Daycare….. On the one hand, it’s a wonderful place for my son to interact with his peers, do all kinds of fun activities and learn new skills. But on the other hand, daycare is also an environment infested with NASTY, DIRTY, toddler germs. After a few months of being in the daycare scene, I finally came to the realization that there is just no way of getting around the fact that if your kid is in daycare and exposed to other children, he is going to get sick….ALOT!
Random fevers, ear infections, hand foot and mouth, colds, persistent coughs, pneumonia….you name it, he’s had it.
It seemed like every 3 weeks or so, my son was sick with something new.
These viruses would sneak into our lives and wreak havoc on my household; my son would get sick, my husband and I would get sick. It was this cycle of misery that felt like it would never end!
After gallons of liquid Advil and countless visits to the pediatrician, I slowly started to notice that my son was getting sick less often. His immune system was finally getting stronger!! I triumphantly thought we had been able to dodge the beast of all viruses…..but I was soooo wrong.
GASTRO…..I had heard the horror stories, but really, until you experience it, you have no idea. Last week, as I was about to put my son to sleep, it happened. There was puke everywhere; on me, on him on the floor, in his crib.
My first thought was, holy crap, how can this much vomit come out of such a little person? My second thought was, oh my god, what do I do next?
My husband was at the hockey game and I wondered how in the hell am I going to handle this on my own? I was paralyzed and panicked for about 3 seconds as my son and I both stared at each other in disbelief. “I made a mess, I’m all dirty mama!”. And suddenly, my instinct kicked in.
After several cycles of vomiting, bathing, comforting and repeating, I knew it was time to call in some help. My husband was home in a flash and I called my veteran sister for some advice. It was a long, messy, sleepless night, but we made it.
As I lay in my bed with my restless son beside me, I came to the following conclusions:
1. I totally possess that “mother’s instinct” that I am constantly doubting. I need to give myself a bit more credit. I handled a really stressful and gross situation while simultaneously keeping my son calm and comforted. Well done !
2. I am so grateful for my husband, for his support and partnership. I am honestly in awe of single parents.
3. Dealing with gastro and all the other viruses my son has acquired over the past years really sucks. But in the grand scheme of things, puke and fever are truly minor stressors. I am so thankful for my son’s good health.
So…..my family survived gastro and I gained some perspective. I realized that as my son’s immune system grows stronger and more resilient, as a mom, I am becoming stronger and more resilient too…..I also learned that Lysol Wipes are my new best friend.