One advantage to having more than one kid is that as soon as you become overly obsessed about one of their problems, another kid develops an emergent need that demands your attention. It might seem like chaos, but it’s actually refreshing perspective.
For example, just last weekend I was hovering over my oldest child through his stomach bug ordeal. When his symptoms didn’t improve after more than 30 hours of not eating, I began to search the internet for whatever unique medical disorder he might surely be dying of. By Monday I had exhausted all possibilities, but just in time my daughter’s preschool teacher stepped in and casually mentioned she might need to be tested for autism. Nice! Now that I had something else to fret over, my son’s stomach issues magically evaporated from my mind.
I spent several hours pondering the likelihood of having two neurologically challenged children, and then debunked the autism theory when I noticed my daughter only acts strange in her preschool class. It’s like she’s auditioning for the weird kid role while she’s there, and then turns into her usual bubbly, silly self as soon as she clears the door. Crisis averted…and just in time because when I pick up middle son, he announces that his neck is killing him. Last time his neck was sore, it turned into a marathon nightmare of “might be meningitis, but maybe just strep” which luckily ended with an antibiotic and not a lumbar puncture.
So, I spend a few days wondering if he’s just crying wolf or if I should call the doctor. And I was poised on just that thought this morning when out of the blue–my oldest son gets up from his bowl of oatmeal, walks into the hall and throws up all over my foyer. Ah Ha! Just what I needed to take my mind off my middle son and his phantom neck ache. It just happens to be a work day for me, with two client projects and a morning meeting, so I juggled around all the schedules, scheduled a doctor visit, prepared the non-sick siblings for school, and most importantly kissed my wonderful husband for offering to call a sub and stay with the sick one.
All this chaos is a good thing, though. It will remind me not to complain of boredom when I’m stuck here alone with nothing to do but clean the house and blog. 🙂