I’m sure we’ve all had those nights after staying out late where you made your bed on the bathroom floor so your evening’s mistakes would end up in the toilet and not your bedroom floor. Eventually we grow into parenting, and these days we spend our time sitting on the floor while our child vomits away a fever. It’s heartbreaking watching them moan and shake while getting sick, but it’s good to know that they can curl up in our arms afterwards to comfort them. It doesn’t make you feel any better though, and I think all parents hate it when they watch their child feeling miserable.
Once my son, then around 1 1/2 or 2, had a fever during a weekend he was away from me. I received a call at work telling me he had a high fever and wasn’t feeling well. I heard myself repeating “take him to the doctor’s” and restating the doctor’s information. He was never taken to the doctors and when I had gotten him back, his eyes were sunken in and he was lethargic. He wasn’t my son, he was a zombie form of my child. I was scared, and luckily my doctor’s office had a nurse that was able to calm me down and told me to head to the emergency room.
I’ll remember that trip forever I think. The nurses were urgent with him, and hurried him into a hospital gown. I remember the look of terror in his eyes when they put in the I.V. and taped it to his arm and splint, and pumped him full of fluids. They took vials of blood and I sat and watched helplessly while this happened. He was sick and needed me to comfort him, but I couldn’t. They wanted us to walk around with him to make him thirsty enough to drink and my now husband got him a snack to coax him into drinking enough to get discharged. Several hours later he was released, diagnosed with a rhinovirus and severe dehydration. Ever since then, I’ve been neurotically overprotective every fever he’s had since then.
Mothers have this natural ability to tell when they’re kids are seriously sick or not. From the phone call, I knew instantly he needed to be seen by the doctor. Other times, I knew he had an ear infection and while the doctor’s argued with me, they checked and discovered I was right. We have this child inside of us for 9 months, and that gives us the ability to sense something wrong with them. This isn’t just true for the child being sick; I find that it applies to knowing when he’s had a bad day at school or similar situations like that. It’s hard to explain until you’ve experienced it.
Sometimes we are irrational and overprotective, but sometimes you need to trust our maternal instincts. It might not make sense, but there’s usually a reason for it and it pays off when you listen. It still bothers me today when I sit there with the doctor and they don’t listen to me until they see that I’m right. “No, there’s nothing wrong he’s just small because that’s the way he’s supposed to be. That and he didn’t exactly hit the genetic lottery in the height pot.” The worst thing we can do is let our kids see us buckle under the pressure, whether it’s crying with them when they get a shot or getting nervous in the hospital. Kids get sick, everybody does. It might be heartbreaking, but as the parent it’s your job to make them feel as awesome as possible.