Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sometimes sharing isn't nice
You know, there's a very good reason it's recommended that families practice fire drills or emergency situations before they're faced with the real deal. The more you practice your actions, the less stressful the situation will be, the more prepared you will feel & the less thought it will take. It's too bad that there aren't family drama drills that can be practiced. There's so much that can happen, so many things that can go wrong, it's almost impossible to prepare for what may happen. I hate that we have to experience a situation & learn from it so that it won't happen again. I wish we could prepare for every situation that may come our way.

Last night we went over to Aunt Ju-Ju's for a turkey dinner that Grandma L made. Logan was pretty excited to play with Cousin B & his new birthday toys & we were looking forward to a "thanksgiving" dinner. We got there & got settled in. Carter was asleep, so I left him in the car seat all snug & tucked away. I was talking with Aunt Ju-Ju while Cousin B played with his toys & everyone else was upstairs. She began talking about how Cousin B had been fighting a fever ever since Sunday at his birthday party & they took him to the doctor that day because he had spiked a fever with a temperature of 104 at 1:30 earlier that morning. The doctor told them it was some kind of virus & that there wasn't much they could do. They were also told that fevers were treatable at home if they were less than 105. She shrugged her shoulders & said that she was pretty sure his fever was from teething & that he was getting a cold on top of it. She's telling me this with my NEWBORN BABY SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME JUST FEET AWAY FROM HER SICK KID.

I don't know if it's common knowledge (common courtesy, maybe?) with other parents in the world, but with my friends, playgroups, day cares, or any place that my kids play or stay at - if anyone is sick, they stay home & plans are canceled. Being sick means anything coming out from their noses, coughing & especially fevers (puking goes without saying. Well, at least for those with common sense). Fevers are something serious enough to rearrange plans for because a kid is CONTAGIOUS when they have a fever. Also, fevers happen as a natural response to the body fighting infection - not from teething!

After hearing this delayed important information from Aunt Ju-Ju who obviously didn't seem to care that my kids, & most importantly, my BABY could get sick, the rest of the family came down to play with the kids with us. As Cousin B was coughing up a lung & Grandma L & Aunt Ju-Ju were talking about the last time he had some medicine, I gave Bill the Oh My God, I have to talk to you but everyone is right here & I'm not leaving our baby alone, look. Grandma L asked me if Logan had a hard time getting his second year molars. I told her that he didn't, I didn't even know when he got them & he certainly never got a fever from teething. My kids only get fevers when they are sick. She didn't look too happy with that answer. The minute everyone left to go set the table, Bill & I hung back & I told him what was up.

Now, what we should have done was pack up the kids & left. But, because we've never discussed this scenario before, or practiced our family drama drill, we stayed. We really were put between a rock & a hard place because leaving right away would have caused a massive meltdown from Logan, but staying increased the risk of someone in our family getting sick & we all know how illness spreads like wildfire in a household. I did the next best thing & kept Carter in his car seat, pulled the "bundle me" cover up around him & pulled down the canopy so he was pretty much out of sight & quarantined. Cousin B kept trying to go look at him & poke at him, so I kept the car seat by my feet or at my side the entire night to ward off potential germ infestations. I made Logan wash his hands too.

We stayed for dinner & a little bit afterward. While the kids ran around & the adults watched the debates, I nursed Carter under a blanket so we could get ready to go. I put him back in the car seat & Bill wrangled Logan. The grandparents came over to longingly look at Carter, to which I replied, "Yeah, he's quarantined in there. Too bad we're in a sick house, otherwise he would have come out". I was met without response & blank stares. It's the typical family response - pretend that nothing is wrong.

We left & on the drive home Bill & I talked about what happened. I told him how selfish it was for the family to do that. He agreed. I told him that if that situation should ever happen again, we're leaving. He thought that was a good idea too. So, at least we feel the same way & with two more babies in the family, I'm sure were bound to come across this situation again. Unfortunately.

Now let's hope that nobody in our family gets sick. Especially Carter. Heads are going to roll if he does.


Alicia Seevers said...

That's horrible! My IL's do crap like that all the time and it totally pisses me off! If you rkid is sick you need to notify others with small children so they can make the choice if they want to come or if it's your kid that is sick one parent stays home and the other can go. That sucks, I'm sorry!

Erin said...

I cannot believe she didn't mention that to you all before you went over. Like a heads up, you may not want to come because he's had a fever, sort of thing... I've never come across someone so inconsiderate, even within my family. Carter is only a month old, don't they know that what doesn't seem like much to a toddler could get him much sicker?? Hailey had to be admitted to the hospital when she was 2 months old because of a high fever and rash. You don't get fevers from teething, goodness, especially one that high! You're a better person than I, I think I would have had to pack up and leave right then and there regardless of whose feelings I was going to hurt.

Kristin said...

Erin, that's exactly what I should have done. But I didn't know if Bill was going to feel the same way & we were so unprepared to deal with the situation, I didn't want to cause a scene.

Really, Bill has been so much better with backing me up when it comes to issues with his family, I should have trusted that he would understand & I should have told him that we were leaving.

Hindsight is 20/20, I guess. At least we know what we're going to do the next time this happens. Plus, I know that I can talk to Bill about an issue the minute it's going on rather than second guessing myself & the moment at hand.

This makes me feel better about other unpredictable situations that may arise. I just have to be better about putting actions behind my words (or thoughts).

Sassy Sarah said...

How incredibly inconsiderate!

I can't believe what these people have put you through. It's so sad, really. Family should be the people that love you the most and look out for your well-being.

It must be so disappointing to have a new baby that you want to show off and feel that you can't because someone is going to take advantage of the situation.

I refuse to see new babies if I even have so much as a headache. I'm always terrified that I'm going to pass some sort of germ!

Sending good wishes that no one gets sick!

Dawn B said...

Totally agreeing with you here. And get this- a month or so ago when we here all had that nasty stomach flu..well..the day before James got really sick we were over his cousins' place playing. I felt so horrible because one of the first things I thought was, "oh my god they just saw Ethan and little Katie today!!" (Katie is 15 months old and Ethan is about 2 1/2). I called up their mom and told her about James being sick and all. And Ethan ended up getting it about a week later. But only Ethan. I felt so bad. So being on the accidental side of it- spreading our nasty germs- makes me realize even more how quickly germs pass. What really sucks is that these kids and all of us spread these germs without even knowing we're sick.
Now, with fevers and teething...maaaaaybe a lowgrade one (both the kids here had mild fevers with teething but nothing to worry about)..but a high fever? Yeah, like you said, that's something way different. I hope you all stay nice and healthy!!! Welcome to cold and flu season! *sighs* I hate this time of year... lol

girl from florida said...

Oh my gosh I would have been LIVID!! Like seething and foaming at the mouth. How inconsiderate of them. You handled it very well (because really, y'all were already pretty exposed by that point, I'm sure) and maybe your "sick house" comment made them think. (Hopefully it did, anyway). So are you guys OK? Is anyone feeling sick?