I've always considered myself a pretty healthy person. I was never really sick growing up and probably only missed a day or two of work in my life due to actual sickness (I will admit that there were some feigned "sick days" that just happened to coincide with a vacation or a long weekend, but we can talk about that some other time). So I just really found it hard to believe that the average child gets 8-10 colds a year. That HAD to be a misprint. I was sure this average was just ratcheted up by all the hypochondriac mothers out there who said their child was sick if he sneezed once or was running a "fever" of 98.7 degrees. Now, after almost 2 years, I can say that yes, the statistic is true. I never knew so much snot, mucus, and bodily fluids could fill my life on an annual basis, but they do.
Our whole family was sick (minus Matt - how did he get so lucky?) this past week. Our kids really do get about a cold a month. When they were very young, they never got sick. Of course this was mostly due to the fact that we didn't go ANYWHERE. It was too hard to take them all out and we were advised to keep them away from crowds until they were 5 months old. This is the bad part about having a child, much less preemie multiples, born during flu season. So even though I was going stir crazy those 5 months, I at least felt like a good mom because MY kids weren't getting the requisite amount of colds a year. Way to go me (or so I thought).
The first sickness the triplets actually got wasn't even the common cold, it was a stomach virus. Let me tell you what a joy that was. Four days of crying babies who threw up after every bottle they ate didn't exactly fit the definition of fun in my book. After a day of constantly cleaning carpets, our entire house was covered with towels so that when the babies upchucked their meal, it had somewhere to go. It literally looked like each baby had a landing strip of towels in front of him/her while we were sitting them up to burp. Projectile vomit can really go a far distance and we needed a landing strip to catch it all. I still have visions of my husband feeding our daughter and periodically running to the kitchen so she could throw up on the tile. Then he would come back and feed her some more until she needed to relive herself on the kitchen floor again. His logic was that it was easier to clean the tile instead of towels or carpets. When you are inundated with that much throw up in a short time, you just go for whatever is the easiest to clean. By the end of the week we were doing about 4 loads of laundry a day and just resorted to leaving the babies in their diapers all day because it was easier than changing their outfits every hour.
But back to our friend, Mr. 8-10 Times a Year Common Cold. It's worse when I have a cold at the same time as the kids because who feels like wiping snotty noses when your nose is red and raw from all the wiping yourself? However, this is when our case of Kleenex from Costco really comes in handy. We must have ripped through a box of tissues a day this week and depleted our entire supply without batting an eye. There are other disadvantages/benefits to having a cold yourself while your kids are sick. One disadvantage if that you cannot smell your food. I think the last four dinners I have eaten have all tasted the same, just had different textures. A benefit to this though is that I cannot smell any poopy diapers. It's nice to not smell poop for a week! But this also means that my kids can sometimes go a couple hours until I realize that they need to be changed ... oops! At least they are getting better at telling me they need to be changed, but we have definitely had some diaper rash this week.
Peyton is the only one who had to go to the doctor because she took a little longer to recover. Turns out she had ear infections and needed to use a nebulizer due to a lot of wheezing. Sadly, my children already hate the doctor. She cried when we walked back to the examining room and when the doctor walked in the room. At one point he said, "Is she crying because of me?". Um, what do you think Mr. M.D? No, I'm sure she's not crying at you, the man who has stuck her 27 times with needles in her short little life, I'm sure that's not it! Of course she is crying at you! Are you sure you are a real pediatrician? They must have taught you in Pediatrician 101 that if you stick a child with a needle enough times, she WILL cry upon seeing you. I think this guy needed some more training.
Here's the dreaded nebulizer. I think it's funny how they try to make it all cutesy to look like an elephant. Do they really think that will make a kid want to wear this thing? Personally, I think it would freak a child out more to think there was an elephant sitting on her face instead of just a plastic mask. But, I guess that's why I don't work for the nebulizer design team.
But, overall, we are on the mend. We are always a little hesitant about going out again once everyone is well because it would be our worst nightmare to have everyone get sick all over again a few days later. So we will spend our few days in captivity until we go just crazy enough that we decide we HAVE to get out of here and do something. And then, once the visions of rivers of snot have faded from my memory, someone will start sneezing and the cycle is bound to start all over again. I can only hope that next sickness just requires some tissues and not runways of towels ... but I have a load of freshly laundered "landing strips" ready to go just in case.