She Says… Happy as a Clam

Here’s how yesterday went down.

Knowing that Owen may have been fighting off a bug or teething (since he had a slight fever the day before), I took his temp in the morning. He had a SLIGHT fever (well below the threshold where daycare asks you to keep children at home), and he was acting happy as could be and didn’t have any other symptoms of illness. I gave him some infant Motrin to make him a little more comfortable (NOT to drug him and force daycare to take him when he was sick, as many commenters on yesterday’s post implied). When I dropped him off, I spoke to his teachers and explained the situation — that he had a slight fever the day before and that morning, but seemed completely unaffected by it. I wrote a note to ask them to please watch the fever and call me if it got any higher or if any other symptoms developed. I gave them my cell phone number so they could reach me even if I was in a meeting. I rushed to work and started working as hard as I could, knowing that I might need to go pick Owen up at any moment if things got worse.

At 1:30pm daycare called and said his temp was a little higher than the morning, but still not anything to worry about. He was happily cooing in the background during the call, and they said he was acting a little clingy, but “happy as a clam”. Happy as a clam and a low-grade fever does NOT warrant rushing home from work to go pick him up. At least not in my book.

They were about to put him down for another nap since he was rubbing his eyes, so I asked them to take his temp upon waking and let me know if it was higher or if he seemed uncomfortable. As soon as he woke up, they called to let me know it had spiked to a higher number. I IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT, shut my laptop and headed out the door to go pick him up. Ahem. Despite what some of the commenters on yesterday’s post might think I would do. Even with his elevated temp, Owen was still, as they called it, happy as a clam.

I ran into daycare to find him happily playing with one of the daycare teachers’ hair while she smiled at him and held him in her arms. Exactly what I would have been doing if I had rushed to pick him up earlier in the day. Or not sent him to daycare at all. Except this way, I got a lot of work done, and was in a really good place to be able to leave work and spend the entire day Friday and entire weekend with my baby 100%, and not thinking about the work I still needed to do.

We immediately went upstairs to the doctor (side note: choosing a doctor/daycare in the same building was one of the best decisions I ever made). The doctor confirmed the high temp and gave Owen some infant Motrin. She checked him out and confirmed that his ears were fine, his breathing was fine, his general gestalt was fine. He has a stuffy nose (that he has had since the first day he started daycare, no joke). Her best guess is that Owen is fighting a virus. Totally normal. And/or teething. Also totally normal. And for both of those things, you don’t do much else other than keep him on Motrin to keep him comfortable, and make sure the symptoms don’t get worse. Oh, and encourage him to eat and sleep as much as possible.

Exactly what daycare did yesterday. And exactly what I’m doing today. Just for the record, I think the decisions Benjamin and I made over the last few days were balanced, realistic, and exactly right for our family at this point in time. And Owen is still happy as a clam.

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32 responses to “She Says… Happy as a Clam

  1. Bless your heart dear, you shouldn’t have to defend your decisions that you make for YOUR child to people on here. If they don’t like what you do they don’t have to ready. I think you guys are great and do the very best you can…if not more. Keep up the good work guys and I really enjoy your blog :-)

  2. I agree-seems very reasonable to me!! Hope he feel better soon.

  3. While you don’t owe anyone an explanation, perhaps this post will get some people off your back. (Although, I kind of doubt it. Some people will always find something to criticize.)

    Keep your head held high, Kate, and have a great weekend! XOXO!

  4. What is up with your blog followers? I didn’t think a second thought about your last post except that it was funny. And I also wouldn’t go running to pick up Paisley for something silly! Kids always run fevers, have runny noses, etc. You’re a great mom, Kate!!!

  5. Here is the key: his fever, initially, was “well below the threshold where daycare asks you to keep children at home.” I got that from your first post and clearly others did not. My baby has not yet been sick when I’m at work, but I know I’ll act in a similar way. While I wouldn’t want her to stay at daycare if she’s sick enough to infect other kids or to be truly uncomfortable, I will trust her caregivers to let me know when I truly need to pick her up. Working moms have to make a lot of tough choices and I think it’s important to support one another.

  6. Wow! Express an opinion that doesn’t align with the parenting choices being made and watch yourself get called everything from a bitch to a someone who has nothing better to do than sit around judging other mothers. In my previous post (and yes, I’m still anonymous, which I guess is another cardinal sin and invalidates anything I have to say), I expressed surprise at this decision because I have faithfully read this blog for over a year now and in comparison to other parenting decisions, this seemed out of character for you. I also thought I was pretty clear that while I didn’t think it was the best decision for Owen, that he would be just fine. Just like Owen isn’t permanently harmed by your decision to to breastfeed or formula feed, he will also continue to thrive regardless if you give him homemade or jarred food, and Owen will be just fine if you sleep train or if you pick him up every time he cries. These are all topics that people are either going to agree or disagree on, and I didn’t realize that a dissenting opinion was not allowed to be expressed. I’m glad Owen is happy and that you were able to respond when you felt like he really needed your attention. I never implied that he was going to suffer untold misery and illness because he wasn’t picked up yesterday. I didn’t agree with how it was handled and tried to suggest a different way of looking at the situation. Now I know to read about your experience with parenthood and only comment when I think you made the best decision possible, thoughtful disagreement need not be expressed.

