Child Whispering

posted by Momo Fali on October 6, 2011

When my son was little, he was sick a lot. He used to get bacterial infections as often as I buy purses; which is to say, all the time.

Before he was a week old, he got a UTI, then there was pneumonia, strep, antibiotic-resistant strep-pneumo, mastoid infections (betcha never heard of that one, have you?), eye infections and two ear infections for good measure. I hate to leave out meningitis, but I will, because it was viral.

He’s had eye surgeries, two different sets of ear tubes and removal of his tonsils and adenoids…all in an effort to curb the infections…and more than anything, to stop them from traveling to his little, malformed heart. He has spent, roughly, two out of his nine years on antibiotics.

As he’s gotten older, and with each successive surgery, things have gotten better. But, that doesn’t mean that I ever let my guard down.

Just last week, my friend Bean was talking about how amazing a mother’s intuition can be. She trusted her instincts and got her son help when he needed it, because she just KNEW something wasn’t right. And, as far as I’m concerned, intuition saved my daughter’s life.

On Monday of this week, my kids didn’t have school. They were playing a game in the living room, while I was in the kitchen, when I heard my son cough. It wasn’t a fit, he didn’t throw up from it like he used to…it was just one, single, solitary cough. Cough.

But, I knew it wasn’t right; my gut told me so. Because of his history and because of his heart disease, I had set out to call the pediatrician’s office first thing Tuesday morning. My husband thought I was crazy. He said, “What are you going to tell them? That there’s nothing wrong with him?” because, really, there wasn’t.

Then I came to find out that five kids in his class had pneumonia.

I got him in and his doctor prescribed an antibiotic, but it hadn’t kicked in before last night when his cough and fever worsened. He was curled up in my bed, kind of weepy, when my husband walked in and knelt beside him. He rubbed our son’s head and said to him, “I sure am glad you’re on that medicine. You’ll feel better soon.”

To which I snarkily replied, “Wait…what? I thought there was nothing wrong with him.”

My husband shot back the snark and said, “Yeah, yeah. You’re the child-whisperer.”

Then my son, who obviously understands motherly intuition wearily lifted his head and said, “No she’s not! She’s my mom!”

Exactly, buddy. Exactly.


  • BusyDad

    You are amazing at that mom stuff.

    Kind of related, I picked my mom up at the airport the other day and her first words were “you look like dog whisperer.” I know, this is a random thing to throw into a comment, but I think I’ve earned the right to do that here.

    • Momo Fali

      Indeed, you have.

  • Tara R.

    Child-whisperer… I like it. I can see a reality show in your future. Hope your little guy is feeling better.

    • Momo Fali

      Thanks, Tara. Antibiotics rock!

  • burghbaby

    Damn, you’re good. Very good.

  • Zak

    Moms just know what’s up. You rock.

    Feel better soon, buddy.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Oh yes. A mother always knows when something isn’t right. And you rock the casbah.

  • Susan

    Sounds like you’re a good mom, too. Her little boy knows best.

  • Melissa

    My daughter is a former preemie with a catalog of health issues. She has been – knock-on-wood – fairly healthy, not considering the fact that she needs a kidney. Anyway, I can always tell from a room away that something is not right. My husband tells me I am nuts, or overreacting, and I am always right. Whether it’s a fever, or looming stomach bug, I just know. Good, I guess. But I’d prefer not having such extensive experience.

  • AlisonH

    Amen. Well done, Mom. Always, always follow that gut instinct–and you do. Good for you.

    (Me: “Trust me. Something’s wrong. I know you just tested her vision. Do it again.”

    My kid was blind in one eye and had bluffed through the preschool and school vision screenings. I was right, they were wrong. Found out in time to save her brain development for that eye.)

  • Frelle

    I know my kids that well too. For no reason at all yesterday afternoon, I knew we were about to get hit with a stomach bug. Sixth sense of it looming. My son fell asleep early last night, confirming it. He woke up an hour later with the stomach bug. You know when your kid’s not acting right, or by the sound of one solitary cough, your red flag goes up. Glad you followed your instinct and got meds aheady of the worst of it, Mama! Hope he’s better soon!

  • MaryD

    Parents hope they will be this good…but you actually are.

  • niki

    luv’d that!! the “she’s my mom” part. not the part about your baby boy being sick, of course. 🙂 hope he’s feeling better now.

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