She Says… Force Field

This week is one of those weeks I wish I could build an impenetrable force field around Owen and keep him in that safe little bubble. For two reasons.

1. The petri dish that is daycare is overflowing with germs. Today when I signed Owen in, there was a sheet on the counter that said “We have had 3 cases of hand, foot and mouth, 7 cases of high fever and 2 cases of the stomach bug this week. Please remember to wash your hands to stop the spread of germs.” There aren’t more than 12 kids in his class, so either everyone except him is sick, or some kids are counted more than once in that tally. Oy vey.

For those of you who were reading back when Owen first started daycare, you know that we had about 6-12 months when he was pretty much sick with something every day. Between his recurring pneumonia and respiratory issues, unusual propensity for high fevers and ear infections, combined with his rash-prone skin, we were pretty much seeing the doctor weekly. But! In the last few months he’s had little more than an ear infection or two. Perhaps that year of illness made his immune system iron-clad, as he has since escaped several bouts of stomach bugs and various other illnesses that tore through his classroom with only a runny nose. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting cocky. I know they could still strike at any moment! But at least that “year of the sickies” makes me feel like we can make it through just about any illness now, since we’ve done it before.

Except the stomach bug. He’s never gotten the stomach bug. For being a kid who pukes so regularly from being car sick, he has never thrown up from an upset stomach. That’s pretty much the final frontier of sickness we have not yet faced.

2. He is acting like a total pill. I don’t know if it’s an impending illness, or the teething I thought I identified last week, or something else entirely… something is up.

The last few days he has been acting totally out of character. Wailing and crying at the drop of a hat. Reacting aggressively to small infractions with hitting and pushing and throwing. Whining and sniffling and clinging to me like I might leave him forever when I really just need 5 minutes to throw dinner in the oven. Pushing himself away from the table and shouting, “I’m ALL DONE!” before even taking a bite of food. Waking up crying from naps and reverting back to early mornings when he had been sleeping in until after 7am.

I haven’t yet figured out exactly what is up, but MAN it is exhausting. For all of us.

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6 responses to “She Says… Force Field

  1. Heather Martinez

    This just happened to my daughter… I was beside myself because she was acting TERRIBLE, like someone else’s kid. I was so worried that this was some kind of stage of bad, horrible, nightmareish behavior. And then, she got sick and her last 2 year molar came in. And now, although she is still a toddler and throws the occasional tantrum, she is more often happy than not… much better. :)

  2. @Heather, Oof, isn’t that the worst?! So glad she’s back to normal. Thankfully it is usually some acute issue (at least for us), so I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop so I can figure out what it is. My fingers are crossed it isn’t this “high fever/hand, foot & mouth” thing going around daycare — yuck!

  3. Cameron has always been pretty reserved and cautious by nature and always pretty attached, but this last weekend he was over.the.top. He was excited that his friend (my girlfriend and her daughter) were coming over to play on Sunday, but for the first 25 mins, I couldn’t even walk 5 feet to stir the pot on the stove, he was so insecure and HAD to be in my arms. It wasn’t like he didn’t know them either! He warmed up after that, but it was extreme, even for him. I also noticed he would get VERY upset if she got upset. The husband is away all week, so I figured getting ready in the morning was going to be a bust with him not wanting me to even walk to the (open concept) kitchen without him.

    But he woke up Monday morning and I could just tell he was “different”, even a little “older” looking and sure enough, our day care drop offs this week have been sooooo much better and no clingy mom-guilt sessions or tears which has been the usual over the past while. I pick him up at the end of the day and he comes running with the big excited smile, arms outstretched so happy to see me and show me the rock he picked out that day in his pocket and no tears. It was very common for him to tear up and out comes the big lip while he ran to me when he saw me at the end of the day. I feel like it was a developmental change where he was at the cusp of gaining some more security & independence and showing clear signs of empathy. He even is going out of his way to be kind to his friends (brought extra stickers to share and stood up for a new little girl in class who was only 18 mths old & brought her a toy to play with when all the other kids were kind of nagging on her while she was upset, so I’m told). I am so proud of him for that.

    Of course all of this is all hindsight and you never know until “after” what it could all be about. Owen seems like he’s always been a more outgoing kid in that respect, but I wonder if this is some sort of similar development, given the clingy part?

  4. We’re having a lot of the out-of-character behavior and abnormal sleep patterns, too. A friend of mine said her son went through something similar between 2 and 2.5, which is comforting but doesn’t really help the fact that I want my daughter back :) This past weekend was the absolute worst we’ve seen of toddlerhood, and she hasn’t been napping or sleeping like normal for the last 10 days or so – fighting naps, taking short ones and then acting like a monster the rest of the day, talking/playing for an hour before falling asleep at night and waking 30-90 minutes early in the morning. Not cool. Not cool at all. I’m ready for this “phase” to pass. Hope Owen snaps out of it soon, too!

  5. Oh, gosh. We forget every time. Miss A is awesome (mod being a toddler, of course) for long enough for us to forget. Then she gets a runny nose and stops eating and is Very Not Awesome for days in a row and we are all wtf?!? About 5 days to a week end, we all smack ourselves in the forehead and exclaim, “she’s having a growth spurt; she always does this when she’s growing! Duh!” Why we can’t remember, I have no idea.

    This time around, she hit her teacher. In the head. With her fist. That’s right. I’m the mom of a kid who punched her teacher in the head. We were all mortified. The teacher, of course, has seen it all before and has had her long enough at this point to know it is very anomalous. I’m still mortified.

  6. @Jamie, *Smacking my own forehead*, I think that’s it. The first few days he wouldn’t eat at all, and now he’s gobbling everything I give him. Tomorrow all of his pants will be capri pants :) Thank you for the perspective!!!

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