What They Don’t Teach You…


A few weeks back some fellow teacher friends and I were talking about what they don’t teach you in college. So much time is spent pounding cirriculum in our brains that they don’t prepare us for all there is to. It is understandtable that each district is different which means many things will get left out, but at the same time, there are basics that college could’ve spent a little more time on. Curriculum is just fifty percent of our job. The other half is dealing with unruly children and their unruly parents. No one prepares you for this. They throw you in the ring and say good luck. I specifically remember the first time I got my ass chewed by a parent. My ego hurt and I wanted to cry. Now, I have to bite my tongue not to lash them out for raising a disrespectful child.

Before I became a parent, I too read lots of books. I like to be educated. Some books were for pure pleasure, others out of curiosity, but most the “what to expect” moments. I referenced my books a lot while pregnant and after Henry was born. Then came those moments that, yet again, the books didn’t prepare you for. Except this time it wasn’t for unruly children and their parents. Those were easy to ask fellow teacher friends about, but these moments are different amongst all children. You can ask your mommy friends for advice as to what they did, but in the end you have to channel your inner mommy power to figure out what to do. I’ve had a lot of these small moments as a mom and often consult in my mommy friends. Most of my solutions have been easy and painless, until his very first illness.

Henry started napping funny a few weeks back, but neither one of us thought anything of it. He was getting acclimated to a new schedule so it only made sense. Plus the start of some new foods can throw a baby off as well. This weekend he also became clingly, but I was gone and its very common with teething.

Tuesday morning I noticed that he was warm, so after lunch I took his temp (100.4) gave him some Tylenol and down for a nap he went. He slept for a little under and hour, but nothing out of the ordinary. Fia and B came to play which he knew so the excitement couldn’t keep him asleep!! He and Fia are BFF afterall. They played and throughout he was a little cranky. For the first time in a long time, he spent a lot of his day in the swing. Five months later and the thing still keeps him content.

After they left it was dinner time, carrots and avocado, YUM!! He was very picky, which never happens, and I almost had to force feed him. His eyes were tired, but with his lack of napping it made since. Finally he started to meltdown to the point of where he didn’t want to be put down. We rocked with the blankie and both of us ended up falling asleep.


Ben came home around 7pm, having no idea that we were sleeping. The dog barking woke us both up, but Henry didn’t move. He just kept laying on me. When Ben came over I explained what had been going on and again Henry just left his head on my chest looking off into space.

We both decided it would be best to give him a bath and put him to bed if he really wasn’t feeling well. Ben agreed with me that he felt warm. We stripped him naked while waiting for the bath. In the meantime we took his temp (101.7) before bath. Normally during bath time he’s splashing water, talking and having a great time. Not tonight, he just sat there with sad eyes. Ben got him ready for bed like normal, we gave him Tylenol and then it was time for bottle. I headed downstairs and within minutes Ben was back downstairs with a half full bottle. When the monitor was turned on all you heard was moaning. Ben said he wouldn’t drink the bottle and just moaning. Instantly, I became sad and worried. My sweet happy little boy was far from that.

Before bed, I spent some time Googling (what an awful idea) to see when you should call the doctor. I failed to mention that earlier in the day I sent a pic to Megan of Henry’s red belly button. At the time I didn’t know if it was normal and she assured me it was. Then when the fever came along I freaked!

Overall, Henry slept fine. He moaned on and off all night long. We never woke him to give him more Tylenol (never wake a sleeping baby). In the early hours he woke up, I sushed him and gave him back his blankie. Ben got out of the shower and we took Henry’s temperature (100.4). I decided to wait the Tylenol out to let nature run it’s course. As per usual, we snuggled in my bed after his morning bottle. The spit up was coming out a little more than normal, but I never thought anything of it. Eventually he became clingy and again we cuddle. Though today he wasn’t having it. I put him to bed and he fell fast asleep for a few hours.

Upon waking we got dressed, took his temp (100.2) and went on with our morning. It was time for a bottle and that’s when I started to become concerned. He would barely eat anything. What he did eat, came right back up, except in a vomit motion. After the third round of vomit, I stripped him naked. What was the point of clothes if he was just going to get sick. We went upstairs to clean a poopy diaper (he finally peed after many hours of not) and he felt extremely warm. Took his temp again (101.2) and gave him Tylenol. While this was happening, he proceeded to throw up four more times, one more than I thought could come from such a little boy.

Now I was straight up worried. He wasn’t keeping anything down and the fever kept spiking. Originally I chalked the fever up to teething, but I’d never heard of vomit with teething. Like any paranoid first time mom I called the doctor. Unforatnely she couldn’t get me in, but they called the pediatric center in BUrlington to see if they could. Thankfully they squeezed us in at 2:30. Until then it was enduring vomit and an very sad looking baby. I finally got him to nap. After about 30 minutes I went to check on him. When I walked in he lifted up his head with very sad eyes and a pout face. I about lost it.

We headed to the doctor and who seemed fine, Henry. He ate his bottle like a champ and was talking up a storm. Figures, I get paranoid and he acts normal. After waiting a very long time, I can’t complain they were so nice to fit us in, we were seen. Henry weighed in at 17lb 14oz (what a chunk) and in true fashion pooped while waiting!! He didn’t have a fever while in the office either.


The nurse practitioner came in and we had a nice chat. She congratulated me on being a great mom and taking the right steps before panicking. I’m not one to usually share those types of comments, but it feels really good to know I was on the right track. In the end, he has a stomach virus. The temp, vomiting and viral rash will all go away in due time. She anticipates him being back to normal by Sunday. As I type this, he’s kicking his legs and chatting to Giuliana and Terrance. We’re giving him pedialyte in his bottles and probiotics twice a day. All to help combat the vomit, help the bug run it’s course and keep him hydrated.

In my first time paranoia state, I pointed out the the NP that I make all of Henry’s baby food and while watching TODAY this morning I noticed a story about a virus in fruits/veggies. She assured me that it hasn’t come to WI (yet) and that as long as I’m washing the foods all is well. To calm my nerves I bought a few jars of BeechNut since he can only have applesauce and banana right now anyway.

We made a quick trip to Walmart to pick up what we needed. Very out of my ordinary “I’ll run to Target no matter what the case” lifestyle, but who wants to be toted around when you have a fever (not this girl).


While I feel extremely sad for my little boy and wish I could make him feel better, I feel a lot better since having gone to the doctor. I was literally a mess before. No one preps you for this part of parenting. How can they? Each kid is different. Sure, I’ve read a lot of really good books about being a great mom, but in the end, it’s your mom intution that helps you get through the trials of parenting. Ben and I knew that what we were doing for Henry was best. We consulted the people we trust and had to do what would make us feel better as well as HD. I know this is the first of many sicknesses and with each, I’m sure I’ll be just as sad, but that’s what being a parent is all about. You feel your children’s pain and give them all the love you can to help make it go away.


If you’ve made it this far, good for you. I tell a story like the rest of the Soetenga’s long, drawn out and full of detail.

Crap! I forgot to mention the red belly button. It’s part of the virus. His body is extra sweaty and the moisture is irritating his button. Thank goodness because Dr. Google had some pretty frightening insight.


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