I declare war.



Remember that card game?  War?

Well, I can’t get that chant out of my head ’cause this momma is blazing a mental attack against illness.

Okay, let’s break this down, shall we?

The week before Christmas, Brian and I went to Old Town Alexandria for a getaway with Bennett.  We noticed something near his anus that felt like a hard pea under the surface.  (First – and hopefully the last – time I’ve needed to use the word “anus” on Square Piece.)  We kept a careful eye on this and it seemed to soften in a couple days.

Then we had Christmas.  Brian and I went to four Christmas get-togethers in under 24 hours.  During that time, my darling son got passed from one adoring relative to the next.  The following Friday – his two month birthday – he received his first vaccination.  That day, post shot, he slept and slept and slept and slept… and developed a fussier, crankier attitude, unfamiliar to my sweet baby.

Eventually he started sneezing and coughing and developed a pathetic runny nose.  Within minutes, so did I.  Simultaneously, that little lump on his tushy became harder, bigger, redder and angrier.

The Wednesday following his vaccination, we went back to the pediatrician to check out his rear end… AGAIN.  This time she was concerned that the area we had been watching had turned into an abscess.

Then commenced prescriptions, both oral and external.

Two days later we had to return for a follow up and, indeed, the abscess now appeared smaller and my boy seemed like himself again.  Except…

That cough.  I had her check his chest, front and back, and the pediatrician was sure that she heard no signs of congestion there.  It was strictly contained in his sinuses.  I was instructed to carry on with the snot-sucking-bulb routine and the saline drops (done and done).

But today…?  I SWEAR I feel rattling in his chest.  And now I want to kill something.  I want to detonate some explosives and take sickness with my bare hands and strangle it.  If I feel this way with my infant who still has yet to come down with a fever of any sort, I can’t imagine what parents must feel when their children come down with even scarier, life-threatening conditions.  Worse yet, when those conditions can’t be overcome.

*somber reflection*

Since Bennett’s two month birthday, in order to keep him well, I have at times

  • soaked his feet in hot(ish) water
  • used vaporing wash for him to inhale
  • set him in his tub over steaming vapor water to inhale
  • held the hot, vapory wash cloth in front of his nose for him to inhale
  • hovered vapor rub in a jar over his napping/nursing face (since you can’t use it on them until three months of age)
  • sucked out his snotties
  • given him saline drops in his nose
  • put garlic in his socks overnight
  • measured and administered antibiotics twice a day, orally
  • applied his prescription cream on his tushy twice (or more) a day
  • held hot compresses on his bare (sometimes pooting) bottom several times a day
  • patted his chest (especially when coughing) to help his coughs be more productive
  • adjusted my diet to hopefully provide more quality breast milk
  • given him gas drops, gripe water and vitamin D drops
  • wiped him with a damp, cool rag when mysterious, tiny red dots appear on his skin and almost just as quickly disappear
  • run the humidifier in his nursery
  • taken his temperature… just to be sure
  • added or removed articles of clothing to ensure he’s comfortable
  • lysoled the house and kept hand sanitizer within reach so that I’m not giving him any buggies
  • prayed for complete wellness

Not to mention the regular maintenance routine of

  • loving cuddles
  • lots of breastfeeding
  • countless diaper changes
  • bathing
  • obsessing over his hat covering his ears if we have to leave the house
  • checking his breathing while he naps
  • monitored tummy time
  • filing his nails while he sleeps
  • getting him a more comfortable vehicle to grow up in (ok, that might’ve been for me, too *wink*wink*)
  • thanking the Lord for our blessings

To be clear, if Bennett struggles with winter sicknesses, I certainly don’t want it to be on account my negligence.  But – dang it – every time I hear that pathetic, little cough, I want to shake my fist at something.  Brian’s more nonchalant about the fact that we all get sick in life.



 “Ppppppbbbbbbttttthhhhh… Take THAT, coughs and sneezes!”


  1. January 6, 2013
    Joan Dedman

    Don’t go so overboard with having no “buggies” around that every little “buggie” turns into a big one. Listen to your gut and take him back to the doctor if you need/want to. That is what they signed up for when they chose pediatrics. My friend the pediatrician told me to never hesitate to call. If they get upset with you, maybe you need to find a different doc. Hope that you are all feeling better soon!

