Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A week of upheaval

We'd had a rather eventful week with BabyBoy - the previous Sunday (3/11) I had to take him to urgent care for a really persistent cough, and while we were there being treated for croup (again), the nurse practitioner said "Oh!  His ear is infected!"  They started him on Amoxicillin, and Monday morning I woke up to a baby covered in hives.  Off Mama went for the drop in hours at the pediatrician (for the record, avoid monday morning pediatrician appointments like the plague if at all possible.  All the SICK kids are there!).  The pediatrician said his ears were "absolutely pristine" and that there was no need to continue with a different antibiotic.  I stopped at the drugstore for some baby benadryl, gave him a dose and he passed out on the drive to daycare.

When I was headed to the pediatrician, Hubby said "if the doctor says he can't go to school, call me and I'll come home."  I took that at face value, and called him from a parked car at daycare.

"He's totally stoned on benadryl and has passed out.  I can't take him in like this.  I think I'm going to take him home, but I've got a couple things that HAVE to be done at work.  Can you come home?"

"Well, I have  A LOT to do.  Why don't you just wake him up and take him in?  It's their problem now." He replied.

I got mad, like seeing red, mad.  BabyBoy has not had a TON of sick days where he's had to miss school, but I've covered all but one of them.  I've also covered their closures for holidays and in-service time.  The inequality of the work load at home around our son was weighing heavy on my shoulders, and I replied, "He's not 'someone else's problem'. He's OUR SON.  You SAID you would help me today.  YOU need to do your part."

"He's got a note to be allowed to go to school.  Take him to school.   If YOU want to take him home, YOU take care of him." he snapped.

"Fine.  I'LL handle it.", tears in my voice, I hung up on him.  I bundled BabyBoy out of the car, and stuck my head inside his classroom door to let them know BabyBoy would not be coming to school today after all.

"He's ok, just really out of it with Benadryl and an allergic reaction.  I'm going to take him home."

By the time I got him back in the car, I had two new voice mails from Hubby.  Nether of them were very nice.  I called him back and told him I was taking BabyBoy home, and to do what he thought was best about participating in his care.That's my fall back, whenever I get completely fed up with him, I tell him to "do what he thinks is best".  I've never been pleasantly surprised by the decisions he makes when presented with that option, but at least I can feel like a martyr instead of communicating what I actually need.

In this case, he surprised me by coming home about 2:30, and I went into work for 2 hours to do what I needed to get done.  BabyBoy's hives continued to improve, and we thought we were out of the woods.

Thursday night, I was getting the baby ready for his bath, when I said "I think there's something weird with his penis.  It's all SWOLLEN looking!  Can babies get a stiffy?"  I brought the baby into the bathroom, "Does his penis look weird to you?"We both turned a critical eye to our kids crotch.  "Yeah, I think it's different.", Hubby said.  He poked, and squeezed, and gently moved the foreskin a bit.  BabyBoy seemed completely nonplussed by our attentions, and Hubby put him in the bath.

I texted two of his daycare teachers to ask if they'd noticed anything, as well as texting a friend with a boy a year older than Z to ask advice.  Then I made my critical error of the day.  I googled "Uncircumsized penis infection".  For the record, I cannot recommend this action to any parent, new or otherwise.  You can thank me for this later.

After scaring myself silly, completely losing my appetite and reading some parenting forum posts, we decided we would take a look at it in the morning and see how it looked.

Friday morning, BabyBoy woke me up with an enthusiastic "HI!" and I got him up and out of his crib.  I changed his diaper in the darkish room, then took him into the bathroom to say hi to Daddy.  Hubby pulled back the shower curtain and immediately said "What's wrong with his EYE?".  I took a look and said "OH NO!  PINK EYE!"

Very calmly, I said to Hubby "He can't go to school.  You're going to need to take him to walk-in hours, which start at 8.  Are you ok with staying home with him today?"

"I thought you have the day off?", he asked.

"I do, but it's spa day.  I've had this on the books for a while."  I was fighting hard to give him the opportunity step up and to NOT do what I typically do and give in.  I let 'spa day' hang in the air for a heartbeat or two.  It was crickets in response.

"I guess I can cancel," I mumbled.

"No, go.  I can REARRANGE EVERYTHING," he replied.  It did not sound enthusiastic or supportive.  It sounded resentful.  Perhaps that's just how I heard it, but it's how it sounded to me.

Throughout the rest of the getting ready, the topic continued to come up.  I offered twice more to cancel and each time he said he'd take care of it.  So I decided that was enough for me.  Worst Mommy in the World was going to leave her sick child and go to the spa for some pampering.

Before pampering, I ran around like a mad woman and did a bunch of housework supporting my mother-in-law's arrival later on Friday night.  Hubby and BabyBoy made good time at walk-in hour (better on a Friday than a Monday, apparently),  and they made it back to the house to pick up a diaper bag before going to the pharmacy and out to breakfast.  BabyBoy DID have an ear infection after all, which had somehow caused viral conjunctivitis (pink-eye, simply by the nature of making his eye pink) and an infection of the foreskin, all treatable by a 14 day course of a different antibiotic.  As a mom, the frustrating thing was that the pink-eye and PENIS INFECTION (I have found it is absolutely impossible to type those two words NOT in all caps, it just sounds icky and painful) probably would not have made it to the surface if the pediatrician on Monday had not missed the ear infection in the first place.

Upside, he's feeling much better after 4 days of antibiotics.  As a couple, we need to find a better, more equitable way to deal with the fact that we're reliant on a daycare provide that has strict rules about health issues, and sometimes that means missed time at work.  Perhaps it's just taking turns?  Perhaps it's luck of the draw - even day of the month is mommy, odd day of the week is daddy?  Any both-parents working families out there have advice?

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