Lucky to Be Alive

The kids in our house have been dropping like flies. Aden was in the ER for his usual asthma stuff, which was triggered by a bad cold. It’s so usual that the respiratory therapist even recognized us. And gave us the same lecture she gave us the last time we were there 2 months ago. Clearly it’s not really working because we were back again. Sunday morning I stayed home with all of the boys instead of going to church and it was a good thing I did, Elijah woke up with a 102.7 fever. Nice. Did I mention Asher was battle a nice little cold/ear infection too? Oh yeah, and hubs has mid-terms this week. Oh, and another thing, my boss is in town this week because it is performance appraisal time at work. Nothing says “I want to advance my career” like “I need to reschedule my performance appraisal, and take a day off because my kids are sick and my husband has mid-terms”. I may be misguided and presumptuous by saying this, but the thought did cross my mind that if I was a SAHM it might be a little easier. At least I would have one less thing to schedule around- work. But, I really do love my job.

Anyway, I digress, back to Elijah. By Sunday evening, it’s clear he has strep throat. I was in the ER with Aden the night before and clearly made an impression on the staff, so I wasn’t begging to go back. I was seriously worried that I would be put on a secret list of “those parents” that are in there all the time. I’m sure it doesn’t really thrill hubs that his wife is not really into the whole hospital/medical scene, but after some negotiating and a few hands of paper-rocks-scissors, he took Elijah in. Of course, his trip there was only about 2 hours, compared to the 5 hour trip I had with Aden, but that’s okay, he needed to study.

By Monday, I was pooped. The weekend that I like to use to catch up on housework and “relax” had not happened and it was back to the grind. I decided it would be best to just take a sick day and take care of Elijah. And, if I was lucky, get Asher in for his follow up appointment from the ear infection he had the week before. I knew they opened up at 8am so, aiming to get the earliest appointment possible, I dialed at 8:02am…and got the recording “All circuits are busy. Please try your call again later. Announcement ###”. I called consistently every 2 minutes and got that same message, for 20 minutes! I was beginning to feel like calling their office on a Monday morning was like calling Ticketmaster for Garth Brooks tickets. Finally, at 8:27am I got the normal greeting, that told me I was caller number 20 in line. Wow, these folks don’t mess around when it comes to getting kiddos in. I should have dialed in at 8:01am!

As I’m listening to the automated message, it dawned on me that I’m lucky to be alive. Here is where I feel that God brought some humor to me because He knew I was probably going to lose my mind from bleach fumes or some hybrid bacteria that is currently growing in my house.

Thank you for calling XXX pediatrics your call is very important to us. You are caller 20 in line. Please listen to these important tips while we assist other callers.

Yes, I’m paraphrasing but you know the whole spiel they say.

Did you know that limiting TV screen time is important to your child’s health. No child under the age of 2 should be watching TV and children over the age of 2 should have limited and monitored screen time.

Oops. Asher totally is transfixed by Super Why and both of the older boys loved Backyardigans. I messed that one up! Besides, I do remember watching Sesame Street, Muppet Babies and a whole other slew of classic cartoons growing up and I believe l turned out alright.

Be sure when your children are riding bikes they are wearing proper helmets. Did you know that <insert statistic> children have head injuries every year from not wearing a helmet? Be sure to monitor outdoor activity to ensure proper safety.

Yes, we make the boys wear helmets because I’ve seen kids fall without them and that’s just scary. I never wore one when I was little (it was dorky if you saw someone wearing one back then), but I also didn’t ride in a car seat past the age of 2 and even rode in cars that DIDN’T HAVE seat belts! So what are you supposed to do then, duct tape yourself in or tie some yarn around your waist and hope for the best? So, I do support this updated technology although I don’t helicopter parent them while they’re outside.

Remember when selecting toys for your child that they are age appropriate. Toy guns can be harmful as pieces can poke an eye out…” (I totally pictured The Christmas Story “you’ll poke your eye out kid” comment). “…also be sure that any other toys do not have small or lose parts that may cause a choking hazard.

At this point I’m chuckling. So, my kids cannot play outside because it might be dangerous. They cannot play with majority of the toys they have because it might be dangerous which basically leaves TV. Oh wait! They can’t do that either. Please, my calm, patient and always obedient boys, please sit on this nice padded stool and read lots of books. Of course only books that have happy endings, with no conflict and are only factual. Yeah, that’s going to go over really well…..

Man, I’m lucky to be alive! Based on the recording I heard, I should have a brain of mush from the TV, have multiple head injuries from falling off outdoor equipment and have probably choked to death on some small toy. Don’t forget that I was not in a carseat until I was 16 (although I should have been by today’s standards since I was so short) and I even grew up around a LOT of people that smoked. Heck, my mom said she even smoked in the hospital after she had me! I’m sure there are a number of other things that would make modern day pediatricians cringe, but I survived! I cannot even imagine what things my kids will be doing with their children someday…actually it kind of frightens me….

So, all in all, we managed to get the schedules figured out, kids are getting healthier and I have a new appreciation for the fact that I survived my childhood. And, I now know to call the pediatricians office for some of the best entertainment around!

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