3 Weeks with Grandparents. A Success, Even when Everything Seemed to Go Wrong.

August 15, 2012

‘Honey,’ shouted my husband this morning. ‘I think E got in a bar fight last night.’ Indeed, her left eye was swollen shut and she was miserable. Some type of monster mosquito must have bit my 5-year old. So, she and I are hanging out watching PBS Kids while her left eye recovers, and it’s a perfect time to get back to this blog after a three week vacation with the grandparents.

In short, we made it. All of us. My husband and I survived three days and nights in wine country (Survived is a stretch. The time flew). My parents pulled through. And my kids, a lot tanner and a little plumper, seemed no worse for our absence. This was our first time leaving the kids for an extended time, and I’ll declare it a success. Even though everything went wrong.

Seven days before we left, L commented ‘my throat hurts.’ She’s not a complainer, so we popped over to urgent care. Strep, of course. Deeply disappointed – it’s summer after all, don’t we get a break from these ailments? – we got her antibiotics. I consoled myself that we had plenty of time before we left for California to recover.

Two days later, E seemed a little off and was coughing like crazy. Genius that I am, I took her to the doctor for a strep test. Confirmed. No big deal. Plenty of time and the doctor thinks the cough will quiet down. But the cough actually gets worse. Another doctor blames it on a little post nasal drip from the strep or maybe irritation from the fires in Colorado. My fingers are crossed and I pack our bags.

Finally, we board the plane to Los Angeles. The cough is intense. The stewardess shows kindness and concern, and gently reminds us about the whooping case outbreak in the US. Have we been tested? I reassure her that two doctors confirmed it was not whooping cough or croup. We go through some 20 lollipops (it’s ok – they were organic) during the short flight.

Once in Los Angeles, the cough worsens. Another kind doctor we find confirms it’s not pneumonia and loads us with various inhalant and liquid medications. And to think we were worried about her getting into my parents’ medications. I feel terribly about how much work it is going to be to watch these kids. With a detailed list of do’s, don’ts and doses – remember, the other girl is allergic to peanuts and is taking her own medication for that twice a day – we leave. The grandparents nobly accept the challenge.

The trip was great. And we heard some good news from the grandparents. Even though the younger girl had a rough first day at camp and had to be picked up early, she stayed the whole time the second day. A steady stream of cupcakes and lollipops and a lot of love from the grandparents seem to have worked. We get back to LA, and are thrilled that the girls barely missed us. Of course, the older girl starts her own cough. We pass the remaining two weeks dressing up in grandmother’s shoes, playing at the beach, eating treats and just resting.

Now I am back home, back to work, thinking even more deeply about the amazing relationship between kids and grandparents, and how DoubleScoop can deepen this bond…when I’m not thinking about when E’s eye is going to open up again.

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