I’ve had a weird 36-hour fever that has no other symptoms than just an incredible feeling of blaaargh. (That’s a medical term. Look it up.) Every time I’m sick I think of my Dad. He wasn’t a poster-board Dad for your typical Parenting Magazine things, but when it came for caregiving when I was sick? He was Dr. Mom. He spared no ounce of sympathy and pampering. Granted, I didn’t get sick often, but when I did? He was AWESOME. I was plagued with headaches as a child and he would rub my head until I’d fall asleep. The sickest I guess I ever was, was in high school and he was worried he wouldn’t hear me if I needed him in the middle of the night so he gave me a jar of nails to throw out of my bedroom and into the living room so he could hear me and come running. I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, and he was still pampering me when I was sick.
I’m not the best caregiver when my kids are sick. I have my good moments, but they are not at ALL consistent. If I’m not rested, or if I’m stressed, I might sometimes say things like, “OH MY GOD…GET OVER IT ALREADY…You’re being a giant baby. Jeezus.”
Dad would not be impressed. Especially when they really were babies.
Other times I’m great. I give midnight leg rubs when Wes gets growing pains. I put in movies and bring refills of fluids. I brush hair and give warm baths. I’m good about 3 out of 5 times. Not as consistent as my Dad, but I figure it balances out in the end since I’m not as against playdates or sleepovers as he was. Also, we have heat and air in our house…that’s gotta make up for a little bit of illness impatience, right?
Either way…when I’m sick? I miss him. Even when he was alive I would kinda longingly wish for his care. Hell, even when my kids were sick I would longingly wish he’d care for them. Especially on the days I’m saying such consoling things like, “SUCK IT UP, You’re NOT dying.”
He would be so proud of me.
3 thoughts on “Like Father Like…Nope. Nevermind.”
Your dad was awesome!!! He had the sweetest smile… Glad you are feeling better!!
Yeah, I’m typically quite a good care giver, when there’s a fever or obvious signs of being sick, but once, my worst parental event ever perhaps, I disbelieved that my daughter had seriously injured her leg. She had stepped up onto the curb from the street and then just slowly fell forward. She didn’t trip, or tumble, she just sorta leaned forward and caught herself with her hands and then limped thereafter whining. Her father and I both were unimpressed, and we both believed she was just being a big faker. And she continued to whine so we assumed maybe she twisted her ankle so he and I carried her 70 lb body home the two blocks we had walked for dinner out at a Chinese restaurant.
I allowed her to stay home from school still not believing it was serious, there was no swelling or bruising but she continued to cry any time she tried to put weight on her leg. So eventually I did take her to the doctor. They xrayed and found that she had actually gotten a hairline fracture in the smaller of the two bones in her leg, which she would just need a walking cast for, and sent her home. Then two days later they called and said to bring her in, her leg needed to be in a full cast because it actually was broken in both bones. So yeah she really was in lots of pain, and I thought she was faking. And so it took almost two weeks for her to get into the cast and so she only wore it 4 weeks total.
She got out of her cast and into a brace just in time for Spring Break. So I allowed her to go outside and play. On her scooter…that she was allowed to go all of half a block on the sidewalk. And the boy that lived next door walked in front of her, so she swerved, the front tire got caught in a crack in the sidewalk and she tumbled over, caught herself with one arm and it broke. She came walking inside, holding her arm, and I swear it was an S shape. So this time I was SURE it was broken. She was also bleeding from the chin because that had gotten a chunk taken out of it.
So not only did I not believe her about a broken leg but I let her play wearing her leg brace on the second day of Spring Break, and she fell again and broke her arm. Do you know what happens when Spring Break comes in my area? All the doctors take their kids on vacation. There was only one orthopedic surgeon available and he could not fix her arm until Friday. She needed three pins in her wrist. And had to keep her twisted arm splinted from Tuesday afternoon when it happened until Friday morning when there was time to do the surgery. The surgery took all of 15 minutes, btw but the three days leading up to it were excruciating. Luckily the nurse from the ER let me know I could give her Ibuprofen with the Tylenol with codine the doctor had prescribed for the pain. And then after the surgery they warned me to expect the pain to be as bad as the first day again, but she could not have ibuprofen because of the fear of bleeding. I felt like such a bad parent through that experience. But how do you tell your child she can’t play during Spring Break?
I miss my Mom when I am sick or when I am really up to no good. When I was sick, even as a 40 year old I would go to her house and sleep in her bed, just for a nap, I would wake up and she would have all my favorite remedies for me. When she passed away, I wanted to buy her bed from the Estate, but my siblings threw it away. I was the only one that ever did that, so I guess it was just another evil thing that happened during that time.
I miss seeing pictures of your Dad and reading your stories, I remember reading your blog and coming up with my own scenario of what your dad did professionally. I imagined he was in the Air Force as an Engineer, retired and still worked as a engineer. Then I thought he must have been a collector of something really neat (or at least neat to me) like World War clocks or cans.
I am quite sure he is proud of you and how you parent, with all the rough edges… 😉