About Last Night

February 2, 2010

Jasper goes to playschool a couple of days a week. He loves it – loves it – and he knows exactly what days he’s scheduled to go. He toddles down the stairs on those mornings and heads straight for his coat and boots, which he tries to tug on over his pajamas.

SKOO! (School!) he yells. RUSSELL! ELLA! (friends) GO! GO! GO!

Yesterday was a school day. He’d been up throughout the previous night with a cough, and he’d felt a little warm at times the day before, but there are always bugs going around this time of year, and he seemed okay in the morning, and in any case, there he was, clutching his coat and boots and yelling skoo!

I hesitated, for a minute, maybe two. He didn’t feel warm, but he did have a cough, and he had been so, so sick before Christmas… but no, he wanted to go. And I wanted him to go. I had work to do. So I took him to school.

Some hours later, my phone rang, and the voice on the other end was a little panicked. Could I come right away? Jasper wasn’t well, he was hot, really hot, sweating through his clothes, his temperature 105 and climbing, and obviously in pain, and coughing, badly. I dropped what I was doing and ran straight there, not bothering to put on socks or scarf or hat or gloves, not stopping to lock the door, not stopping for anything. I just ran. And as I ran – the very short distance from where I was to where he was – I berated myself a hundred times with every step. I should have kept him home. I shouldn’t have taken him to school. I shouldn’t have let what was convenient and easy trump what was right.

We spent hours at the hospital last night with our sick little boy. I spent hours worrying and fretting and, occasionally – as when they pulled him from me and, while he called out for me desperately with broken, cough-ravaged cries, bound him in a plastic tube and x-rayed his chest – crying. Pneumonia, the doctor said. It might be pneumonia – there’s certainly another respiratory infection – his lungs aren’t clear – we have to treat him for pneumonia.

I know that if I’d kept him home yesterday, it wouldn’t have made any difference. His lungs have been compromised for a while, and the development of pneumonia this time around wasn’t something that I could have prevented by watching over him. But still, but still. He’d been sick – he’d been getting sick – and I suspected as much and still I let him go. Still I let him go.

I lay with him in the wee hours this morning, listening to him rasp and wheeze and cough and I pressed my face into his hair and I promised him, never again. But even as I made that promise, I knew that I might break that promise, that I would break that promise, that I wouldn’t always know when I should be worried and when I shouldn’t be worried, that I would always be caught between the impulse to worry and the need to just let worry go and to forgive myself for letting go of worry because living in a state of worry is just no way to live.

And my heart ached.

Why is this so hard? Do we ever get comfortable with it being so hard? Or is parenthood just one long exercise in coming to terms with one’s own unreasonable expectations of one’s self, with one’s lack of control over all of the things that it seems so necessary to control if one is to protect one’s heart, with anxiety, with worry, with fear?

Must it always be true that our joy – our love for our children, our delight in our children, our pleasure in putting them in sunglasses and having them do parodies of Horatio Cane – is always shadowed by fear? Do we ever really become fearless? Do we really want to?

jibstoevsky

Can our hearts, will our hearts, (should our hearts?) be ever at ease?

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    { 70 comments }

    deb February 2, 2010 at 11:50 am

    no, i can tell you that you will worry until the day they can drive. then your worrying will escalate and intensify for a bit, until you realize the convenience of having them go for milk for you at 10 pm is worth the risk. : )
    .-= deb´s last blog ..Three of A Kind =-.

    Her Bad Mother February 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Emilia is already planning for when she can drive. A race car, according to her. My heart’s not going to be able to take it.
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..About Last Night =-.

    Stone Fox February 3, 2010 at 2:31 am

    to every woman who has her first baby they ought to give a pacemaker and a lifetime prescription for sedatives and anti-psychotics.
    .-= Stone Fox´s last blog ..Conversations with a 4 year old =-.

    Hip Mom's Guide February 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

    What a beautiful description of the emotional push and pull of parenting. With my oldest at 13, I can tell you that it gets easier, and it gets harder. I don’t think there is ever any way to know these feelings until we actually become mothers. And I’m pretty sure there’s no way to avoid these feelings, once we do.

    I hope he’s feeling a bit better and that you are, too.

