When you have kids, you can very easily wind up on a first-name basis with your pediatrician and his office staff. Both of my kids who still live at home have seen doctors in the past week, with similar symptoms: a low fever, sore throat, and absolutely no appetite.
My kids are slender, but they're good eaters. When they're turning their noses up at their favorite foods, that's a good indicator right there that something is wrong.
I have nearly 22 years of parenting under my belt, so I'm very familiar with walking that fine line between taking a child to the doctor too early, which means that rapid-strep tests will come up negative, and making the poor kid suffer a little longer in the hopes that he'll be the winner in Antibiotic Roulette.
For the record, I'm 1 for 2 in that game of chance this month. The child parked next to me, watching pro soccer while he should be in school, is huddled under a Scooby-Doo blanket and dozing off during the game. Yeah, he's sick. If he were healthy, he'd be dribbling his soccer ball around the family room while I holler, "Don't bounce in the house!"
If I had a nickel for every time I yelled that particular warning, I'd be a rich mom. But I'd be happy to be able to say it free of charge right now.
In between taking my kid's temperature and refilling his glass of iced tea, I'm cleaning the house within an inch of its life, hoping to eradicate the germs the kids have brought in before the adults come down with it. I'm hitting doorknobs, faucets, railings and lightswitches with cleaning wipes.
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