Monday, June 30, 2014

Parenthood: Week 57 - Snot and Awe

Warning: This post includes explicit descriptions of a baby with a stuffy nose and his snot.   There are also mentions of baby poo. 

Kids are disgusting. Now, I love kids, but they are disgusting.

Whenever a student gives me a piece of unwrapped food with his or her bare hands, I graciously accept the piece of food, or handful of popcorn, walk away, turn the corner and throw the food in the garbage. Why? Have you ever looked at a third grader’s hands? Yes, some of them are clean, but a lot of them are dirty.

Seriously, kids are nasty. But I do, truly love my students and I’ll put aside the ickiness of working with hundreds of kids a week when it is necessary. For example, when a crying student sneezed on me, I didn’t pull away but I stayed there and comforted him. You put aside your initial reaction because you care.

Last week Ollie had croup. He woke up with a horrible cough and sounded like Darth Vader. Not the whole James Earl Jones low voice part but the labored breathing part.  We  took him to the doctor first thing in the morning. They gave him some steroids and sent us home.

Croup is a respiratory virus. It’s like a cold. It hits baby boys worse than girls because their windpipes are narrower. When the windpipe gets swollen boys are the ones with this labored cough and breathing sound. Girls get the virus but it doesn’t usually hit them as badly.

Diana and I were glad we got to the doctor when we did because the steroids made a huge difference. By the end of the day his breathing was much better and his cough sounded more productive.

The next day the mucous came. It flowed out of Ollie’s nose, non-stop. When adults have this issue they know to wipe it up with a tissue. School age kids know to wipe it off but often use their sleeve or bare hand.  Ollie didn’t even do that. He just let it flow into his mouth.  Ollie didn’t seems to mind.

It was so gross.

For the first half of the day, I just kept wiping his nose every couple minutes. The problem with that was that Ollie finds tissues and baby wipes fascinating and wanted to play with them after I had used them. My solution was to just have him wear a bib, all of the time. I could just reach over flip it up to wipe his nose and let him crawl away.

How long do you think it takes for a bib to become completely soaked with a baby’s running nose? An hour? Half an hour? Try ten minutes. This thing was soaked. I could have wrung it out and gotten mucous coming out of this thing. EWWW!!!

Then the poo got weird. Lucky for us, Ollie had a good appetite throughout his sickness but there was weird stuff going on downstairs.

There are people, God bless them, who don’t mind cleaning up after strangers they don’t know. I don’t know if I could ever do that kind of job. What is it that makes us okay cleaning up gross bodily liquids for people we care about? Yes, it grosses me out to clean up after Buffy when she poos or worse vomits, but I don’t hesitate to do it. The same thing is true for Ollie. Part of you cares about the grossness but most of you focuses on just taking care of someone that you love.

The worst part about Ollie being sick was that he wasn’t himself. He was just tired and seemed like he had a headache. His eyes didn’t sparkle like they usually did. While I found it cute that he wanted extra cuddles, it made me concerned to see him need this extra comfort. The grossness of the mucous was unpleasant but the sadness in his eyes was close to heartbreaking.

Within a couple days Ollie was feeling a lot better. He was crawling at lightning fast speeds and giggling at every little thing.

Croup with Ollie was not fun, but we got through it. There are things that are far worse than a running nose and a gross diaper.

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