Yesterday, we were on our way back from the pediatrician’s office, when Jennifer said to me “You’re in trouble.” “Why?”, I say. “You said that first six months was the hardest, and here we are at seven months and THIS is hard,” she says. “Oh, well, yeah,” I say, “but that didn’t include illnesses.” “Doesn’t it seem like no one ever talks about this part?” she asks. “Well,” I respond “they probably do, but I think these are the parts we forget.”
And let me start off by saying that we have it SO EASY compared to SO MANY others: our kids are relatively healthy, no known underlying issues, there’s two parents who share equally in care and responsibility, we can afford to pay for extra help every now and again, and all that. But if you strip all that down and just think of us as first time parents with no prior parenting experience, unaccustomed to lack of sleep or the sounds of screaming for hours on end, we are in the midst of trying times.
On our way to the pediatrician’s office yesterday, I sent a text message to the kids’ godparents to let them know what was going on. I am walking away with SOMETHING this visit, I wrote, I don’t care if it’s a placebo, stickers, or a lollipop. We had been there last Monday, too. Colds and congestions, yes. But no ear infections or crackly lungs. Which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. Prescription for them last week, then? Tender Loving Care. Got it.
Fast forward six days and my things can change. I took the scream-at-the-top-of-his-lungs-cannot-be-consoled-dead-ringer-for-an-ear-infection shift from 2:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. Jennifer took the 4:30 a.m. – 5:30 a.m. shift so I could sleep an hour before getting ready for work. At 5:30, our daughter began screaming, would only sleep on one’s chest, and wouldn’t wake up to eat. RED FLAG. Change of plans – I am not going to work. Not taking a shower. Not going pee. We’re going to the clinic.
Sure enough, Mateo has an ear infection. Make that two. By the way, this is now his FIFTH ear infection in two months. And one of them was bulging and blistered. Harper has one ear infection, and crackly lungs. Prescription: round of antibiotics for both, albuterol treatment for her. No stickers for us. I did mention that Jennifer and I used to indulge in a nice dinner out weekly and that now that seems to be weekly copayments totaling $60 to the clinic. He said something about writing us a pretend gift certificate. He’s cute.
We spent the day at home with the kids. Loving on them. Holding them. Carrying them. Feeding them (or trying to, because Harper wasn’t much for food or drink). Loving on them some more. Constantly changing them out of clothes they’d throw up in. They try SO HARD to play play play and fight through being sick, but most of the time, the pain of ear infections got the best of them. We got some fresh air on a neighborhood walk. We were fortunate that one of their godmothers brought the mom’s lunch and we ate while she fed Mateo and held him for a couple hours while I played mattress to Harper who could not otherwise sleep. And if that’s a run on sentence it’s because yesterday was a run on day. We enjoyed our time as a family even if it meant they twins were not feeling well.
I’m seriously considering looking into a live-in (weekdays) nanny. Could be the lack of sleep talking. I LOVE our daycare. It’s clean and professional and the kids truly love it. But they also get sick more often because of it. But it’s close to the office. But they wouldn’t get sick as much at home. But they get more stimulation at school. But they get more individual care at home. But there are more eyes watching over them at school. But but but but but but but but.
In the last couple months, some one of the four of us has had any combination of pink eye, cold, ear infections, colds, allergies. I don’t think we’ve gone more than 7 days at once with a fully healthy household since September.
This morning, I’m at the office (can’t you tell???). I just got a call from Jennifer reporting that neither kiddo has a fever this morning. And Harper ate. And neither have thrown up. Our Saturday nanny was available to be home with them today. And Jennifer and I are both working so we can pay for someone else to care for them. Grrrrr. Hopefully the mend continues. And hopefully we go more than 10 days as a healthy household. Please?
Rachel’s personal blog can be found at RaJenCreation.