What color is her phlegm? (not sure, I don’t often check that particular fact)
What color is her snot? (That I can answer:6 year olds it turns out, like to show it off)
Is is a dry cough or a wet cough? What is her temperature?
These are all the questions asked when you call the doctor’s office to get a recommendation about cough syrup.
What I would like to ask in return:
How exactly do you get a 6-year-old to not swallow their boogers when they sniffle?
How exactly do you get a 6-year-old to cough up phlegm?
This was my task last week when my daughter’s table at school went down like dominoes with a cough and fever double hit. So I hand Maddie a box of tissue and tell her to spit into it when she coughs. That it’ll help get the yucky stuff out. Confident that this made sense to her, I hobbled upstairs.
15 minutes later I come downstairs to a mountain of tissue sitting next to a hysterically laughing child. Apparently spitting up phlegm is hilarious when you are six. Aha, I say to myself. I can finally tell what color this stuff is. So I ask her to show me and all I spot in the tissue is clear spit. Check another. Clear spit. Another? yep. Spit.
My directions it appears, were not understood as well as I thought. Now how do I explain phlegm to a child who has never had any?
“Maddie, when you cough, do you feel like your coughing up stuff?”
“Do you mean the boogers mommy?”
Ah. Boogers. Even girly girls that wear dresses everyday are into boogers.
“Yep, the boogers. THOSE are what I want you to spit out. Not just your spit. But the boogers with the spit. Ok?”
The tissue pile got a lot smaller after that.
Maybe she’s not as enthusiastic about boogers as she thought.