Sitting on the floor watching me change my one year old sons nappy, my two year old daughter saw that he was in pain because he had a red, sore rash on his bottom.
She watched a while longer and then said, “Mummy I have a sore bottom too” to which I replied, “Come and give mummy a cuddle” followed by “there you go all better” You see Miss M will say whatever it takes to be included in absolutely everything.
I did however check her bottom that night after a bath and it looked fine. In the next few days she was waking up in the middle of the night, becoming irritable and wasn’t eating as much as usual.
I put it down to her being overtired and with her it usually takes a few days to catch up.
It wasn’t until Miss M came out of her bedroom one morning about 4 days later climbed into my bed and said “I did a poo in my nappy” to which I was very surprised because she’s been toilet trained for about 6 months and although she still wears a night nappy, she hasn’t done a single poo anywhere but the toilet.
Dragging myself out of bed I sat on the floor and started to peel her nappy away from her bottom and HELLO! What did we have here – worms! About twenty of the little suckers stuck in her poo.
Straight away everything from the last 5 days started to come together.
The sore bottom, the night waking, the irritability, the lack of appetite!
How could I have been so unaware of what was going on? I felt so guilty, so negligent.
If only I had paid more attention.
Right away I sent my husband to the chemist. Although Miss M had probably had the worms for the past week I wanted to get the whole family treated right away.
I was also beside myself with the feeling that I had to go through the house with every disinfectant known to man! I stripped all the beds and gathered all the clothes we’d worn for the past week and now I had a bout 50kg of washing to do!
So there I was waiting for Shazer to get come home and when he did he had the treatment, for all of us but my son!
The pharmacist had told him there was no treatment for a child under two. Now I haven’t dealt with the thread worm situation before but I know that babies get them too so I was just starting to become annoyed and frustrated.
You see I have the type of husband that just listens to the professional, doesn’t ask questions and just accepts what is…which is fine sometimes but I on the other hand will ask every question under the sun until I get an answer I am happy with.
So there I was on the phone to the chemist while my little girl sat there with worms in her bottom! “Oh yes we do seem to have a product suitable for two years and under” the pharmacist suddenly realises.
I just couldn’t wait any longer so I rushed over to the chemist and after a heated discussion, a new bottle of thread worm treatment and an apology from the pharmacist, I managed a forced smile and rushed back home.
The treatment was little pieces of chocolate and let me tell you this went down well with everyone. If only all medicine was chocolate!
Although my mind was at ease and I wasn’t as frantic as I had been, I still had the small task of contacting our friends that we’d seen and played with during the week and letting them know their kids might have worms.
As embarrassing as it was they were all great about it, telling me you thread worm in children was quite common and they can get them anywhere.
The guilty feeling started to fade away.
I knew better for next time.
Unfortunately, sometimes we as parents learn what to do and not what to do the same as our children, through experience.
Words Amardy Baucke
Originally published in Coast Kids