Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to say this without sounding horrible

First, I thought back to the question below about "default baby names". Before Ryan, when I was in middle school, I planned on naming my kids Cory David and Megan Michelle. Then in highschool I planned to name my kids Brianna Desiree and Nathan Lee. Ryan never liked those names and once I was pregnant I didn't like them either so we made new lists and I'm glad we did.

Now, this has been bugging me today and I'm not sure how to write it out without sounding horrible. However, I've got to try. Ryan got a call from daycare today that Grady was running a 102 fever and needed to be picked up. He then called me to let me know. I wasn't surprised by this since a little girl went home sick from daycare yesterday but I was still sad, frustrated, and a little worried like I always am when Grady gets sick. Luckily, since I have only a couple days of sick time left, Ryan was able to go get him (Taylor got to stay although I'm sure she'll get it next) and will also be home with him tomorrow if need be (since I'm low on days and really need to be at school to give the ISTEP test)
Ok, that's a lot of background....bear with me.
So, when I hang up, the people in the meeting with me can tell I'm upset and most of them know Grady's background since I worked there last year and most of them were so very supportive of the time I had to be out with Grady being sick and all. Anyway, they may not recall specifics the way I do but they know he was critically ill and in the hospital a lot.
Well, when I tell them Grady's got a fever they were all concerned/supportive, etc. This one lady (who, granted, did not know me last year and probably only knows of Grady's history by word of mouth) is ALWAYS comparing her daughter to mine and her daughter's health to Grady's. If I'm telling someone what Taylor will/won't eat then this lady pops in with all that her daughter will/won't eat. Today when I said Grady has a fever she says, "Well, that's nothing. Mine had pneumonia last week." This other lady (who DOES know all about Grady's history) is always trying to compare/one up me with her kid's issues. "We have a pulmonologist now too!", "We're doing ____ medication now too", "Oh, you don't do this med? My kid must be worse than yours!", "At least your kid isn't sick, we've been fighting this for a week." These two ladies say/do this to me about two times a week or so.
Here's what runs through my head:
*I'm so sorry your child has pneumonia. I'm so glad for you that it's being treated at home with antibiotics. I'm so glad you haven't had to go to the hospital (like mine does when he gets pneumonia)
*It sucks to have a sick kid, period. Please understand though that when my kid gets sick it's not run of the mill sick (at least in the past, hopefully we'll outgrow it) That's why I get so worried.
*Why are you trying to prove that your kid is sicker than mine? I'll trade you anytime.
*Once you've spent 40 days or more in the hospital and seen all that I've seen or more and watched your kid be poked and prodded and tested and transfused and intubated and having cardiac issues, etc. then we can compare whose kid is sicker.
*I don't WANT the "sickest kid at my work" award. You can have it.

I'm not sure this even makes sense. Maybe I'm being too hard on these people. Maybe since they haven't been through it they just don't get it. But other friends at work will always preface or mention (when talking about their kids being sick) that they are just glad it's nothing like what Grady's been through. Any time that I complain about Grady being sick I always point out that I'm blessed that his past is ALL he's had to deal with when there's so many kids/parents who deal with so much more. I just wish people would understand that I KNOW what it's like to have a sick kid (like when Taylor's sick) and a SICK kid (like with Grady's past stuff) Why do some want to prove to me that they've been through more when they haven't? It's like these two know what I've been through (but don't understand it really) but still think they are dealing with worse? Sick kids are bad no matter what but.......ok, I just don't know......maybe this is going to make me sound so shallow and like I'm so proud of having a sick kid. I'm blessed with what having a sick kid has taught us and all but I'd choose to keep him healthy any day.

Alright, I'll stop now. Please don't be offended by this. It's these two ladies in particular, not other people that I'm talking about.


Lori said...

that is so hard. we have friends who are always trying to on-up us on what their child can do, but to compare illness levels.... that is a bit above and beyond to me. I say they aren't worth the time and frustration. just look at it as ignorance and feel bad for the child who's parent is looking for them to be sicker than your kids in order to get attention

Finding Normal said...

I'll tell you what I told my friend Michelle (holla!) last week when someone did this to her at church. Just ridiculous. There is no comparison. It's not a contest. And these people are obviously attention whores. There. I said it.

All these B's and Me! said...

Honey, I have to deal with something similar in my own family with my stepmother - her daughter and son is only 7 months apart from the both of mine. It's a CONSTANT battle and it drives me nuts. To be honest with you - I had to just flat out tell her that her comparing every little thing bothers me and I don't appreciate our children being compared because they will grow up and resent eachother.

I hope your sweet baby is okay and you guys will be in my prayers. Try to have a great weekend with no doctors. :o)