    Mary February 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Brilliant. We’ve just come off 3 weeks of RSV with our 1 year old and 2 year old that included one overnight trip to the ER to scan for pneumonia and 11 urgent care visits. Your post made me cry because I feel exactly the same way. My children make my life so beautiful but also bring on a fear like I never knew existed. Hope your little one is on the mend soon. Then you can get on with putting the pieces of your heart back together… until next time.

    Her Bad Mother February 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    **HUG**
    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..About Last Night =-.

    Issa February 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Oh honey, it’s not your fault, nor is it the fault of sending him to school. Illness happens. Especially at his age. Like you said, we can’t live like that. We can’t live in fear or keep them inside forever. There isn’t a bubble big enough to keep toddlers safe.

    I’m so sorry he’s sick again. Pneumonia sucks. Plain and simple, it sucks. Lung issues come up really quickly, there is just no knowing. I hope he’s doing better in a few days. Before you know it, he’ll be back to being the crazy little wild Jasper that you know.

    Try and let the guilt go Catherine, if you possibly can. We’ve all done it. Because we think, oh they are okay. Truth? I’d of sent him too. I’ve sent mine to school on occasion when I was unsure. Sometimes they are fine, that’s the kicker.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..Things I don’t understand #2 =-.

    Pamela February 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Oh, Catherine. I think it is always going to be like this – coming to terms with your own limitations. I burst into tears last night when #1 boy begged and begged me to play with him, while I sat at my computer and tried to get work done. It was when he offered to play next to me… so I could participate while sitting at my computer … that the waterworks started. We can’t do it all. Anyway, you’re right that there’s really no reason to feel guilty about letting him go to school — I’m pretty sure I would do the same, and it seemed the right thing to do at the time. How were you to know he was going to get worse? I’m glad you’re home, and he’s OK.

    Tanis Miller, RNM February 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

    So glad he’s alright. But I was more worried about you to be honest.

    Because I know, all too well, the terrors that prey upon a mother’s fragile soul while her child is ill and helpless.

    But it’s all about the babysteps.

    Trust me, a mom who has been down this road, and trust yourself, that it all works out. No matter what.

    I promise.
    .-= Tanis Miller, RNM´s last blog ..Silver Bells =-.

    Annie @ PhD in Parenting February 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

    ((Hug))

    Saisquoi February 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    When I got pregnant, my mother said to me “Congratulations. Your life will never again be your own.” I seriously had NO IDEA.

    I work full-time, which means my one-year-old daughter is in full-time daycare. I’ve gotten the calls of “Can you come get her NOW please?” and they are terrifying. And I berate myself for having OBVIOUSLY made the wrong decision that morning in bringing her to school, even though that morning she was happy and smiling and BEGGING to go.

    She’s had bronchitis three times this winter, been diagnosed with asthma, and uses a nebulizer three times a day. Not a treatment goes by where I don’t ask myself if I did this to her by returning to work, by not being smart enough or rich enough or something enough to find a way of staying home with her.

    And I can’t do that. Her lungs aren’t great. They may not have been great even if I got to stay home with her. But I worry anyway and I beat myself up anyway because she is my BABY and my life is not my own.

    My mother is currently fretting over my sister who is 7 months pregnant with a husband serving in Iraq. It never ends.
    .-= Saisquoi´s last blog ..Sweet Pea for my Sweet Pea =-.

    Marinka February 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    A few days after my daughter was born, I realized that I never again would be carefree. There would always be a shadow, always. Hormonal, I cried this fear to my father and he confirmed it. But he also said that I will know joy that I did not think was possible before and that makes the fear bearable.

    I think it makes it more intense.
    But it’s worth it.
    .-= Marinka´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary! =-.

    paganmama February 2, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    If I’d known about the worry and fear and anxiety–I, who was always so unflappable–I might not have become a mother. But how to refuse, even hypothetically, the JOY and delight my son brings, the ecstatic, unique love?

    I might have just decided I wasn’t cut out for any of it, the love or the fear.

    I appreciate how well you express it.

    Jaelithe February 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    In the wake of my own recent emergency trip to the hospital (during which I also, coincidentally, left without socks or a hat in the cold and totally failed to lock my door — in fact I left my back door standing open to the bitter wind), I have just been forced to enter a master class in this life-long parenting education on learning how to manage constant worry and deal with lack of control over things I desperately wish I could.

