Are you the parent of a child with asthma? I came across this article today with a video interview (I can’t seem to embed it properly) and thought it’d be something good to share.
Back when I was in school things weren’t as closely documented and regulated as they are now. I did have to provide information and a rescue inhaler (this got expensive over time) to the school nurse and the trainers just in case. It seemed silly to me because there were always three inhalers available to me when I was at school. Now that I think back on it there were questions at times why I even had my own medicine on me, but there was no way I’d give that up.
I did appreciate what Dr. Carel had to say about informing the nurse, classroom teachers and gym teachers. Yesterday I wrote about adults feeling uneasy speaking out so you know kids aren’t always the best advocates for their lung disease. They probably aren’t even fully aware of their symptoms and the implications of ignoring/not treating them.
I had the most consistent trouble with asthma while in high school and had extra problems my freshmen year because I had transferred in from a different school and it was like I had to prove myself in everything I did. The guidance counselor didn’t trust my good grades to let me into the classes I wanted to take, for the first few months I was accused of having mental problems which were causing my asthma (yeah, they tried to force me to see the school district’s psychologist but my mom shut that down), and after I was forced to quit football I also told the band director I could no longer do marching band. The worst harassment probably came from the band staff.
After that first month or two the nurse called my mom one day and said, “You know, he really has asthma…like bad.” After Mrs Tuftee was on my side, nobody dared question my condition. She even went ballistic on the band secretary one day for me which ended the snide comments every time I came to practice. I ended up spending a lot of time in her office that first year and made friends with the other chronically ill student who suffered from lupus. I wouldn’t say I was having fun missing class or seizing up that one time resulting in a 911 call, but it was nice to know I had an advocate.
I have a daughter. She’s three years old. She lends a lot of credence to this family’s cool factor so it doesn’t bother me to give in when she asks for things.
Yesterday I let her paint my toenails.
Yeah, it sounds a little ridiculous, but she asked and asked and I felt like a used car salesman was trying to get me to purchase truecoat for my car cause they use salt on the roads, dontcha know!
I wasn’t really answering so Chuck told me she’d go get the colors so I could pick them out. We ended up going with green and purple. I’m lucky a nihilist didn’t chop a toe off my left foot for a kidnapping scheme. I’m sure some of you are thinking this is a little ridiculous – a guy letting a little girl paint his toenails, but is it really that big of a deal? It’s not like it’s hard to take off, and you could tell this really made Chuck’s day. I figured since she hates getting her picture taken, but will smile to show me how much fun she was having at things where I’m stuck at home trying to breathe, the least I can do is let her put a little paint on my feet.
I’m one of those guys who watches a LOT of movies and TV shows. Often times friends will tell me they don’t know what to watch and after twenty questions to find out what kind of movie/show they’re looking for, I’ll have some recommendations for them. I never thought my three year old kid would be doing that for me.
Last November we were traveling in New England for a wedding and while hanging out in a hotel room we turned on the TV. Chuck wanted “a show” and the first thing I tried was Cartoon Network. There was a weird, animated show about a kid and a dog/animal thing that was funny/snarky and remotely reminded me of Dungeons and Dragons. At the time I thought the content was probably too advanced for her both from an intellectual and maturity standpoint, but she loved it and we let her watch anyway. I didn’t really think much about it until Chuck recognized the characters, a few weeks ago, on a Netflix recommendation screen and begged to watch it. We turned it on and it wasn’t too bad. I barely paid attention while reading email or Facebook on the couch. At some point over the next week I actually paid attention to an episode and realized how good it was. And then it happened…
My wife caught me watching Adventure Time by myself one night after Chuck had gone to bed. I did find one video on YouTube explaining the show is popular with adults due to nostalgia…and that makes sense. Eventually I mentioned it to a friend at work who would be aware of this kind of stuff and discovered I’m not the only father who loves the show. With the amount of pop culture we’re exposing our child to, I can’t imagine what sort of recommendations she’ll be able to give in ten years. I’m gonna have to call this a proud parent moment.
Every Tuesday I try to spend some quality time with my kid. She looks like her mother, but received a lot of my personality. Tuesdays are one day every week that we watch a movie together and eat popcorn, and today was no exception. Today’s flick was The Polar Express. Chuck gets to pick the movies, which actually aren’t too bad. She’s not into most of the awful kid programming I hear some parents complain about and her favorite movie is Fantastic Mr Fox. With all the problems going on in the world today, I figure the least I can do is try to ensure my child has a good appreciation for film and knows I care about her. Some day we’ll watch the Alien Anthology, Star Wars or all six seasons of Oz. For now we’ll stick with more G-rated stuff though and continue to make popcorn together on the stove.