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Sick kid(s): you need something from the store, no one else around to get it (long)

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Here's the story and I will get to the question at the end:

I was out of town (about 4-5 hours away) on a weekend trip recently when on my final day of the trip my good friend sends me a text message asking me when I plan on leaving to come back home. I told her in about an hour I will head out and make the drive home and asked her what was up. She said her 3 year old son was throwing up all night and she needs to go to the store to grab a few things for him to help him feel better. As she put it: "It will only take 10 minutes." She said she obviously couldn't leave because she had no one to watch him for those 10 minutes while she ran to the store. She was also frustrated that no one was available to get some items for her from the store since she couldn't leave her son alone. She is a single mother and does not have a partner to help her out. Also, she is fairly new around town though she has her sister in town (whose baby was also sick at the time), a roommate, and a few close people from work. I have no children and I already had plans after my trip.

I sent her a text asking why she couldn't go to the store. She said her son is sick and ended it at that. Today, we started our conversation by her expressing how frustrated she was that no one was available to help her. I asked her if some of her frustration was directed at me because that was the vibe I was getting. She said she was very shocked and offended that I would suggest she take her sick son to the store. She said she knew I was traveling, but that it would have only taken 10 minutes for her to run to the store while someone watched her child or someone could have taken those few minutes to grab the necessary items for her. She mentioned that she was trying to be sensitive to the fact that I don't have kids and probably don't understand that you don't take sick children to the store because it's inconsiderate to expose others to the sickness. I said...WHAT? If I had a sick child and no one else to help me then of course I would run in and out of a store to get what I needed. I asked how is it any different than when grown adults go to the store all sick to get medicine if they have no one to bring it to them? Also, how is it any better that you have someone else watch your child while you go to the store since that exposes the person to whatever the kid has? If your child is sick then you do what you need to do is what my opinion is. This all balanced on a fine line of her being a terrible mother and me not understanding what it's like to have kids.

Bottom line:

I don't think she's a terrible mother, but I personally stick with my opinion that if you have a sick child and you need to go to the store (and no one is available to help) then you go yourself with your child...in and out, get what you need. Am I wrong for thinking this way? Am I being insensitive to my friend who has a 3 year old? Was I supposed to come to her rescue right after my trip and watch her sick kid while she ran to the store? I'm not a mother so maybe I'm missing something. :confused: Please share and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

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Hmm. I have alot of thoughts floating in my head ...

My husband and I have been in our town our entire lives so I have plenty of family and have never had a problem like this. Regardless, I have always tried my best to be prepared. I don't want to have to run to Safeway (next town over) in the middle of the night for some Pedialite/ cough syrup/etc.

I always have on hand something for everything because kids get sick, they get hurt. You can plan on that. Even if you have childcare why make them wait while you run to town to start feeling better (we are in a small area, no quick trips here). I don't think I myself would take a sick kid to the store. I only say that because it IS a hassle and with my daughter sick I could count on an unconsolable meltdown in the middle of the store because she didn't want to be there. Anticipating that, however, is what makes me decide to plan ahead.

I think thats besides the point though. It seems her attitude is....something I wouldn't put up with from a "friend". Expecting someone to come back from a 5 hour trip early to help you because of your lack of planning isn't reasonable.

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If you were 4-5 hrs away, then shes being ridiculous. If you did that and you were in town, she'd have a point.

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If I was home, I would have helped her. She never directly asked me to help her...only mentioned that her son is sick and she needs stuff from the store. If she had asked me for help directly and I said: just take your sick son to the store with you...then I could understand her point (if I was in town). Other than that, I still believe that she should have just gone to the store since she had no other way of getting what she needed for her son.

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I won't bore you with the details, but I was once in a very similar situation.

I had a healthy, but preemie newborn infant and a very sick (and contagious) 3 year-old. Just trying to keep my hands clean in between tending to them was a challenge. I took my oldest to the pediatrician and came out with a laundry list of prescriptions, as well as needing supplies at the grocery store.

Hubby was out of town, we had no family for hundreds of miles, we lived in a rural area without any nearby neighbors, and my place of employment was 45 minutes away, so no help with babysitting from co-workers.