    So, yeah. I guess I’ll just say that sometimes you do everything you think is right, and you send them out into the world totally well, and they still come back to you bruised or sick or broken. And sometimes they get bruised or sick or broken under your own watch.

    And I think no matter what the circumstances a good parent will wonder if he or she might have done something different to prevent a child’s pain. I suppose the key, as you said, is just learning how to manage our guilt and fear so they don’t overwhelm us.

    Last night my son wanted me to hold him as he fell asleep. I asked him why and he said, “Just keep me safe.” I told him I would.

    But now I know even better than I did before how much I can’t.
    .-= Jaelithe´s last blog ..Things I Have Recently Learned =-.

    Carrie February 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Sending some HUGE hugs to you and Jasper. It is definitely the hardest part of being a parent.

    When your kid is sick and still really young you can do practically NOTHING to make them better except to just be there. Which is what you did. That’s what Motherhood is all about
    .-= Carrie´s last blog ..How do you Roll? =-.

    paige February 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Oh, Honey. Listen, it will happen again. I’m a veteran mom (my oldest is 18!) and I’ve been a teacher for a couple of decades now. I’ve taught preschool to high school…and I can tell you about things like my youngest having an intermittent tummy ache for two weeks..took him to the doc and found out he’d had strep for two solid weeks. Two weeks of being contagious, in his preschool classroom. At the school where I taught.

    That’s just ONE time. It happens to all of us. Be kind to yourself, be forgiving. Imagine that your kids are grown up and they let a sick child go to school…what would you tell your child? Say that to yourself.

    You’re not required to be perfect, you’re required to do your best. And you are.

    Tricia (irishsamom) February 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Don’t ever blame yourself. : ) When they get sick, it can come on so suddenly, even with a cold. We’ve all made those choices when they seem fine. My daughter had pneumonia at eleven months and even though we took her to the doctor a week before she ended up in the hospital because she became so ill, there were no real signs that she had something serious, until I insisted that they investigate why she wasn’t getting better and they did some bloodwork and then admitted her. I felt AWFUL at the time, but honestly, how can we know when it’s coming, when it’s just a cold and when it’s something serious? I had the same experience with my son once – he cried and cried one day and I thought he was just being fussy and he almost ruptured his eardrum because I didn’t act. Guilt anyone? All I can say is that we do our best day after day and that’s all we should expect. Easier said than done. One way or the other, I hope he heals quickly and that you get some sleep and be gentle with yourself. Whether he’d been at school or not, he was already getting sick – you had no way of knowing. And my daughter recovered quickly once they diagnosed it – they did keep her in hospital for two days but she was fine after a week. I wish the same for your sweet boy. (((hugs)))
    Tricia
    .-= Tricia (irishsamom)´s last blog ..2nd Annual Great Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange =-.

    Cheryll February 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I feel your pain! This last year we went to Disneyland and my daughter had been jumping on the bed as we went to unpack the car. She fell off the bed and hurt her foot, she was freaking out! I put some ice and it and gave her some IBU and she feel asleep, so I thought she was fine. She woke up and I checked her foot it was purple, we had to go straight to the ER, it had a HUGE severe break 3 bones. We talked to the DR about turning around and driving home (we live in UT) he said she would be fine for a fews days and she wasnt in much pain. We got back to UT and took her to the DR, the first thing the Dr said was why did you wait SO long to bring her in… it was a mess!

    Rock and Roll Mama February 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I fear that the answer is no, we do not become fearless, and that yes, the shadow is always there.

    It’s chiaroscuro- the contrast between light and darkness. With such intense joy and love and light, there’s always the converse- how would it be to lose this? This perfection, this love, this creature whom we housed and birthed and cherish? How could such a thing ever, ever, happen?

    And yet it does. And we know it. No matter how crushing the reality of our love for our children is, sometimes, the universe is nonchalant.
    And that is what terrifies me and makes me want to put a bubble around my house and let us all be safe and lovely and intact.
    (I’m leaving tomorrow for a trip and I’m a wee bit sad- just to leave like a big old existential Camus nihilism comment when you need reassurance. Sorry!)

