It all started with a diaper rash.
(Soph at 16, I’m apologizing now for talking about your bum in such a public space, but I promise I won’t go into too much detail.)
It seemed harmless enough. A little redness, raw skin in a couple of places. Oh, how wrong we were. We hadn’t had to deal with such a thing yet and we were ill-prepared. We figured a little Penaten and we’d be good as gold. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Without getting all TMI on you (and so that I can keep the above-mentioned promise to my daughter), this rash turned into the monster of all skin ailments. Nothing would touch it. Every natural remedy out there, we tried. Every over-the-counter product just seemed to make it angrier. Finally, six weeks, three doctor’s appointments and four prescriptions later and the situation is marginally better. But this wasn’t even the worst of it.
In the past six weeks, Soph has also had two colds and some weirdo gastro virus that hit her (and her parents) once and then circled around to make a second visit 10 days later. (I should also mention that it managed to infect my parents once and my sister twice, too.) Oh, and just this morning, this kid was covered head to toe in hives, warranting yet another trip to our wonderful paediatrician.
All of this in just two months, when the kid had only ever had the sniffles twice before. What’s changed, you ask? Daycare, my friends, daycare. I knew it would be rough-going — of this I’d been warned — but I didn’t know it would be like this. Blaine and I have taken more time off of work than we’ve ever had to before, either to pick up our sick babe or to recuperate ourselves while Miss Soph was off in the cesspool catching something else. Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad she’s getting to play with the other kids and learn new things, but we should be taking out shares of baking soda (for adding to bath water to dry that beastly rash out) and Advil. Oh, and Hyland’s teething gel, because of course she’s cutting her eyeteeth at the same time. She’s a big ol’ drooly, sick mess.
Someone told me last week that I should be prepared for this sick cycle to last at least a year, to which I busted out a string of expletives I don’t use around a toddler. A year?! Seriously? Say it ain’t so.
Tell me that Soph’s little immune system will get it together and learn its job. Tell me that Blaine and I will become more resistant to the kid germs we haven’t had to deal with until this point. Tell me we’re over the hump. Lie to me if you have to.
But dramatics aside, the weeks of colds, flus and rashes have given me new appreciation for the country we live in — clean water, medical supplies at our fingertips, access to health care — and for the overall state of my child’s health. Sure, she has a runny nose and a sore tush, but there are children out there fighting much harder battles. So I will happily wipe her nose while she screams or follow the doctor’s diet instructions to get her tummy back on track, and I will send up a heartfelt thanks for the place we’re in right now. Even if that place involves the germy little hands at daycare (my own kid’s included).