  2. January 6, 2013

    Had to laugh at the expression, too cute!!!
    Praying you both are in excellent health ASAP!

  3. January 6, 2013

    The teacher in me has to respond because I think I have something to say to actually contribute here, but you won’t like it. In 10+ years of teaching, I have found that the little ones who get illness after illness after illness are the ones whose parents gave overboard with the sanitization and “cleanliness.” Their kids NEVER get a chance to develop an immune system. Please let Bennett be a little boy and get dirty and play in the dirt and have a blast that exposes him to the all the CRUD out there, but at the same time develops his immune system. Like I said, just my two cents; take it for what it’s worth. 😉

    • Yep, yep. I’m definitely pro-dirt. Can’t wait for him to get filthy in the back yard! I had just hoped his immune system would have been developed beyond two months before getting sick.

  4. January 6, 2013

    Hmmm. I lay here in bed, with my head stuffy, eyes watery, sneezy, runny nose, low feverish, cough emminant, and am totally behind you in the war! *flops back on the pillows*
    And, you are doing a great job, momma! 🙂

  5. January 6, 2013

    Awwwww, look at that face!!!!!!

  6. January 6, 2013

    Adorable! Love that little face!

  7. January 7, 2013

    Had to check out this photo again for the 3rd time. His expression is too funny!

  8. January 7, 2013

    Personally, I think this picture reflects Bennett’s reaction to the overpowering odor caused by the garlic in his socks. You give me so many chuckles!

  9. January 8, 2013

    Suzy Bennett is going to get through his illness a lot better than what you are. RELAX!!!!

  10. January 10, 2013

    I have to say I think im right there with ya Suzy. I can’t leave any stone unturned for helping ease their discomfort and naturally prevent illness. Darcy and Jeremy have been running fevers since Monday and Jeremy tested positive for type A flu this morning. Let the mask wearing begin! Other than the vapor rub, my list looks very similar to yours for this past week. Yes, very thankful these are all discomforts we will all come back from pretty easily though. All things in perspective.

  11. January 12, 2013

    MAMA BEAR!!! N’yeah! Grrrrrrrrr >:-/ Lovin’ this photo by the way. ha ha

  12. 🙂 LOVE the picture! And I understand completely how you feel!! But remember, every bug his little body is able to fight off on its own builds up his immune system making it stronger for life. So in a way bugs are our friends 🙂

    Keep the antibiotics away if not truly a life threatening situation (in 13 yrs and seven kiddos we’ve never had a need for them yet). They destroy our immune systems by destroying irreparably the good bacteria in our guts. Its believed that possibly as much as 80% of our immune function is in our gut so my mission for my family’s health is to guard our gut lining and gut flora with all I’ve got 😉 !! Garlic is super for this, great idea to put it in his socks!! I’ve never thought of that.

    Essential oils, acupressure and homeopathics all work amazingly well for children to bring both comfort and healing and are great for babies when your arsenal is more limited.

    For congestion, coughs, or anything respiratory related onion poultices are great.

    Epsom salts in the bath (along with more crushed garlic) and Cod liver oil rubbed into the skin (super high in vit D) are great for any illness as well as prevention.

    Also be careful with the Lysol and hand sanitizer bc they kill the good stuff along with the bad and prevent us from building up a good strong natural immunity to the bugs around us. They also negatively affect our good gut flora. Just my two cents for ya.

    When my first was born I remember being sure my baby would NEVER be sick bc I wasn’t going to let any germs near him. He got more bugs his fist couple years than any of my others have, in spite of their being exposed to far more and living in a much germier environment. My view of germs has obviously changed but I still hate to see my babies suffer when they are sick, its so heartbreaking, I try to remind myself its for their greater good.

Add a Comment

Make sure you share your opinion with us. Fields marked are required. Any other information is optional and for your own pleasure. Your email address will be hidden and never published or used in any way.


Optional Details

If you like you can tell us your website URL and Twitter Username. We'll link your name to your web address and we'll add a twitter link to your comment. This is completely optional.