    I hope your wee Jasper Man feels better soon, and know that you’re not alone in your terror of our love for our children.

    Jessi February 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t know a single mother who hasn’t done this. Brynna says her stomach hurts all the time. That it never stops, but she only says it when I want her to clean her room or go to school or something that she doesn’t want to do. I never know when to take it seriously and when to tell her to go on. It doesn’t get easier. It shouldn’t. But you’re doing right. Even when you mess up, you’re doing right by trying and caring and getting upset when you mess up. This is motherhood: trial and error and wishing and wanting and crying and promising. It’s beautiful and horrible and impossible and necessary. You are a good mom.

    Dina Williams February 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I hope your little guy is feeling better soon!!! We send you warm thoughts and positive vibes for Jasper’s speedy recovery. (((Hugs)))

    Don’t blame yourself for this, it is not your fault. It’s always a tough call when a kid is “mildly-but-not-really” sick. We all play the odds, especially in the winter. Two weeks ago my DH made our DS go to school with strep throat — not just unpleasant for him, but contagious for the other 20 kids as well. We’re not doctors or psychics, we can’t predict the progression of every cough. All we can do is use our best, imperfect judgement and deal with things as they come.

    Emily February 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Am so glad to hear I’m not the only one who this has happened to! And that I’m not the only one who feels the guilt and the fear!

    Right after Christmas we had a call from daycare, a slight fever. So we picked up our son and brought him home. But we had dinner plans with friends that night, and his temp. was slight and the in-laws were babysitting. So we gave him some tylenol, dropped him at the in-laws, and headed out to dinner. As we were leaving the restaurant the in-laws called, panicked. His temp. had spiked, he was having a seizure, and they’d call an ambulance.

    Scary scary stuff. Turned out to be a febrile seizure, scary but not too major. As I lay next to him all night in the ER and then in the pediatrics ward, with full makeup and my heels on, I berated myself for being so selfish as to leave my sick little guy just so I could have some time with friends and vowed never to do that again…

    So now I’m more cautious when he gets a temp., but am trying to find that fine line between being cautious and being OVERLY cautious, and trying to just be the best mom I can be…

    slouchy February 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    i am so sorry for your night. and so relieved that he is doing a little better.

    i’ve had maybe six nights like that between my two sons. and each one had me promising my life away if he (or he) would just look/get better. once things resolved, though, well, dailiness took over. as it will.

    i wrote about the middle-of-the-night panic once, here.

    i thought about you guys nonstop last night. i am so glad j. is at home now.

    love to you.
    .-= slouchy´s last blog ..Peeved =-.

    slouchy February 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    ok, let’s try that link again. i wrote about this once, here.

    GAH.
    .-= slouchy´s last blog ..Peeved =-.

    carrien (she laughs at the days) February 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    “Must it always be true that our joy – our love for our children, our delight in our children, our pleasure in putting them in sunglasses and having them do parodies of Horatio Cane – is always shadowed by fear? Do we ever really become fearless? Do we really want to?”

    Honestly I think it makes the joy more poignant to have always in mind the fragility of life. If we can learn to not let fear crush us and to live fully, because life is good.

    My mothering journey is a constant exercise in letting go, in remembering that all I have to do is love them for as long as is given me, that that they aren’t mine, they never were and that God will go with them where I cannot. I have to trust that and choose to give thanks for each day given.
    .-= carrien (she laughs at the days)´s last blog ..One Thousand Gifts-Week 43 =-.

    Jennifer February 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Do we ever get comfortable with it being so hard? Or is parenthood just one long exercise in coming to terms with one’s own unreasonable expectations of one’s self, with one’s lack of control over all of the things that it seems so necessary to control if one is to protect one’s heart, with anxiety, with worry, with fear?

    I don’t think so – I know I’ve gotten the “come get him he’s really sick call” only to have him bouncing off the walls at the doctor’s office and them looking at me like I’m on crack for thinking he’s sick. Plus after a black black black, omg the fog for over a week, I think my mom was feeling the same way about me and I’m 40. Makes me think of my Grandpa…he called me “his baby” a few days before my 21st birthday and I remember telling him that I was about to be 21. He just knowingly smiled and said, “I know, but YOU’LL ALWAYS BE MY BABY”. sigh – great joys great sorrows.

