With the tax deadline looming, my one year old daughter came down with RSV.
<middle finger to daycare germs>
After a rather scary night, I took her back to the pediatrician first thing in the morning. By the time I got there she thankfully seemed in better spirits but I wasn’t taking any chances. I wanted her checked out again.
As we waited, a young mother came in with her baby and was visibly upset. I sympathized with her and asked if she was OK.
It doesn’t hurt to ask.
She explained that her five month old daughter had been crying all night, threw up twice and had a fever. She kept saying she didn’t know what to do. I assured her she was doing everything she should be doing. The doctor will help determine the next course of action and that all will be well.
Every first time parent can relate to the terrifying first cold, stomach bug or sniffle. The beauty of being a second time parent is knowing that eventually (GOD WILLING) the illness ends.
We both got called back into exam rooms at the same time. As I was waiting for the doctor, I looked at my daughters 18 month onesie bursting from her overgrown body. It was time to bump her up to 24 months. We had been fortunate to have hand-me-downs from my sisters who between the two of them have 6 daughters. Needless to say, we have a lot of clothes!
My daughter was checked out and given a breathing treatment, an oral steroid and after several oxygen level checks was sent home with a script for a steroid. As I was making a follow-up appointment, the young mother appeared. She asked how my daughter was and I told her what was going on. She told me her daughter had the flu. Ugh. That’s scary in a healthy adult. An infant takes it to a whole different level of fear! The only thing they could do for her was give Tylenol. The mom didn’t have any at her house. Thankfully, the doctors office had samples and administered a dose. Her ride was coming to get her and she would stop on the way home for more.
I wished her luck and as I gathered my things I had a nagging urge to ask her if she needed clothes for her daughter. I had so many bags waiting to be donated. But was I being presumptuous asking? Would she be offended by my offer?
It doesn’t hurt to ask.
I turned around and said “Hey, this may sound like a strange question, but what size clothes is your daughter wearing?”
“Six months”, she replied.
I said “Well, my daughter is growing out of her 18 month clothes and I have 6-18 months available if you’re interested.”
Her face LIT UP! She explained she had very little 6 month clothes and nothing after that so it would be a huge help. I took down her number and said I would text after I gathered up everything.
What began as a couple bags of clothing ballooned into swings, jumpers, seats, toys, extra plates/bowls, bottles, puzzles, books, towels, wash clothes and bedding. I’ll admit, I went a little overboard – selfishly wanting to rid my house of these things but genuinely wanting to help a fellow mom.
We met that weekend at, you guessed it, the pediatricians office – but this time with healthier daughters. As we loaded up the items in her boyfriends trunk, they both seemed so excited and more than anything, they were GRATEFUL.
The moral of the story is that instead of worrying about offending someone, ask them if they need help. Ask them if they are OK when clearly they aren’t.
If they get offended then so be it. You were only trying to help and there’s no harm in that.
Imagine what our world would be like if people took the time to just asked. I guarantee a much better place.