I will start this post with the acknowledgement that I am a very lucky momma. My daughter is 16 months old, and has never had so much as an ear infection. The sniffles are fairly uncommon in our house, and teething has never been too much trouble for us. We are blessed to have our health, because I know far too many parents who are struggling with their children’s battles with illness and disease.
So, when my daughter got sick for the first time in her very short life this weekend, I found myself looking for that instruction manual. You know, the one they SHOULD send home with every baby from the hospital… except they don’t?
There are no instruction manuals. There is nothing to tell you why your baby suddenly has a 103.6 degree fever on a Sunday evening when every doctor’s office is closed. There is no alert to remind you that maybe you should invest in a proper thermometer long before their first birthday, or else you’ll find yourself driving to your nearest Walgreens in the midst of snowpocolypse. There is no chapter on what to do when you kid wakes up after an all-nighter of Tylenol and snuggles and is suddenly acting and feeling better – do you go to the pediatrician anyway? What about when their fever is under control until the next evening when the doctor’s offices are conveniently closed again?
Watching your kid get sick is the most helpless feeling in the world, that’s completely true, but I didn’t realize Dorothy’s little bout with sickness would leave me feeling completely confused. I’m going on my mommy instincts, but do I really know what I’m doing? Absolutely not.
I cringe when I think think about this afternoon’s doctor’s appointment (during an ice storm and right in the middle of nap time, I should add). My gut says that she’s fine, and this is all going to be a wasted trip to appease my worrying head. But what if I’m wrong? Then I’ll feel terrible that I didn’t take her yesterday. Seriously, why can’t there be an easy answer when it comes to children?
Instruction manual. Somebody start working on that.
How do you handle your kids getting sick? Do you call the pediatrician immediately, or try and wait it out? What’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to fevers (with no other symptoms)? Ugh.