    Lise February 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    The fear never goes away, but you learn to make your peace with it, to tuck it down and ignore it. Otherwise, who could survive parenthood? And then a grandchild is born, and the fear begins with this new life and new joy.

    Jennifer February 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Oh! My heart aches for you!! Please know that this wasn’t your fault! I know it hurts, and as a parent you will never stop worrying about you kids, your grandkids, your neices and nephews, it just come with the territory. I can’t tell you how many times something’s happened to my kids and I scolded myself just as you did even though I knew I was not to blame. Be strong. All will be well again. :)

    Ariel February 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I was a worrier all my life- I worried about cobras (in Idaho???wtf? I probably needed medication as a child) volcanoes and tornadoes and a hundred stupid things until I had my daughter. And I don’t worry about any of those other things anymore.
    I just worry about her- about her safety, about bad people who’d want to hurt her, about providing for her (and I now understand how a mother can sell herself to feed her child- not because I have but because I would) I think on the way out of the womb they kick a worry switch or something. I don’t think it ever goes away. The things I worry about TORMENT me now a million times more than the things I worried about before I had her.
    .-= Ariel´s last blog ..Dear Glee: =-.

    Linda February 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Wow. Really glad he is better now.
    A friend and I were famous for sending our children to school with unforeseen terrible maladies, high temp, the whole works when they seemed okay early in the morning. Push and pull of work demands, etc., and the fact that they often seemed sick, and often were not. Once the school nurse called me to say my oldest, 12 at the time, hurt his ankle in gym class and possibly should have it examined. I knew this particular nurse and asked her, “Mrs. blank, if this was your son what would you do?”, to which she replied archly, “I’d wait to see if it became swollen or fell off”! I was very grateful to have reality injected into the unknown.
    Worrying is in the mother handbook, Again, glad your child is better.
    Linda

    statia February 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I usually err on the side of caution when sending them to school, as not to be the one who spreads it. I know they’re going to get it, and believe me, if he’s well enough, I will have him out the door so fast. Like, I’m trying to get rid of him or something.

    I doubt you ever stop worrying. I’ve just accepted that worrying is part of the job. That’s why I take drugs.
    .-= statia´s last blog ..Like Sands Through the Hour Glass… =-.

    Varinia February 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    In a word, no. It will always be like this. Having a child is the most vulnerable experience in the world. Every day we send our heart out into the world and ask it to keep is safe. Even though we know that the world is a hard and cruel place, we ask that it keep our babies safe. My mother tells me that it’s still like that for her. The four of us are grown and ranging in ages from 36-30 and still she asks the world to keep her babies safe.
    {hugs} Your baby is precious and you love him and you came running to save him. In the end, that’s all you can do, just keep running to save him.

    Bec February 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I hope he feels better, and I hope he didn’t infect other kids at the day care.

    LD February 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Oh. Poor you.
    I’ve done that before, too. You never know, and usually it is just a bug.
    The thing is, when you choose a school (especially daycare/preschool, etc) you do it trusting that they will take care of your child and call you when they should. Which is exactly what they did. So, there’s that.
    I hope Jasper’s better.
    And, also, that stupid chest x-ray thing. Apparently the shot is better when they are screaming and crying? That’s what the doctor told me when Matt had one as a baby, but maybe they said that to make me feel better?
    .-= LD´s last blog ..Finding Yourself =-.

    Rachael February 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    okay, this totally made me cry. I think that being a mother is just a series of proud moments and heartaches. Mine was sick recently, not as bad as yours, but his fever did hit 105. There’s something so scary about your little one being sick and having no control over it. I hope he’s feeling better really soon.

    Angela February 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I am so glad you are home with him now after such a scary night. It’s terrifying when they’re sick.

    I have a reputation in my family for being an overprotective worry-wart I think. So I’m always second-guessing myself. Ear infection or teething? I’ve sent my son to the pediatrician like 3 times sure he was having an ear infection, but there was nothing. And then, then he has a cold, we finally get around to going to pediatrician just in case, and since I was going myself anyway, and bam! he has a double ear infection. Lovely. The one time I let it go and it’s the real deal. Fab.

