I struggled with whether or not to write this post. I attempt to make even the most upsetting choices in parenting as positive as humanly possible and this post will have no choice but to across as anything other than self-pitying and whiny. But the fact is that it happened and my response is remorse and feelings of utter and complete failure so I can write no other such thing. I considered not telling the story at all, as it is embarrassing and thoroughly humiliating to admit that as a parent I failed…but as a blogger that wants to share the highs and the lows of what I now feel is the aftereffects of preemie parenting, then without sharing the bad times, I am not being true to my blog and what I set out to do.
So here it is…I failed at being a mother. I dropped a ball that caused my child to be in total and agonizing pain for the last four days. It is 100% all my fault. I am so busy running around and trying to be supermom to a child with a disorder that I forgot to be a mom to a regular ‘ol kid with normal issues.
My son, believe it or not, has an abscess on his lower left molar.
I let this happen. I was literally tearing up on the phone with dentist. Because when it comes to dental health, that falls solely to me and I failed him. Do we brush teeth? Of course, we do! But the main cause of this issue is allowing a child to have a milk bottle far longer than they should. Also, the excessive amounts of juice that I give him (V8 Fusion to supplement his fruit and vegetable aversion) can cause this.
Did I do both of those things?
Yes, I did. With the bottle I had both noble and selfish reasons. At the time, I felt like the noble outweighed the selfish but in light of his current issues…I’m not so sure the selfish didn’t play a bigger part than I was willing to admit. Jp hates milk. He wont drink it from a cup no matter the amount of begging and coercion. So I let him have the bottle at night and nap far, far longer than I should. I told myself it was the only way I could get the calcium he needed into him so he could have strong teeth and bones.
Oh, the irony….
I overlooked the side effects of that decision and now my poor baby is in pain. Instead of strong teeth, he now has an appointment at the dentist. What have I done?! When my husband felt the lump last night I wanted to die. There are things in this world that I can’t control and I have learned to stand and fight in those situations. But this one…this could have been prevented if I had put half as much research in that I do normally. I would have seen, as I did last night when I looked into it, that teeth problems are more prominent in preemies. I should have done my due diligence before the problem and not after.
If this were a graded test on parenting, I would receive an “F”. Probably the first of my life.
The reason I deserve the failing grade was because as much as I gave him the bottle for the Calcium, I did it, too, because it calmed the nighttime drama. I took it away once when I thought it was “time” and it was tears, fits, and rage. Since I couldn’t get him to drink the milk from the cup I happily went back to a rule I knew I was breaking because it “worked”. I was lazy and that laziness he is paying for, not me. I couldn’t feel worse right now.
Because here is where I truly missed the boat…
I have known for a month that check-up time was upon us. Days kept coming and going and in between therapy, play dates, structured outside play, and keeping the house I simply just kept forgetting. I kept saying to myself, “Oh, I’ll call tomorrow”, or, “I’ll call on Monday”. Then Monday came and went and here we are. So yes, this is all my fault. If I had taken him in at the normal time then he wouldn’t have been in pain for days. They would have caught it earlier and we could have avoided the medicine forcing, the fevers, the sweating, the barely eating. All of it. I can take that responsibility.
When my husband found the lump last night (I have had one and know what it is) I immediately shut down. I was so angry with myself, so furious that I had put something so vital on the back burner. Where was my common sense? How could I let this happen? I took Jp upstairs and we watched a movie-or more accurately, he watched a movie while I cried quietly so he wouldn’t notice- and really started to think about how I could reprioritize my focus.
Jp is a kid first and has a disorder second.
I have it all backwards. I am too focused on everything else. What I need to see is that his general health and well being is the most important thing. Everything else is secondary. There is no intellectual progress if he isn’t well. There is no future if I don’t make sure his present is healthy and happy. I sincerely just wish my beautiful son didn’t have to be in horrifying pain for me to come to that realization.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a dentist appointment I must attend. 😦
Photo Credit: kippingitreal.com
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.