Parenting Basics Like ‘How To Calm A Sick Toddler’ Elude Me

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shutterstock_131889815__1383576503_142.196.156.251I’ve been a mom for three years now and I still feel like I’m missing some of the basics. Okay, a lot of the basics; I feel like I’m missing a lot of the basics. Case in point: my sick toddler. How the heck do you deal with a sick toddler?

Sick babies are awful. But when they’re infants, all you have to do is keep them on a steady stream of infant’s tylenol, use a nasal aspirator, and flip on the humidifier. With toddlers, I’m finding it’s a whole different story. All of my go-to sick moves aren’t working. This sucks.

Maybe it’s because my child has only been sick a handful of times. Now that we’ve moved and I have him in Gymboree and daycare at the Gym – he’s around little germ factories more. He’s had two pretty bad colds in the past three months. This one started with a cough that just got worse and worse. Which led to crying. Which led to vomiting. Fun times!

Did you know that when a toddler coughs really hard it can initiate his gag reflex? Yup. I know this now, because I spent the whole weekend frantically checking Dr. Google to make sure all of the things I’m seeing in my child are normal. Did you also know that no one has invented something to help you keep up with a toddler’s runny nose? Your only option is basically to follow him around the house with a tissue – or let him wipe his own nose on everything from the couch, to your face, to his little sister.

It’s almost impossible to get a toddler to take medicine of any kind. I thought I had my son tricked yesterday. We have some Monster’s Inc. chewy vitamins he loves, and he’s obsessed with the bottle. I filled a tiny cup with berry-flavored children’s Advil yesterday and tried to trick him into thinking it was “monster juice.” He took a sip then poured the rest over his pudding cup and handed it to me.

I’m not sure what’s worse – my toddler who I can’t seem to help, or my husband who insists we go to the doctor every, single time said toddler gets sick. We’ve already been to the urgent care clinic this weekend – on Saturday night. They listened to my son’s lungs and looked into his nose, eyes and ears and basically told us what we already know; he has an upper respiratory infection and needs some rest. Two days later and he’s still getting over his cough, obviously. My husband is convinced we need to go back to the doctor today.

Ugh. I need a “Parenting Basics 101” class. At the very least I need someone to invent a robot or something to follow my kid around and wipe his nose.

(photo: DeVisu/ Shutterstock)