Few things can prepare you for a child of your own better than caring for a child who is sick. Circumstances dictated that Michelle and I were afforded just such an opportunity. Michelle’s sister and brother in law both had to be out of town for different reasons, and they had asked and we happiuly volunteered to take care of their two kids while they were away. The youngest has been running a fever and has been congested all week. As Thursday approached Gene (his dad) did not want to leave town and leave a sick child in our care. Kudos to you Gene for being a loving father, but thanks also for giving us a chance to see the side of parenting that isn’t the kind you see in scrapbooks. The poor little guy was running a high fever, and Michelle had been assisting Gene all week to enable him to put in a partial day at work. Deb has been out of town since Monday. The little guy had been to the doctor, and the doc said it was just a cold. Michelle and I felt like we were perfectly capable of giving him children’s Tylenol and monitoring his temp, etc, so Gene went on his trip. Michelle and I had our first real exposure to a child that was just flat out unhappy. We attempted to console him and get him to settle down and go to sleep at our house, but he was having none of it. Michelle finally made the call that she would take both kids back to their own home and see if familiar surroundings would be the tonic that soothed the unhappy child. It must be a maternal instinct or something, because it worked. Michelle slept on the couch, I stayed at home to tend to the 4 legged family members, and it all worked out. Of course both she and I are bleary eyed today, but we survived the test. To you who have done it many times before I’m sure this seems a stupid thing to write about, and you may be right. But hey, it was a first for us, and I think we handled it pretty well. I’m including a picture of the little guy in a moment of contentment earlier in the evening. There is just something magical about having a child you love fall asleep on you. It is truly one of life’s great pleasures.
Real world testing.