I have two kids who can’t blow their nose. I have tried every way I can think if to teach them, I even Googled ‘how to teach your kids to blow their nose’ and nothing. The snot just drips down their face until I notice it or they ask for a tissue. The ability to blow ones nose is, after the last two weeks of our lives, a milestone I am truly looking forward to.
Two weekends ago it started with Jordan, a mild clear snotty nose with the occasional sneeze. She was the happy playful toddler I am use to, by Monday morning that had changed. The stuffy runny nose had intensified, she was coughing a wet cough and had a mild fever. By now she was no longer my playful Jordan, she just wanted to be held, and had no interest in her toys. No school for Jordan. And since the girls have never been apart for more than an hour or so, Talia stayed home too.
I didn’t find any benefit in testing their independence this week. For three days the symptoms continued, the stuffy runny nose caused the cough, it was worse at night. The difficulty to breath left me with a toddler sleeping in my bed, tossing and turning, crying and coughing. Jordan spent several hours these nights watching curious George on the iPad while I slept next to her.
The fever stayed low, but persistent. I alternated giving her allergy medicine to help with the runny nose, homeopathic cough medicine, which I’m not sure does much good and homeopathic cold tablets, which I truly believe if given with the correct consistency do help improve cold symptoms. The reality of the situation is colds are a nuisance, there is not much that can be done to fix them, you just have to wait it out. But I know that being able to blow out the boogies from a badly stuffed up nose makes a world of difference.
On Thursday, without much improvement, I decided it was time to see the doctor. Turns out a bad cold with a low fever = ear infection, two to be precise, one in each ear. Wow, I feel like a bad parent for letting it get so bad. The next day the cough and runny nose cought up with Talia, and by Monday she had also maintained a low fever for several days, so back to the doctor they went. Talia also had an ear infection, because I cought it earlier it wasn’t as bad. Now both girls were on twice a day amoxicillin.
The doctor who saw Talia let us know that Publix pharmacy provides the generic amoxicillin free of charge. Apparently free prescriptions for kids is a fairly common occurrence for pharmacies. You should check with your pharmacy to see if they offer this benefit to their customers.
The following Wednesday both girls were fever free for +24hours so it was back to school. The cough and an on off runny nose persist, but I guess that’s just par for the course of being a toddler in the winter.
All I can do is try to be more germ vigilant, and hope that the worst of the winter sicknesses have come and gone for our family.
I have a reader out there who also happens to be a neighbor and have twins. I’ve met her only once while on a walk with her family but she told me about a great baby night nurse that helped her and her husband get their newborns on a schedule. Since meeting her I’ve met half a dozen new moms and moms-to-be that have asked me for a night nurse recommendation. If you are my neighbor will you please comment with your night nurses info so I can pass it along! Thank you!
New moms and pregnant women are always asking me questions about my pregnancy and how I mange the day to day and specific issues of caring for babies and toddlers. Maybe having two makes me appear to be an automatic expert, maybe they like how they see my kids behaving, or maybe the candy coating I put on top of my answer to the question ‘what’s it like having two?’ makes others want to follow suit.
Being pregnant again with two little ones in tow has sparked many a conversation lately about finding a rhythm. I am a big believer in routine and rhythm. For us it has and continues to be the only way that my husband and I get the relaxation and sleep we need to be good parents. Every time we divert from the routine we pay for it in the form of an afternoon with no naps or an interrupted nights sleep.
Even with the bad that comes from a broken schedual, we still do it every now and then because life dosent always cooperate with schedules.
My wise older sister gave me a great way to think about schedule and routines, be flexible, like a rubber band. Have a routine, use it and stick to it, but be confident that if you stretch from the regular routine you can bounce right back into it or it may change slightly as your child grows.
There is so much info out there on what is the right or best way to care for your babies. Through my first experience with newborns I found the weekly emails sent to me by babycenter.com, whattoexpect.com and enfamil.com were very helpful. By registering on these sites I received emails with information relevant to the development of my girls on a weekly basis. As I sit in the doctors waiting room writing this I heard on the health tv of a text alert service with 3x weekly texts related to your babies developmental stage. I haven’t tried this service but it sounds super easy and plan to when baby #3 arrives. You can sign up easily by texting baby to 511411.
I also leaned heavily on my twin moms Facebook group for support and a large variety of ideas for coping and caring. One of the many things that nothing can prepare your for is the solitude of having a newborn. It is very challenging to get out and about with a newborn, often for a few months. As wonderful as it is the have the baby in your arms that you have waited so long for, it is a lot of work, around the clock, with not many extended stretches of sleep, little time to make hearty food and combine that with all the hormones the complete change in life from being about you to being completely about your baby can take a toll. It can feel lonley, frustrating, endless. Visitors helps but an hour or two fly by in a blink. When it seem like an impossible task remind yourself that this too shall pass, it will get easier. There will be new challenges but there will also be rewards, the first time your hear ‘mama’, when they learn to hug you back, when they finish the sentences in their favorite book.
There is no right way to parent, babies and children are flexible, you have to do what works for you. Listen to the advise and suggestions of those who have been down the road before you, try what you want, don’t be afraid to try something else, and remember that as babies grow their needs change, be open to the change. And google is always there to help!
We had a family of friends over for dinner whom had us at their home the day before for their daughters birthday party. She is just a few weeks younger than the girls. Talia was having a fit when our guest started playing with a stuffed doggy that actually belong to Jordan but had been with her all day. Through the whining and tears I explained to her that when we were at Livia’s house all the toys she played with belong to Livia and she didn’t get upset with Talia playing with them. I reminded her of a few specific toys that she had played with. She looked at me, stopped crying and went on with life. I am so proud of my girls for remembering the things they do and starting to be able to understand how these acts relate to one another. I learned from my sister, who has older children, that reasoning with a toddler is a useless task, but it is still important to teach and explain to them why things are they way they are, hence my little lesson on sharing. Had she continued her little tirade I would have just ignored her and she would have gotten over it sooner or later, but she understood me and moved on. They are such good girls.