  7. Geez, this is why I stick to blabbing on about running a lot in my blog. :) The one time I mentioned that I let the baby cry in her crib was the only time I ever got a mean-spirited comment!

    I don’t think you have to defend your decisions, you are the one who is Owen’s mom and you’re there and have more info than us. Please don’t let stuff like yesterday’s post make you second guess what you put on the blog!

    My baby is 9 months old and to my knowledge, she has never run a fever. I wouldn’t know because I really, really don’t want to use the rectal thermometer on her. So, you are my hero for sucking it up and taking his temp all the time!

  8. There’s a difference between saying “I disagree with your decision, and I would have done it differently” and saying “You made the wrong decision.” I saw a lot of the latter type of comments yesterday (and some of the former as well). Voicing your opinion and constructive criticism are fine in a blog that is accessible to the public and accepts comments; however, personal attacks on the blogger might be overstepping the boundaries a bit.

    I’m glad Owen is happy, and, um, aren’t they supposed to take care of him at daycare? That is their job, and it sounds like they (and you) handled the situation just fine. Hope he’s feeling better soon!

  9. On your twitter follow up you wonder whatever happened to having an opinion and a creative voice. Reading this post over again, I was surprised at your careless writing specially if your blog is geared to other young modern parents. Your opinion as a responsible mother with a creative voice gets overshadowed by your jokingly remarks about spiked juices. It isn’t funny. Even though you claim we didn’t know the full story, what was written yesterday was a joke gone really bad. I am not sure if you fully comprehend the impact of your choice of words and whether you regret the outcome afterward. I think sometimes you don’t realize how public your comments are and that you should make sure you filter your opinions for public consumption. Maybe then an improved creative voice can be attained.

  10. First off, I read yesterday’s post (without reading the comments) and completely understood that it wasn’t an emergency situation. I likely would have likely made the same choice as Kate did. If your child isn’t feeling well, but does not have any symptoms to prevent him from going to, or staying at daycare, sometimes you just have to keep working. It doesn’t mean you are putting anything in front of your child’s health. It means that you are getting your job done to provide for your family and that when you do need to rush out to pick up your child, you are able to do so without a second thought.
    I have since read through the comments from yesterday, and some of them, yes I’m talking to you “Anonymous” among others, were extremely judgemental. Parenting is an area where there are conflicting views on every single possible topic, but to express those views in a polite and respectful way, the way you’d want an opposing view expressed to yourself, creates a supportive parenting environment that encourages healthy debate and reflection. Being judgemental, stating or alluding that a parent is neglecting her child, and saying that a parent is making a wrong decision or choice is just mean. And, in my opinion, the judgemental comments were far ruder than any reply comment that was posted.
    Kate and Ben, I love reading your blog. I’m going to be a mom in a few days and I love reading your posts about being working parents, balancing life and raising children, and the joys and challenges of parenthood.

  11. Glad Owen is feeling better.
    I agree with you, having daycare and the pediatrician close together is a huge plus. I didn’t know how great it was until the first time I got “that call” from daycare and little guy needed to go to the doctor.

  12. I think you made the right call…You’re a good parent, it is obvious. I don’t think you need to defend your choices! There will be dissenters in every crowd, some of them nicer and more reasonable than the rest, and the internet is a LARGE crowd. Keep raising your beautiful boy as you see fit!

  13. Well obviously I didn’t see anything wrong with your post yesterday (took it for what it was, I think–a little sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek), because I didn’t realize there was anything controversial about it until reading this! Daycares have rules about when kids need to be picked up for a reason, and you and they followed those rules, so what’s the problem? Owen was eating and sleeping fine, seemed comfortable, and was being well cared for by trained professionals. IMO, it was great of your daycare provider to give you the heads-up that something might be brewing, and I would have handled it the same way if it were my son. (unless I was having a boring day at work, then I would have used it as an excuse to leave early and go get him. :)

    Hope Owen is feeling better!

  14. It’s your blog. You can write whatever you want. If people don’t like it, they can stop reading. It’s a blog, people. There are millions of them out there.

  15. I didn’t read yesterday’s comments so I have no idea what went down there but as a working mom with an 8 month old in day care I thought yesterday’s and today’s posts were accurate representations of what it’s like to have a kid in day care and have a job. It’s a tough balance sometimes (ha ha, all the time) and we chose our respective day cares because we trust them and trust that they would flat out say we need to come get the kid if they were truly unwell. Sure, it sucks having to drop my kid off at day care when I know he’s not 100%…but if I kept him home every single time I would be home 3/4 of the time! I’m not saying there’s no mommy guilt there (because, oh, there is) but I try to keep the guilt in check with reality. I thought your posts were truthful and reflected a lot of working moms’ realities. I know it reflected mine.

