Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rule #7: Accidents Will Happen

Rule #7 is all about a mother's responsibility to be prepared when her child has an accident or becomes ill.  I was surprised that the article didn't chastise mothers for not foreseeing and anticipating accidents/sicknesses before they occur.  My favorite little nugget of advice from this chapter was, "When your medicine chest doesn't provide relief, a little nip of whiskey should do the trick...for you, if not for them!"

I think most parents live in fear of DHS these days.  I don't recall going to the doctor very much as a child.  When I had a sore throat or chest cold, my mother followed the advice above and admistered a little whiskey, sometimes mixed with honey and lemon.  That seemed to do the trick.  She also used several other backcountry remedies (green walnut shell for ringworms, tobacco for a wasp sting, etc.) Today, many parents are terrified that someone will report them to DHS if they don't drag their kids back and forth to the pediatrician at least twice per month over the silliest of ailments.  We seldom give an illness time to run its course anymore (which is why many common strains are immune to antibiotics).

Aside from this fear of being reported as a bad parent, I think a lot of the parenting principles in place today are founded on guilt and peer pressure.  At daycare drop-off this morning, Lucy's mom mentioned that Lucy would be getting tubes in her ears; Jimmy's dad reported that his little man was being fitted for leg braces because his feet turn in a little; at 18 months, baby Anna is being treated for allergies.  The stories never end!  As humans, can we really be contracting more illnesses than we did 30 years ago?

Anyway, accidents WILL happen.  Children WILL get sick.  In most cases, they will survive.  The teenager suffered a broken arm the first time she put on roller shoes a few years back.  A few months later she skated down a steep hill on her razor scooter (no safety gear), destroying her face, elbow, and right knee.  We picked her up, dusted her off, waited a little while so as to better assess the seriousness of the situation, and then as parents decided about the need for a doctor/ER visit.  She is fine and dandy today.

The baby seems to catch every virus and cold that runs through her class at daycare.  We give it a few days and she doesn't begin to improve, we make an appointment with the pediatrician.  Nine times out of ten, she is better in a couple of days.  Don't misinterpret this and report me to DHS.  If she has a high fever or serious symptoms, we call immediately.  I'm just referring to coughs, colds, and tummy aches.

In the end, Mommy (or Daddy) must make the call.  It is sometimes better to err on the side of caution.

Now back to that nip of whiskey...

1 comment:

  1. When my kids were young, my pediatrician would question every bruise, bump, or scrape. He would totally ask them how they got it. They would just say, "I don't know." It really pissed me off like he was accusing me of beating my kids. I agree with your post completely. Let your kids be sick and treat the serious things. My sister-in-law was always paranoid about germs and scrubbed her house all the time. Did that help her four kids? No! The were sick all the time. That led to my belief that it's OK to let the house go every once in a while. :) Clearly you are a GOOD mom!!!