a minute. The first night was the worst, not one wink of sleep basically. There’s no medication for this thing since it’s viral so basically it was Motrin and Benadryl but only for his satisfaction of getting “meds”. I’m not sure any of it worked. By day 3 I was obsessed with helping him so I started googling home remedies thinking I could concoct some kind of soothing paste or something to put on his inflamed skin. That’s when I found an article from another mom about how she battled this thing with her little guy. She found a homeopathic tablet called Arnica and swears that it helped. So off we went to the organic vitamin store to look for some…as luck would have it the very nice shop owner was unpacking a new shipment that just happened to have some Arnica in it. We snapped it up and skipped home to try it. In the article I had read, it said after only 1 dose they could see a difference in demeanor…I was skeptical but hey, at this point, I would try anything. I’m not sure I saw a difference after just one dose but I can say that after 3 doses that first day, he had a great sleep and woke up with less angry looking bumps. After 3 days he was like a new kid! Most of the bumps were gone, only the big ones lingered but were fading fast. Now I’m not sure if it was the Arnica or the natural course of the virus running through his system, but the doctor did say it could take up to 2 weeks for it to clear up. All I know is that he’s back to school today and I’m one happy camper.
When the kids are sick, everything else takes second place. Work, schedules, appointments, etc. We make sure they’re comfortable at our own expense. We try to keep siblings apart so we don’t have multiple sickies at home, because THAT would really suck. We go out of our way to get treats and stuff we know they like to eat, so they actually do eat. I lost a lot of time getting my stuff accomplished last week that’s for sure, and our long weekend was kinda busted until the last day, but that’s ok because that’s what we do as parents. Everything else comes first.
I was laying in bed at 3:30 this morning thinking, (after the big kid woke me up because he has a cough, wanted medicine, and I couldn’t go back to sleep) about a recent blog post I saw on Scary Mommy by Emily Holweger who was looking for affirmation from moms with older kids that this parenting thing is hard. I remember smiling through the whole post because I can relate to 100% of it. I can go for weeks without a blip, everything is done and in order, schedules are followed through and we’re working like a well oiled machine. Then there are weeks like last week – all good intentions but throw in a wrench or two and all hell breaks loose. I’ve learned to chalk it up to life, and now that I coach parents though stuff like this I know it’s a universal theme. Here’s what I’ve learned – we’re all still alive and happy, even when we’re feeling under the weather so that’s worth a few points. My kids never notice when I don’t get something done, that’s my issue. My family does not suffer if I don’t get to send out an email or if I respond to a client a little bit later than I had planned on and my client doesn’t suffer either, because my clients are parents and they’re cool and they get it. I’ve become more patient (and as a self proclaimed zero patience haver, that’s something). I’ve become laid back about a lot of things and I’ve become tolerant of way more than I ever thought possible. Hell, I wanted to write this post a week ago and I’m only getting around to it now. Parenting is not about who does it better it’s about how you do it for your family. So, yes, Emily we all feel the way you do probably more often than we’re willing to admit. Does it get easier? No, it gets different. The good news is that we’re all learning as we go and we’re all in it together! PS: My big kid is home today.
Emily’s post can be found here: http://www.scarymommy.com/tell-me-parenting-gets-easier/
And for more moral support, join my newly created meetup group – It’s a place where moms (and dads) can chat about kid stuff and I’ll be advertising upcoming events there too!