You know what's really fun? When all three of your children have Hand Foot and Mouth Disease at the same time. Seriously, you haven't lived until that happens.
Maeve came down with it first, spiking a 103-degree fever and refusing to eat anything for a few days. Next up was Emmie, who was felled Saturday afternoon after naptime with her own 103-degree fever. Not to be left out, Jack raised the stakes to 103.8 Saturday evening.
Do you have any idea how fast a bottle of dye-free Motrin disappears when you're doling out a total of 4.5 teaspoons at a time? And don't even get me started on taking the rectal temperature of a hysterical 20-month-old who doesn't want a thermometer anywhere near that part of her anatomy. I would rather bathe a cat.
I was convinced Maeve contracted the insidious playground germ based on her age and the time of year, but then Jack threw me for a loop because when I looked in his throat with a flashlight, all I could see were nasty white spots. Since he's had HFM before, and I was under the (mistaken) assumption it was one of those one-and-done things like the chicken pox, the symptoms made me think strep, which sent me running for the phone. Also, I have a medical degree from Google, so I know how to diagnose these childhood ailments over the interwebs. The doctor's office got us in for a sick visit on a Sunday afternoon, and yes, I know how lucky I am that my pediatrician has Sunday hours.
The pediatrician actually gasped when she shined her light in his throat and scurried to the lab for the quick test before even looking at any other part of him or his sister. But after finding some swollen glands, and asking a few questions, she said both of their symptoms were more consistent with Coxsackie Virus.
And really, doesn't Coxsackie just sound so much more sinister than Hand Foot and Mouth? HFM sounds like something you'd pick up on a farm. Or some weird Gold Bond commercial tagline. Coxsackie sounds like a foreign disease that requires a strict quarantine and a poultice applied to the chest. And how come nobody uses poultices anymore? I should look into that.
The pathetic sickies spent the entire day lying on opposite ends of the couch, wrapped in their respective blankets with their glazed-over eyes trained on a nonstop loop of Wiggles, Sid the Science Kid and Word World. It was their greatest dream come true -- unlimited TV and popsicles. Maeve was thrilled she had all the toys to herself and nobody got a single timeout for fighting. That's the beauty of an illness -- they're too tired to act like crazy people.
However, you will likely find ME acting like a crazy person after being stuck in the house with these three for the next few days. I'll be hiding in the closet with my iPad if anyone needs me, humming the tune to "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and subbing in "Haaaand Foot and Mouth, it really blows, really blows." It doesn't flow as well, but it's a catchy little jingle.
Currently trying to make it through summer vacation without losing any of her three children or her mind, Snarky Mommy has only been half-successful. You guess which half. You can follow her parenting adventures on her blog, SnarkyMommy.com, Twitter and Facebook.
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