Thursday, September 23, 2010

How To Build a Nest

Mollie writes:

A friend of mine has a tummy ache, and I'd take her chicken soup but she lives 200 miles away.  When my kids were small and the "bug' struck, distance wasn't a problem - I could chicken noodle 'em until their eyes popped out, but that was years ago.  These days, when they are sick, they depend on others to nurse them through it all.  But it sure brought back memories.

When their tummies were upset, we used a diet that was called the BRAT diet, meaning I fed them bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.  That would usually calm down their tummies until whatever beastie that afflicted them passed.  When they were running fevers, I gave them cool baths, tylenol, and let them sleep in their underwear.  And when they were congested, we'd vacuum their noses with the dreaded blue bulb syringe, used a cold air humidifier and cut off dairy products until the bug passed.

Another thing I'd do is build a nest.  I'd get their baby blankies, a bowl, video games, video movies (thank you, God, for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and books.  Then I'd take them downstairs to the family room and settle them in the recliner or a bean bag chair.  With pillows, the nest was complete.

I'd use the beanbag chair when they were throwing up because it was vinyl and easily cleaned.  When they had fevers, I'd use the recliner since it was fabric and 'breathed' enough to keep them from getting sweaty and elevating their fevers.

We'd put a microwave oven in the family room, so I could make them ramen soup, and had a refrigerator in the garage to keep cold drinks in.  Then we'd watch videos, play games, etc. and not have to take the stairs 50 times a day to keep them hydrated.

If they ran fevers for more than 24 hours, or, in the case of my febrile seizure baby, ran a temp higher that 103.9, I'd call the pediatrician's office.  But since taking them in only promoted the spread of our virus and exposed my guys to other's viruses, I'd try to avoid dragging them to the pediatrician's office.

At some point, my kids' immune systems leveled out and they could get bugs without spiking fevers or developing secondary infections.  But the early years were a challenge - with a preemie and a seizure prone kid, sometimes our lives would shut down for days while we managed medications and care.

And managing medications, especially antibiotics, was another challenge.  Giving a teaspoon of the latest antibiotic every 4 hours guaranteed that neither mom nor dad would have a full night's sleep.  And the routine of refilling the humidifier, sucking snot with the syringe or giving cool baths also ate into sleep, especially when my husband was out of town.

It would be nice to sleep the night through, but just about the time the kids were able to fight infections without a fuss, my sleeping habits were challenged by "the change of life."  I did have a few years of good sleep, but a word to the wise, once the baby is home, there's no guarantee you'll ever sleep an entire night through again.

Which begs the question . . . when does Mommy get a nest?  


  1. This raises an interesting question for me; what do you two think of the whole "Jenny McCarthy thinks vaccinations gave her son autism" thing? Is there any credibility to that theory, like, at ALL?

  2. That's a HUGE question, especially since my nephew is autistic. Let me think about it - also, I'm sure Millie has thoughts as well

  3. Sorry, I just read "Jenny McCarthy thinks," which assumes facts not in evidence. Yes, drug safety matters. No, molecular biology claims from a professional ditz do not count. Those with the discipline to apply the scientific method and clinical double-blind studies have made enormous progress against devastating illness, and continue to do so.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.