The Rotten Ringworm Runaround

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Categories Attitude, Balance, Infants, Perspective, Pets, Routines, School-AgeTags , , , , 4 Comments

M snuggling her new kitten.We adopted this sweet little boy into our family in November. We also unwittingly adopted the ringworm he brought with him from the animal shelter. While our new kitten, Scout, has brought us much joy and laughter, his ringworm has brought with it a reign of tears and terror.

I’ve learned several things about ringworm:

  • Ringworm isn’t a worm. It’s a fungus. Either way, it’s nasty and gross and, like lice, something that can’t be completely avoided just by keeping a clean home and maintaining good hand-washing habits. If your child interacts with others, she runs the risk of bringing home lice; if your pet has ever been outdoors, he runs the risk of ringworm.
  • Some strains of ringworm defy all attempts at identification. Our little boy’s failed to glow under UV light and didn’t initially make his fur fall out, so the vet misinterpreted the lesion I pointed out at our first visit as a bite from another kitten at the shelter and gave the all-clear for him to interact with my kids. I should trust my gut.
  • This stuff is contagious. All three of the humans in our house had a red itchy patch or two within 3 days of the new kitten’s cuddles.
  • Washing bedsheets every night, plus vacuuming and disinfecting even a single room every day is overwhelming and all-consuming.
  • A ringworm infection to the scalp can’t be treated with topical ointments alone. My poor little J had a bald spot on her head, which I’m thankful can be hidden inside pigtails as it grows out. Our pediatrician referred us to a dermatologist, and J now has a nightly bowl of ice cream to mask the taste of the pulverized pill (griseofulvin) she has to take every day for a month.

We’ve literally been fighting this thing since November. The kitten received weekly lyme sulfur dips as well as a liquid suspension of the same meds J is now on. He’s currently completely free of ringworm, but has to stay in isolation in my bathroom. He was clear in January, too, but I made the mistake of letting him interact with the girls, and he contracted a fresh round of ringworm from them. Thankfully, our adult cats have thus far made it without become hosts for this nasty parasite.

M has developed eczema on the spots where ringworm used to reside, and J is beginning to do so too. We’re all using antifungal shampoo, just in case. I’m exhausted, and I hardly have the energy to give the kitten the attention he needs once my human children are in bed.

A pharmacy worth of medications is accompanied by a typed schedule with a column for each of 6 people and cats.I’ve trotted out a technique I used with newborn infants. I’ve written up our medication schedule and posted it by the meds.

I keep reminding myself that all this is nothing compared to what we went through after bringing our 33-week preemies home 6 years ago. The need to keep on top of a schedule and maintain a sanitary environment was much more critical then. I was getting way less sleep. I had far less experience. This ringworm stuff is child’s play in comparison.

When the girls were babies, I had a notebook in which I wrote down every diaper change and every feeding, since in my sleep-deprived state, I feared double feeding one baby and forgetting to feed the other. It also helped coordinate things between me and my husband. I’d take my notebook with me to visits with the pediatrician.

This ringworm thing? I don’t need a notebook to keep track.

This, too, shall pass.

What techniques have you developed to manage parenting multiples? How do they translate to the rest of your life?

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The Hard Truths

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Categories Parenting Twins, Perspective19 Comments

A mother of twins shares the hard truth of multiple motherhood

Lately I’ve found myself given the opportunity to chat with and encourage women who are pregnant with multiples.  They always want to know what to expect.  It’s difficult to prepare someone for this crazy journey, but I don’t know that I always share the real hard truths.  Let’s face it, ladies, our job as a MoM is hard!

So here it is, MoMs to Be and New MoMs.

The Hard Truths (and hopefully some laughs too!) on my 22 months of twin mommyhood:

  • Your friends with singletons DON’T truly understand or relate. Seriously.   Join a MoMs Club, find a friend with multiples you can email to ask questions, email one of us at HDYDI!  Knowing you’re not alone HELPS.
  • Getting up at night to feed more than one baby (2, 3, 4…) is SO TIRING.  This sounds horrible, but when I was so delirious and going on hardly any sleep, I would have to literally pray myself out of bed. I wanted to take care of my precious newborns, but my body didn’t want to move. Once I was up, it was a sweet time with my girls. It was also when I started reading the Twilight series (haha) since they girls would have to sit up for 15 min after eating due to reflux. Twilight also helped get my tired self out of bed. :) Laugh if you will, but the books are a sweeeeet love story and very well written. 😉
  • You WILL have moments (or perhaps every moment for a while…) where you are overwhelmed and wish you had more than 2 arms and 2 hands.  Trying to balance multiple babies is HARD.  When you feel overwhelmed, try to find the FUNNY in it.  And it could always make a good blog post. 😉  My first night alone with the girls was a comedy of errors.  Like- pump spraying milk everywhere, screaming babies, even finding a screw in the crust of my pizza??!!.  Oh and my first time to take them to the doctor by myself?  It’s truly my most embarrassing mommy moment!!!  The main lesson I learned that day was you must adjust a Double Snap n Go to fit your brand of carseat.  Otherwise, your children will be standing on their heads… :/  Either laugh or lose your mind.  Your choice. 😉
  • You may feel out of control sometimes and that’s okay.  At the beginning, it’s new and a learning experience.  At the toddler stage, they are trying to gain independence. And really, you just feel that way… you’re still the mama. :)

With raising multiples comes tears- both of frustration and pure elation, JOY, constant moving, not much sitting, organizing, balancing, full arms, overflowing hearts, and a special, wonderful experience that I woudn’t trade for anything.

Have a Hard Truth to add?  Do tell!

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Guest Post: Manly Expectations

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Categories Gender, Parenting, Perspective6 Comments

Mommy, Esq. is a lawyer at a Big Firm and mom to almost 12 month old twins, Edmund (Ned) and Penelope. In between conference calls and deal closings she thanks her lucky stars for an unbelievable Husband (and co-parent) and nanny. You can find her blog about Big Law and the three loves of her life at www.mommyesq.com.

My son Ned is a cuddler. He likes to “stop by” as he cruises the playroom to be picked up and put his head on your shoulder. There are “kisses” too – although sometimes biting would be more accurate. But when Ned gets frustrated he shouts and hollers at the world, tearing up and sometimes throwing himself backward to have a tantrum (I thought that was in our future!). The nanny and I rub his back when he’s upset and tell him “he’s okay”, and will pick him up for a cuddle.

Ned will not like to be diapered and dressed after his nighttime bath. Partly this is because he’s pretty tired by the time bedtime has rolled around and partly because he’s getting out the rest of his energy. I diaper him standing up and lotion and dress him as he barrels around his bedroom. My husband thinks we should be teaching Ned that sometimes you just have to lie still for a few minutes and “get it over with”. I give Ned 3 chances of standing up in the bathtub (dangerous!) before I just take him out (I do say “no” with the ASL sign (the only one I know)); my husband’s approach is to say “no” and putting him down until bathtime (for both kids) is over.

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My husband thinks I coddle Ned. He wants our son to be strong and to problem solve and not always go running to mommy. I sort of laugh because, I mean, he’s a baby! But it has gotten me thinking – how do you turn your little boys from babies into men? We spent so much time this first year of their lives just “surviving” that promoting self reliance and discipline has fallen a bit by the wayside. When both parents work you try to maximize the fun, loving time instead of working on utensil use or self-play. And I know the number of things they will need to learn to do on their own is just going to get longer!

Do you see a difference in the expectations you or your spouse have for sons and daughters? In what ways do you encourage self-reliance in your kids?

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