When you have children, it seems all common sense flies out the window, doesn’t it? A child falls down, and you need to trust your common sense to kick in and say, ” Hey! Don’t freak out. Just take a look at the new boo-boo and go from there”. It is really hard to let yourself react to any situation with an unabashed sense of natural human nature, especially when your children are involved! When you have a co-parenting situation, you have to trust the common sense of the other parent when your child is not with you. This can be significantly harder to accomplish. Luckily, I have had a recent event in my life to blog about, so you can understand exactly how hard common sense comes to some people.
In my household, we have a very unique family. A Mom, a Step-Dad/Dad, 2 boys and a little girl. I have joint shared custody of my 12 year old son and I get along great with his Dad (we were never married and very young.). No I was not promiscuous as a teenager. I was in a relationship with this man for almost 4 years before I got pregnant with Cole while I was in college. So hush up and let me finish my story. Now then, where was I? Oh yes. I got married while I was in the Army to a person I knew from home (no he was not in the military) and we had my 8 year old son, Cameron. Needless to say, my marriage ended 8 years later when Cameron was 5 years old, Cole never liked him, he never liked Cole (I found out later) and I have never looked back. I have full custody of Cameron, because his Father cannot handle him/does not want to handle him, whatever the reason may be, he is very much not the “Daddy-type” and has confessed as much himself. However he does see his son every other weekend when it suits, and is slowly starting to come around to Cameron’s special needs schedule and habits. Very, very slowly. But hey, progress is progress and I can’t complain about that! Last, but not least, is my husband Paul and our 1 year old Ellie (Ladies, I have been through the wringer and back when it comes to relationships and let me assure you, true love is worth the wait! I do not and have not regretted anything that I have been through, because I wouldn’t be where I am right now. And no matter what else happens in my life, I know that I have a real man standing right beside me.). Paul loves Cole, Cameron and Ellie equally. Even with Cameron’s special needs, which can be trying on any parent, let alone a step-parent. He’s one in a million folks!
Now, let’s get to the common sense issue. This past weekend, Cameron went to his Dad’s house to see his Dad’s family and what not. However Sunday morning, I come out of church to my cell phone blowing up with missed calls, text messages and voicemails. Apparently, according to one voicemail, Cameron has a “little fever” and he does not have any children’s Tylenol, so what do I want to do, because he is “out of options”. He sounds as though he is pacing the floor and chewing his finger nails. Well, my friends, my first reaction is to laugh hysterically and say, “Go to the hospital and tell them he is dying”, with as much sarcasm as I could possibly obtain in one sentence. Looking back now I probably should have said that in a very serious way. When I finally got the “story” out of him, I come to find out that my 8 year old son has a temperature of 104.4 and can barely see straight because he is dizzy.
For those of you that do not have children or have not yet had the pleasure of your child being sick with an unusually high fever, your first common sense reaction should be to call a doctor or in this case, go directly to a hospital. Post haste. Why? Because in infants, any temperature over 100.4 can be a cause for alarm. In children 4 years of age and older, a fever of 103.0 and over. These high temperatures can cause seizures in children. A special needs child of Cameron’s age, you should be going to the emergency room after 102.0. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to wonder what you should do, then call the doctor. See? Common sense. It works wonders.
So I went a picked up my son, who was given nothing, was not wiped down with luke warm cloths (a very handy trick to get a fever to break when your big kid does not want to move and you can’t pick them up for fear of breaking your back), and I took him home where I took his temperature and it was at 102.4. I called the doctor, the doctor told me to monitor him closely, give him children’s Tylenol and put his butt to bed (Cameron was luckily drinking plenty of fluids and passing fluids on his own). His fever broke within an hour and he has been fine ever since. Common. Sense.
So now we come to the question of, “Well what are you supposed to do in a co-parenting situation? Not let the child go see the other parent because of their blatant lack of common sense, responsibility and brain cells?!”. No, my friends, unfortunately that is not always an option. Unless the child was physically or emotionally harmed in some PROVEN why, you have no choice but to let your worries consume you every other weekend. What do I do? Well I do a lot of praying. No seriously. I cast my worries upon God in the fervent prayer that he will keep my little boy safe from harm and healthy and undamaged. Now with that being said, let me point out that I am no where near being the Christian woman I want to be, and I still worry. So it also helps that Cameron has access to a computer and a free texting program where he can communicate with me anytime he wants. I strongly suggest going that route. He is 8 years old and does not need a phone, but he needs a way to get a hold of someone when needed.
So with that being said, you can’t control anyone’s level of common sense, but your own. There is no use in trying. Cameron’s Dad still has no idea why I was upset about him doing nothing for Cameron. He called me and figured that I would take care it. And I did. Maybe he has a little more common sense then I thought.