Fatherhood

Fatherhood: Boogers & Boo Boos

Daycare has been an adventure to say the least. As previously reported, the little guy sailed through the first week without issue. The maligned daycare germs didn’t affect him outside of a stuffy nose.

Then…week two started. Those vaunted daycare devils were waiting to hit my boy full force. They attacked him like they needed to make up for lost time. By the middle of the second week, young fella had ear infections on both sides and a cough you wouldn’t believe. My man couldn’t even sleep because he was so congested. Of course, being first time parents, we felt every cough and sneeze as if it were our sickness to bear. We were as miserable as he was. Feeding him was difficult, and the “there isn’t a whole lot you can do” prognoses from the pediatrician only compounded our hopelessness. Though we fully understood successive sick days are an inevitable necessity to building an immune system that will protect him in the future, it doesn’t make him suck any less; specifically, when there is nothing you, as a parent, can do. Also, six consecutive weeks of having to use NoseFreida seemed a bit much.

Six doctor visits, three antibiotics, two flu shots, and numerous home remedy attempts later, he seems to be on the tail end of this ear infection nonsense. However, mucus buildup is still an issue. Luckily, it appears that allergies may be the culprit, and his mother was able to brew up a natural concoction that has helped his coughing tremendously. Needless to say, our household has flowed back into a sense of normalcy, and our son is as close to 100% as he’s been in months. NoseFreida has become a verb in our daily routine, but we can finally see a finish line

During this vicious war with daycare germs, I also received a call from his daycare one ominous day. Since I did not have the number saved (the idiocy of being a first time Father), I didn’t answer…twice. Come to find out, little man had bumped his head at daycare. It was nothing serious, but enough to prompt a band-aid, phone call, and me reviewing tape of the incident. Thankfully, only a scrape resulted, and our son is a pretty tough dude.

Few things will stress the differences between individuals more than raising a child. My wife and I had completely different reactions to the head bump and the sicknesses. Neither more wrong or right than the other. Just different. The difficulty, as with marriage in general, is that you are both coming into this thing with different upbringing, experiences, and ways of thinking. Therefore, your ideas of what should take place won’t always align. In fact, things that one may believe to be obvious or an automatic may not even be a thought to the other. We obviously both want the absolute best for him, and think that our best methodology in the best approach in most situations.

This was yet another example of the journey of fathering a son is a constantly learning how to balance love and affection with the “you aight”, tough love programming that is necessary to survive the world. Without realizing it, I resorted to the latter in both instances with my son. A far cry from my previous smothering tendency. I guess my faith in his security runs congruent to his increasing mobility, which is ironically less logical seeing the very fact that he can move more presents a daily set of brand new dangers. With him now being able to recognize me, there is a responsibility to show him effective responses to events. I am also obligated to let him live through discomfort if it is deemed necessary for his ultimate growth.  For now, those events include falls and stuffy noses. No telling how those boogers and boo boos will present themselves in the future. My goal, for both my wife and I, is that he is ready. THAT, we agree on without debate.