“He has a fever!”
I said, looking at my dog to go find a pack of sleigh dogs to lead and bring back the vital medicine my sweet child needed. His temperature hovered around 101, clearly close to death’s door.
As I bundled my man up and placed cold cloth to his head, I whispered, “Everything will be okay.” Before loading him into the car and speeding to the emergency room.
“Meh, he is fine, a little warm.”
The thermometer under my baby’s arm beeped rapidly to alert me of his 102 temperature. I ran a cloth under cold water and placed it on his head before turning on some sing along and going to the medicine cabinet where I grabbed a syringe full of cherry Tylenol.
Laying him on the couch, I moved to the kitchen to make sure the boys hadn’t made their way into the fridge to eat all the cheese.
With the boys, as they have always been known, we had frequent flyer miles accruing from all our trips to the hospital or to the doctor. Any slight raised temperature or bump seemed to be life threatening. Kid bumped his head? Hopefully Lifestar can make it here in time before he begins to hemorrhage.
Our third child on the other hand, HA! He hasn’t even seen the hospital since birth. Outside of a possible ear infection, the only time he’s made it out to the doctor is for check ups. Even those seem to be vaccine fly throughs. Oh my god, Becky, he vaccinates.
Okay, now I am sure some will stop there and run to the comments to post something about vaccines. I don’t usually answer comments anyways, so don’t hold your breath waiting for me to get into a discussion about vaccines. This isn’t about being for or against them anyways.
When we had the twins, every visit to the doctor included a good half hour session of me turning the check up room into a Law and Order style interrogation.
I sat the doctor down and slammed my hands on his desk, demanding answers to my questions. What was this spot on my child? Would he have the spot forever? Did we need a biopsy? Where is Dr. House and do you think he is always so ornery?
The baby though, as he too has always been known, gets his bumps, scrapes and coughs met with a, “Aw, buddy, bad day? You’re fine. Here is a popsicle.”
And it isn’t out of a lack of love for him. It isn’t because of insurmountable debt after so many healthcare visits with the twins either (I thought ten hospital visits equaled a free ambulance ride? Guess not.). You learn after the first, or in my case firsts, that, holy cow, these little guys are actually somewhat durable.
Children have an enviable ability to dust themselves off after a fall or destroy a kitchen while battling a fever. They are, as cliché as it may sound, ‘little troopers’.
I don’t request emergency evacuation after every fall from the couch now. That’s not because I don’t worry about my son’s safety, I just have learned by kid three, most of these minor injuries are, in fact, minor. We aren’t going swan diving off the couch tempting fate, but we also aren’t putting splints on his arm out of fear it might be broken from a little fall.
You learn and grow with each child, gaining a better grasp on when medical attention is needed versus the old saying, “rub some dirt in it.” I no longer feel as though my children need their own Life Alert buttons.
I lost most of you at vaccines anyways. Have you noticed yourself more relaxed as a parent after your first? Are you still hyper-vigilant and on top of everything? Does the local hospital have a reserved room for your constant visits?