A Tale of Two Sickies

Just as I’m getting ready to be alone with the kids for a few days, R has gotten sick.

It’s nothing too major – it is just a cold – but as with all nearly-two-year-olds, it’s just messy and wet and full of a shrieking, whining child who can’t easily be placated or made to feel better.

So after we’d wrestled R into bed last night (and far, far more easily got the Monster to take to his), we discussed the differences between our children in that respect.

Now, neither of us really remember the Monster ever coming down with a cold when he was R’s age… but then again, there’s a lot of things we don’t remember with regards to his health.  Our general impression, though, is that he’s generally been healthy with a few bouts of the sniffles or that time he had a lingering cough for a few weeks, but nothing all that serious.

Of course, this also has to bear in mind that the Monster’s not sufficiently communicative when he’s not feeling well and, like a lot of children with Autism (at least from what I’ve been hearing from other parents), he seems to have a higher tolerance for personal discomfort.  He doesn’t seem to be phased by having a cough or congestion, and he’s never been the kind to seem to really let it get him down.

So of course, it’s weird having a child who is miserable while sick, since we’re not at a point where there are a lot of good, effective remedies – we can smear vapor-rub on him and have a humidifier running, but it’s not like we can give him cold meds yet – after having a child who really couldn’t seem to care less about how he’s feeling.  But that also brought us back to the questions about what happens if the Monster catches R’s cold this week, while the wife’s out of town… and whether the school would call.

My thought?  They probably would if he came down with a fever or throws up, but the nurse seem to call us for everything, hoping that we’ll volunteer to come pick him up and take him off their hands.  They’ve called us when he went face-first into a door (he was fine), and when he’s scraped his knee (he hardly noticed), and when he somehow scratched his face (huh?).  And that otherwise, the right answer is, “Keep him in class and when he throws up/has a fever, call me.”

I do have to figure out, at some point, how to get him to communicate with us about how he’s feeling.  If he’s hot/cold, if he’s feeing sick, etc.  Things that would help with talking to doctors or others down the road.  It’s hard to put words to those things that are hard to effectively describe given his vocabulary without knowing how to put it into his frame of reference so he has context on the matter.

Of course, as I’m typing this, he’s starting to sniffle… but that could also be like me (since I spend most of the winter sniffling too)…

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