Doctor's office called in the scripts so that they could be ready when I got to the pharmacy/grocery store, and off we went. By the time I got there, it was pouring down rain. No choice but to run in with 2 kids in my arms. Mix-up with the insurance company meant waiting for nearly an hour to get the meds filled. The kids were both crying and I was ready to. A lady approached me who looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. She introduced herself as a store employee who was there shopping on her day off. She offered to sit with the girls in the cafe while I ran the groceries out to the car and pulled up under the canopy. I wanted to hug her, but figured I was probably contagious too:) Small, random act of kindness which saved my sanity and renewed my faith in my fellow man.

Your friend was wrong to try to send you on a guilt trip. Part of being a mother is pullling on your big girl panties and figuring out what to do, even if it's not ideal.

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Seems odd that she was willing to wait 5-6 hours to get what her sick child needed to start feeling better. How fair is that to the kid?

In the case of throwing up, there isn't a whole lot you can give a child to help them feel better. Flat white soda. crackers. Our pediatrician used to recommend giving Jell-O powder mixed with cool water to replace fluids (this was pre-Pedialyte). But we didn't give anything but occasional sips of water (mainly to rinse the nasty taste from the mouth) until we were certain the n/v was done.

The prevailing wisdom these days is that you don't want to stop vomiting because it's ridding the body of something that doesn't belong there.

For anything other than vomiting, you bundle the kid up and scoot through the store as quickly as possible. That's all there is to it.

It sounds like she feels like a bad mother, rather than that you made any accusations. And I wonder if there was another agenda afoot--something she needed/wanted from the store--that she was trying to hide behind her poor sick kid.

At any rate, this definitely sounds like first class button-pushing and guilt-tripping. Trying to "make allowances for you because you don't have any kids" is a back-handed way of saying she is upset with you. I have six kids and I don't get her reasoning. Oh, well. Let her think what she thinks. If she was willing to wait the hour until you left where you were staying plus another 4-5 hours while you traveled, that says this was not the urgent matter she declared it to be.

It's pointless, after the fact, to put a lot of energy into unraveling this mess. Not only was she was wrong to try to guilt you into rushing back home for her "quick little 10-minute trip," she's still out of line for holding it against you that you didn't. But you're probably better off just letting it go than trying to convince her of anything different. My guess is that it's easier to make you the scapegoat than to face the fact that she didn't handle this situation too well.

The only way to win is not to play.

Edited by rn/writer

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i agree, your friend acted inappropriately.

if i needed something from the store for my (sick) child, come hell or high water, i'd get it...

even if it necessitates bringing your child/ren with you.

respectfully, it sounds like your friend has some issues.

leslie

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taking the kid to the store for a 10 minute trip versus waiting 6 or more hrs for you to get into town? that does not even make sense.

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You're right...it doesn't make sense. Not sure why I've been overthinking it, but it must have been because I needed a new point of view. Thanks.

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You can do things for people over and over and not ask for anything in return. Then there will come a time that you just need their help in a serious way and they will overflow with excuses that, in fact, will be, "I can't because of my kids" and that lie will go on just out of laziness, you'll know when it's a lie.

I hope this person is not like the above. But now I know from experience that as soon as I have an idea someone is like this, they no longer are a friend. I don't do drama, I just don't contact them and don't respond when contaced. They soon go away.

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If my child was throwing up and having diarrhea, I probably wouldn't leave the house.

Other than that, I'd bundle them up and go out. But I'm talking from the perspective of being the mom of four children.

I remember when I was the mom of one child and I had a lot of misconceptions about being a parent. I even called the ER nurse in the middle of the night about my son's constipation. Of course he was sitting on the toilet crying and not letting himself go . . . .

I think I'd cut her some new mommy slack.

But I'd never ask someone to come over and get exposed to the illness.

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I wouldn't expect someone to drive hours from out of town to come watch my sick kid. That is not a fair thing to ask.

But there are times when I'd sure appreciate someone watching my little one so I can run to the store and get something we really need. This applies to real needs, like medicine or more diapers. Not a bucket of ice cream. I don't always think it's right to take sick kids out of the house - exposing others to their germs, but also from the child's perspective, who of us likes to be schlepped hither and yon when we don't feel good? If it was an absolute need and there's no one else around, I'd take my kid out, but it would be very grudgingly. Firm believer in small children needing food and rest here.

(PS - 'sick' to me is vomiting, diarrhea, or a high fever. A mild cold or an occasional cough doesn't fall into that category.)

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