    I think it’s karma’s way of keeping us humble.
    .-= Angela ´s last blog ..20 weeks today =-.

    adhocmom February 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    The worst the worst the worst! But I can tell you I would have taken my daughter to school too. It totally made sense, you shouldn’t regret it. Good luck.
    x
    P
    http://www.adhocmom.com
    .-= adhocmom´s last blog ..Palm Pilot =-.

    Rachael February 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I am, once again, crying at work. I’ve SO been there. My little Pineapple has had so many issues and has been in that same x-ray strappy thing. It sucks. But she LOVES going to play with her friends – and even though, sometimes, I think ‘maybe I should keep her home’ she wants to go. And if I DID keep her home, she’d probably be just fine – only sad that she wasn’t able to play…it is so tough. And my heart is wearing a few bandaids and in need of courage syrup. Here’s to hoping – for all of us – that it gets easier. But, my money is on ‘it doesn’t.’
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..Did You Just LICK That?! (or – Why It is a Waste of $ to Buy Hand Sanitizer) =-.

    Hollie February 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    First (((HUGS)))

    Second I dont we can be a good mom without the fear factor. My Rachel is now 12 and I do worry and get scared and there have been many major scares and trips to the ER and last year well I just was in mama bear mode most of the year as we dealt with bullying.

    Hun there is joy and pain that comes with mommydom. It is part of the job. Most important that we remember we are not perfect, not one of us and well that is reality and we all live in it and fear is just part of the wonderful package. Think the flip side of the fear is faith. I have faith that my daughter will survive all the stuff that comes her way and I know your two will as well.
    .-= Hollie´s last blog ..Menu Monday- More One Pot Recipes =-.

    Sashalyn February 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Just want you to know I’ve been over here sending healing vibes and thinking of you often since you first tweeted about J-man being ill. So glad you’re at home & on the mend (both of you!).
    Motherhood is navigating a zillion choices every day. Jasper led you to believe that sending him to school was the right thing to do! Personally, I think the fact that you listen to his toddler voice over your own mama worry makes you an excellent mom. You know this choice made no difference in the matter at hand- but I thought you might like to know that more than one of us would have made the same choice.
    As for the fear- well- you know that it will be there… just as long as you are loving your kids and they are being the daring, free spirited imps that they are. Don’t love and fear always intermingle?
    .-= Sashalyn´s last blog ..stand and deliver =-.

    Haley-O (Cheaty) February 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    You know I hear you. I’ve been working with my maternal fear ever since I became pregnant for the first time. It’s something, indeed, we have to live with as mothers. Fear, I believe, does shadow our love — but it also makes it stronger, and shows us the way to courage.
    .-= Haley-O (Cheaty)´s last blog ..“I Yuf Buhds”: Florida Trip Recap =-.

    Sigrid February 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve been lurking for a while, but this post has finally compelled me to comment, if only to say you are so not alone. And just the fact that you worry about it? Makes you an even better mom, because it means you’re aware, and that you’re trying.

    *hugs*

    Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) February 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Oh I am sooooo very sorry. There is just nothing worse than watching our babies be sick. Please don’t clutter your mind with guilt over sending him to school for a couple hours… you didn’t know and it wouldn’t have changed it.

    And to answer your question… I believe “No. We’ll never stop worrying.”
    .-= Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)´s last blog ..Tackle it Tuesday =-.

    Meredith February 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Ugh, I feel for you. And you can’t blame yourself for a second. Life happens. And with toddlers and preschoolers it’s sometimes impossible to tell the difference between the run of the mill fever/cough/endless-freakin-runny-nose harmless bug and the big stuff. You did all you could; and are still doing all you can.
    Our youngest came down with pneumonia last spring at 8 months old. He’d been coughing for a few days, he has asthma, and the night before I took him to the ER I put it off because I was hosting a playgroup the following morning. I wanted to clean up, to rest and to see my friends the next day. By noon that day, as everyone was leaving my house, it was obvious he wasn’t himself, so off we went to the hospital. And there we stayed for seven days. Oh the guilt, the guilt.
    Oh btw: Have you tried letting him go to sleep and then sneaking in with the inhalers once he’s unconscious? We have to give a puffer once a day, more often if he’s sick, and sometimes that’s the only way if he’s really cranky pants about it.