  16. Please don’t feel like you have to defend your decisions to ANYONE! As a working mother myself, I found your post to be both hysterical and an accurate summary of what we all go through when we get, “The Call”! (Obviously in a scenario where we know it’s a mild issue and our children are ok.) So many of your posts about balancing motherhood and a full-time job make me feel so validated and encouraged!

    Why some women feel they are free to pass judgment on others is BEYOND me. Why we, as mothers, don’t feel it’s part of our duty to encourage and support each other is BEYOND me. Why so many have such poor senses of humor is also, BEYOND me! :)

  17. I am a mother of a four month old, and I love reading your blog. It’s so fun to read about other people’s parenting experiences. In my opinion, I don’t think you need to defend yourself. I think it’s very brave to write a parenting blog, posting all of your decisions for the world to see. You are clearly a good parent, anyone can see that from reading your blog.

  18. Good for you for being confident in your decisions as a mom. It is oftentimes too easy to second guess ourselves or feel judged by others, but usually, we find that we do know our child best and always have the best of intentions.

  19. wow, i commented early on yesterday and had no idea any drama unfolded! crazy! you are an awesome mom, and even awesomer for letting that drama roll off of you. i’d have cried and turned off all comments for like EVER.

  20. Yeah, you don’t need to defend yourself but I understand. One of my readers recently emailed me saying she couldn’t read my blog anymore because of something I wrote about on parenting. She disagreed with my stance on crying it out. I certainly defended myself!

    I may disagree with you on things but someone will always disagree about something in this world! That is why it is so interesting to live in it.

  21. Owned. You tell ‘em, Kate! You’re momma, you know what’s best for your child.

    I hope Owen feels better soon!

  22. omg Kate, those posters were ridick. My daughter has gotten sick like 3x in the past 2 months and she is an at at-home day care with only a few kids. Our babies get sick an average of once a month according to most docs. You did the best for Owen—and would taking him home have been any better? I don’t think so. Babies run fevers ALL the time and I don’t thnk you were dosing Owen up so you could get your work done. I work at a school and I don’t think day care was necessarily wanting you to pick up Owen yesterday, I think they were just informing you which is what they should do. There is a reason why they have policies about being able to stay at daycare under 101, because it’s no big deal for a baby to have a little temp. Trust your instincts, you are doing an amazing job.

  23. I think as a mom myself of 3 beautiful children, I must say (at least to myself)..’parents know their child best’ whatever parents decide for their child is for the best interest for their child and their family. Here I’m talking about an ordinary, regular, loving family.

    Okay, I’m talking too much for first time reader, but I hope Owen is feeling better. I enjoy reading your blog

  24. I agree with he others. As a nurse, I would say that a low grade fever is nothing to run home over or you will be doing that constantly. With his age, running home for a low-grade fever from teething would be absolutely ridiculous. I know I would have to let go any of my nurses who left every time their kid sneezed wrong. The day care understands and that is why they have a cut off requirement.

  25. I can’t believe the comments yesterday! There will definitely be a lot of people that agree or disagree with any topic dealing with motherhood. As a mother myself, all I can say is that Kate you’re doing a great job! It’s difficult juggling being a parent and working full-time. You’re a wonderful mother, never forget that :)

  26. In general, if people were to disagree RESPECTFULLY and acknowledge/believe that everyone is different, the internet, our communities, and the whole wide world would be a better place.

    Lighten up, people! Kate is allowed to have a sense of humor, and she’s also entitled to make her own choices that make the most sense for everyone in her family without being attacked for it. If you have a disagreement or concern about her choices, try to give feedback in a more thoughtful way. Reading some of those comments from the previous post, I realize that most people are unaware of how to give objective feedback when they believe they are right.

    Kate, you don’t have to defend yourself or your choices to people who don’t know you, or people who do, for that matter! You are a great mom and are one of the most reasonable, level-headed people I know. Keep at it!

  27. Kate and Benjamin,

    You guys have an awesome blog and I enjoy reading and learning from it. Hopefully you guys aren’t wasting any time reading these comments (mine included), and are instead spending the time with your very cute son, Owen. Keep on posting! I’ll keep on reading!

  28. P.S. – You guys are great! I hope to be as good of a parent as you two some day.

  29. My son is 14 months old. He has been in daycare for 10 months. He had some type of cold symptom non-stop from last September until January. (I’m not exaggerating. I counted at least 10 colds and two ear infections and he shared most of them with me!) This is the reality of the first year or two at daycare. Often during that time I wrestled with whether he was well enough for daycare. The reality is if I kept him out every time he had a sniffle, runny nose or low grade fever he would have missed three months straight! Daycare has guidelines for a reason. We always followed them and didn’t have to miss very many days.

    You didn’t do anything wrong. Your daycare has guidelines and you followed them. You always had Owen’s best interest in mind. I’m sorry you have to defend your parenting decisions on here. As you know, people are really critical of how other people chose to parent. I just wish people would realize we are all doing the best we can and we need to give each other some slack.

  30. Glad your little guy is keeping his spirits up! Mine has been hit with a couple of viruses as of late, too, and seems to keep his happy disposition. I’m grateful for that!

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