We have a magic age in our house when our kids fingers start to get warts. I think it starts at about age 3. With our oldest, I held out hope that they would go away easily, but now that we’re on kid #3 going through the same cycle, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting off easy.
Last winter, our daughter had warts on fingers on both hands, she also had one that seemed to be growing under a fingernail, and she had toe fungus as well. The final straw was that I saw what looked like a wart growing on the inside corner of her mouth. I was sure my poor baby was going to be taken over by warts. After googling “What do I do if warts seem to be taking over my beautiful daughter,”I made an appointment with our pediatrician to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary was happening and he confirmed that it was just your standard fungus. They usually run their course and go away after a while, but they can spread too. So, it seems like they last forever.
Between his advice, a couple prescriptions that he said could possibly help (no guarantee) and some random items we had around the house, we came up with a plan. Here’s what we used:
- Prescription strength salicylic acid (think Compound W on steroids)
- Cimetedine (commonly known under the brand name Tagament and used for heartburn)
- Duct tape
- A file
- This box-
We used the prescriptions as directed by our doctor. In the case of the acid, we carefully painted the tops of the warts avoiding skin around the warts. Then we got some duct tape and covered all the warts on her fingers. I think the idea is that you cut off the oxygen to the warts. After a couple of days, we would take off the tape, carefully file away the dead skin, roughing up the warts a little. Then we would reapply the acid and tape the fingers again. I also asked God to take the warts away. I talked to Him quite a bit about it, in fact. We repeated the process for several months until the warts finally went away. Hooray!
Why did we need the box? That was my husband’s genius plan. Our daughter didn’t like seeing us filing her fingers and she didn’t like seeing the dead skin. Before working on her fingers, Nathan would have her stick her hand inside the opening where it says “Insert Wart Here” and he would be able to do all his work without her seeing it. It was brilliant. I should probably sell them on Etsy. Nathan has assured me that we can take orders if anyone wants one.
- Step 1: Read THE BOOK.
- Step 2: Do exactly what it says.
- Step 3(option A): If your child follows the pattern described in the book, rejoice that your parenting skills are awesome and pass on this book as the best parenting style to everyone you know.
- Step 3(option B): If you’re not having success with THE BOOK, try THE OTHER BOOK. Read it and realize that you’ve done everything exactly wrong. Despair that your child has been ruined for life. Turn in your parenting keys. It’s over.
I have a love/hate relationship with parenting books. I’ve found some techniques that have worked really well for our family. On the other hand, sometimes the results I get aren’t exactly what the book promised. As a new mom, I felt like a failure. I read The Baby Whisperer. I did exactly what she said. Then I read Babywise and did exactly what that book said. Then I read The Happiest Baby on The Block and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I still had some really rough times with sleep and nap schedule with my kids.
I remember being in tears calling my husband. I had just read from one book that the things I did from the other book had caused my baby to no longer trust me and that I was going to have to crawl up in the crib with my baby and sleep with him until that trust was rebuilt. I could not make this up if I tried!
Do you know what’s really not helpful to a new mom who is struggling? Telling her that the reason her child isn’t doing (fill in the blank) is because she is doing it wrong.
Can we stop telling discouraged moms that the reason they aren’t sleeping well is because they aren’t following steps A, B and C in whatever the parenting book of choice might be? Can we stop telling discouraged moms that there is no way their child would still wet the bed at night if they did all the things outlined in How to Potty Train Your Child in A Day?
This isn’t an anti-parenting book post. I see no reason to denigrate any. On the contrary, if you’ve found something that works for your family, feel free to share it with other moms. It might help them a lot. On the other hand, if a certain system doesn’t work well for you, you should not be afraid to say that either. I have friends who have had awesome results from some parenting books and they are afraid to tell anyone about it because they fear backlash. Women are crazy when it comes to these things(I can say that because I’m a woman!-ha).
Perhaps there is a way to handle this with more grace. Can we share what has worked for us in a way that our fellow moms aren’t afraid to report back that they are still struggling? Can we move away from campaigning for or against different parenting styles? If I were to sit down with a new mom who is struggling today, I would share some different approaches that worked for our family and then I would say:
“Parenting is hard. Really really hard. You are not doing it wrong. Whatever parenting approach you choose for your family, I will do my best to encourage and support you. What can I do so you can get a nap today?”
Do you ever wonder why some people’s lives seem more fun than yours?
I think I’ve figured out the secret.
Yes. Balloons. Literal and figurative balloons.
The people whose lives are inspiring me the most these days are the ones who regularly make memorable moments in their everyday lives. I used to lament the fact that my life wasn’t interesting. Now I’m convinced that if I want “interesting” there is something I can do about it. Bob Goff helped his children write letters to government officials all over the world asking if they could meet and talk about what their hopes and dreams were. Some of them even wrote back and invited them to their countries! That adventure would have never happened if he hadn’t initiated it.
I don’t have the resources and connections that Bob has, but I can use what I have. Yesterday, I bought a bag of 72 balloons. I blew them all up and filled the front entryway with them.
The kids and I strategically placed ourselves and when my husband opened the front door, we dumped the remaining balloons on him.
Guess what my kids are going to remember about yesterday? Balloons.
The good thing about balloons is that everyone has access to them. Maybe your “balloon” is going down the slide at the park with your kids. Maybe it’s setting up the tent in the back yard.
What do you think? How can you add balloons to today? I would love to hear from you!
1. When you have small children, going to the park can be stressful. From the time the child is mobile until they are about 3 or 4, park play dates are not the ideal place to have meaningful conversations with friends. Unless your definition of a meaningful conversation includes one of the people running off randomly to protect their child from getting beaned in the head by the swing. If a mom is lucky enough to have several children, it’s likely that she will have 7 years of park play dates before she can actually sit down and watch from the sidelines.
2. The word “underpants” would become a natural part of my vocabulary.
3. The funniest costume to a little boy includes underwear on his head.
4. There is nothing more amusing to an 8 year old boy than a book full of riddles.
5. There is nothing more annoying to a mother than to have to listen to her 8 year old read an entire book full of riddles.
6. When I have grandchildren, I’m going to buy them riddle books.
7. I’m not above bribing my children.
8. I can drive and accurately throw food into the back seat to my children.
9. Family dance parties can make almost anything better.
What would you add? I need a 10th!