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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Down Home: When my kids were little, a cold was a cold

  • New rules, new gadgets and new mothers loaded with more information than they could possibly need, can cause an old grandma to repeat herself.
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  • New rules, new gadgets and new mothers loaded with more information than they could possibly need, can cause an old grandma to repeat herself.
    "When my kids were little," keeps coming out of my mouth over the past three months as I try to learn something I thought I already knew.
    When my kids were little, the instruction manual said to feed the baby, change the diaper and hope for the best. New mothers are now armed with so much information on how much the baby should eat, sleep, poop and pee, they have to keep a journal just to keep track, to make sure the baby is on track. Back in my time, as long as I didn't poke the baby with the pin getting the diaper on or forget to boil the bottles to sterilize them, it was a good day.
    The three-month-old grandson caught a cold, which I could have told the hysterical daughter would happen when he started daycare. The kid came home, on more than one occasion, with someone else's pacifier. It just happens. I worked too, when my kids were little, so I get it.
    Nowadays when babies get a cold it's has a fancier name – RSV. Everyone knows long names, abbreviated with three initials, sound a lot scarier – IRS, FBI, CIA. What's wrong with just a plain ole' cold?
    Eventually he started running a fever. Actually the word eventually is an understatement. With her digital thermometer, which calculates the babies' fever in seconds, just by pressing it onto his forehead, she knew immediately a temperature was developing. I'm surprised the doctor, when looking in his ears to diagnose an ear infection as well, didn't say anything about the indention the kid had on his forehead from having his temperature taken every three minutes.
    When my kids were little and they had a chest cold we'd sit in a steamy bathroom. Apparently we all were idiots, because now it's supposed to be cold steam, like a humidifier and you have to be sure to clean the filters often so it doesn't spew mold into the air. It's a wonder any of us made it past infancy without all this new information.
    Well on his road to recovery, his parents asked if I would watch him for a couple of half days so they could go back to work. I didn't have any problem with the "regular" baby stuff but did manage to get his leg stuck inside of the fancy walker (now they call them exer-saucers). I thought everything was OK until he kept grunting at me and I realized only one of his legs were sticking out the bottom of the contraption..
    My instructions were to put him in the rock and play, basically a bassinette, but now they're ergonomically correct (again, another thing we had all wrong). Routine is key, so they say, but to heck with that when grandma's on watch, so he slept in my lap during naptime, which I might add, was whenever he felt like it.
    Page 2 of 2 - Within two days I managed to mess up his sleeping schedule (confusing his days and nights could have happened on anyone's watch) and made their dog sick (they said not to feed him scraps but he really wanted the last couple bites of my cream filled Ho Ho.)
    When my kids were little, my mom was the backup babysitter. It's a privilege to continue the magical medicine of getting well with grandma.
    Sandy Turner lives in the Kansas City area.
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