    Another Suburban Mom February 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Big Hugs to you and Jasper with a big hot fudge sundae for you. (Dairy isn’t good for the boogers, so Jasper just gets a cookie)

    It happens. Sometimes you play ibuprofen roulette, sometimes you are flabbergasted when your perfectly healthy child sprouts a 103 at lunch at daycare and then is running around like a lunatic by dinner time.

    And don’t blame yourself. Lungs are sneaky and some kids are very tolerant to pain. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought my kids in for what I think is a minor “make mom feel better” visit, to complain they’ve had a runny nose or cough for a week or isn’t eating right (for me, appetite is my cue) and I then find out that my daughter has a double ear infection, a sinus infection, a touch of bronchitis and maybe some strep but the augmenten will fix everything so why throat culture her, or that my son has pneumonia.

    I tell you, mommyhood is not for wimps.
    .-= Another Suburban Mom´s last blog ..Gee Thanks (not so much) =-.

    Jennifer February 3, 2010 at 12:13 am

    I faced the exact same decision this Monday. I made the same choice, I sent her to school. I got a similar call, though less urgent, a few hours later.

    You are not alone.

    Stone Fox February 3, 2010 at 2:28 am

    i’m so sorry jasper is sick, i hope he starts to feel better really soon.

    boy, we sure can beat ourselves to death with the ol’ mother-guilt, can’t we? we all have it and we all drag ourselves over the hot coals with the would-have-could-have-should-have.

    i have no words of wisdom, only feelings of empathy.
    .-= Stone Fox´s last blog ..Conversations with a 4 year old =-.

    red pen mama February 3, 2010 at 11:05 am

    My kids are sick a lot. Nothing serious, but still scary: ear infections (which means fevers), the flu (which means fevers), some kind of really yucky stomach virus (which means fevers + vomiting). I work; my husband works; they are in daycare. I try not to a) beat myself up too much. I need to work, and not just to pay bills. for my own sanity. and b) not worry about losing my job when I do stay home with my sick children. THAT’s my job. The pay and the benefits suck, but ultimately, the rewards outweigh what I get from work (although maybe not bankruptcy; let’s hope I don’t have to find that out).

    I think we moms can be our own worst enemies with the second guessing we do. I think we need to let ourselves off the hook. Yes, our lives are not wholly our own, but we are still people with separate lives and needs from our children. We will always be seeking balance, and sometimes? Sometimes we will stumble and fall. And that’s when it’s great to have people to reach out a hand and help you back up. And that’s what spouses and ILs and on-line communities are for.

    *hugs*
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..Lost: LAX =-.

    red pen mama February 3, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Of course, all that said: Parents worry. It’s what we do. My own parents told me that years and years ago. And now I know what they mean. As many a commenter says here, the joys of parenthood are unmatched, the love. But man, the worry. It’s a much as part of the love and joy.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..Lost: LAX =-.

    LAVENDULA February 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    aww poor little guy hope he’s feeling better.you know you just never stop worrying my oldest is 19 and you still worry about them.and my little one has been wheezing for a week at bedtime and i just hate that sound of laboured breathing coming from her wee chest god bless you and even though its impossible try not to worry over much about your wee one

    Lynn Smith February 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Motherhood is all aout trial and error. We aren’t perfect, we can only do what we think is right at the moment. Don’t beat yourself up, and I hope he feels better soon!!

    MommyWithAnAttitude February 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    No — it never changes — last fall, my 6-year-old had what they said was swine flu, and then said, no guess not, some kind of flu, and then finally, Oh! Pneumonia! For us it was a week of 106 degree fevers — horrifying, scary, no sure answer on what we SHOULD be doing to make sure we don’t kill him… it’s never easy.
    .-= MommyWithAnAttitude´s last blog ..I’m Back and an Ode to Howard Zinn =-.

    Slow Panic February 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    no i don’t think it ever changes. my boys are 11 and 7 and i find my heart constantly in a knot, scared i’m making the wrong call, scared to send them out in the world. scared to keep them home with me. never ends.
    .-= Slow Panic´s last blog ..Does This Ever Happen To You? =-.

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