Things No One Tells You About Your Kid’s First Surgery

My oldest son had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids two weeks ago. As per usual, it was yet another opportunity for me to be reminded that a) I know nothing and b) everything that I assume will be hard in parenting is nothing compared to the actual hard stuff. The stuff that I never could have imagined and am therefore completely unprepared for when it arrives.

Ah. Motherhood. Also known as The Perpetual Exercise in Humility.  

I was nervous about the surgery part. You know, first born, going under anesthetic, having parts of his body removed, that sort of thing just sounded kind of terrifying.

And while there were moments mid-surgery that caused some anxiety, we were back home with a pile of meds and a son who was minus two not-so-vital-body parts less than three hours after we first entered the hospital. IMG_3367IMG_3373

That night, Theo was wired and refused to stay down. He ate a bucket load of applesauce and cup-o-noodles. All in all, it seemed pretty ok.

And then night fell.

This is the part where the horror movie music starts to roll…

…and play non-stop for the next 10 days.IMG_3480

In the unfortunate event that your children also have to have this surgery, I thought I’d compile a helpful little list of all the things I didn’t know before hand. They say there is safety in numbers, so all we can do is band together, arm in arm, mother supporting mother, father supporting father, and hope for the best. Because folks, I’ve been to the other side and back and I’m here to say it ain’t pretty. Normal parenting is so much work. Parenting a Recovering Tiny Person (RTP) is so, so much worse. (Shudders)  Stay strong my friends, and if you have to face a RTP of your own, remember this:

  1. Having a strong willed child means they will refuse to take medicine. They will be in intense pain and will cry and make you feel desperate to help them, yet absolutely refuse any of your help. The struggle will be somewhat mild mid-day when everyone is awake and fully functioning. They will really up their game for the 12 am, 3 am, and 6 am doses when everyone is so delirious from sleep deprivation that, with twitching eyes, you will promise your child a pony, a room of their own, anything, if they’d just take their dang medicine and go back to sleep.
  2. Requiring parents to administer medicine to their strong willed child every three hours around the clock is not so much a form of torture as it is an incredibly effective way to ensure they go crazy in under 24 hours.
  3. MSG? What MSG? Sure, cup-o-noodles has MSG listed as their second, third, and fourth ingredient, but if that’s what your demanding darling child will eat, then you will trot off to the store for yet another case of MSG delight without giving it a second thought. It’s survival of the fittest, and you know that if you attempt one more time to give your kid the organic mac and cheese, free of dyes and too much sodium, that they will turn on you and eat you alive.
  4. When your recovering tiny person throws his scheduled, nightly tantrum about taking his medicine, it will most assuredly wake your entire household, baby included. It will take you one hour to administer the medicine, one hour to get your other two children back to bed, and another solid hour to fall to sleep yourself…just in time for the next alarm to go off and repeat the cycle. Don’t worry, though! Netflix has a special parenting button they offer for such occasions so the next day you can pass out nap on the sofa next to your recovering dictator darling. Say it with me now: AutoPlay!
  5. Your friends will take great pity on you during this period of time. Let them. Embrace the reality that you are not fully equipped to handle life with your tiny terrorist. It takes a village, after all. Accept the loving gestures of meals, coffee, and babysitting for your other children. No one should have to go through this alone.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a recovering tiny person (RTP), please, share this post. Seek help. Know you are not alone. God speed.

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