This post should really be called Things I Know now that I’m a Parent as I’m sure that these equally apply to girls as to boys.
I have been surprised in lots of ways since becoming a parent. Who knew that little baby boys could wee so much, so often and with such force as you change their nappy?
However, it would have to be ‘conditions’ that kids end up with that have been most surprising. I remember as a child having mumps (should have listened when my Mum told me not to go and talk to my friend waiting in the car who had them), measles and chicken pox (that was a bad one – I went in to hospital with chicken pox).
Sure, my boys have had colds, flu, gastro (where DB has shown his true colours – didn’t ever have him pegged as a vomit catcher but he’s very good at it – doesn’t dry reach at all). But it’s the other stuff that people don’t tell you about.
Squidge has been on the receiving end of a general anaesthetic 3 times, Bruce once. I’ve sat with them as they went under, struggling, jerking as if in a bad dream, and coming out of it crying or just hungry and grumpy.
It wasn’t until Bruce was born that I understood why when a baby, even only slightly premmie, has trouble breathing it’s not so much that they could die from a lack of oxygen. Instead the chances are greater that they’ll die of exhaustion as their little bodies work so hard to get sufficient oxygen.
Via Squidge I’ve come to learn not to trust asthma. Sleeping in a chair next to his bed in the observation ward at our children’s hospital, he was ok and then suddenly he wasn’t and was being rushed to a resuscitation bay as a precaution. I’ve learnt that a cocktail of ventolin, adrenaline, oxygen and steroids can pick them right up again and just about have them climbing the walls when all you want to do is cry and sleep.
I didn’t know about croup. The first time Squidge barked when he coughed scared us to death and we rushed him to hospital. We were taught croup first aid (sitting in a bathroom made steamy by the shower on hot and full) and as he kept getting it we were prescribed a steroid to give him at home. I didn’t hesitate when I had to call 000 because he was just so much worse one time even after the steroid and I didn’t hesitate two more times after that.
I didn’t know about hand, foot and mouth. When DB rang to tell me daycare had sent Squidge home with it I was speechless. He’s not a sheep I thought. And by then I was at the end of my tether having taken more sick leave in a few months back at work than I ever had in a few years of employment (and I only worked part-time).
Then there were school sores (impetigo) and streptococcal infections in places I didn’t even know you could get them (until I’d watched Everybody Loves Raymond I’d never heard of strep throat let alone strep other bits).
Throw in constant ear infections for Bruce in his first 18 months of life, debates with a GP about how many doses of antibiotics is too many for a baby not yet 12 months old (I still say 8 is too many) and the feeling that we alone are subsidising our pharmacist’s end of year Christmas function and this parenting lark has been a steep learning curve.
I’m sure there’s more to come.
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