If You Plan for Chaos, Expect Chaos

We’re back from our trip to Walt Disney World in Florida! I want to start out by saying that overall, we had a great trip, and it’s easy to kind of forget the stressful portions (that I’ll share) and focus on the good and the fun. So don’t assume that because I’m writing about the stresses it means I’m disappointed in our entire vacation. I’m already at a point where I can laugh about the mishaps because, really, what else can you do?

Blog image for use on the www.everyday-commotion.com blog.

Let’s back up a little to before Thanksgiving. Isla had a fever and sore throat so I took her to the pediatrician, along with all the other kids because what else was I supposed to do, leave them at home? We’re quite a sight at the doctor’s office, I’ll give you that.

Isla is normally my calm little one, but she freaked completely out over the throat swabbing and had to be held down by me and a nurse. Ten minutes later – we found out she had strep throat. Awesome! And during the course of our long appointment, Miles told me he didn’t feel well, suddenly. The doctor looked in everyone’s throats and took everyone’s temperatures and determined that Miles and Jonah were sick, as well. Fevers and icky throats. So she prescribed antibiotics for everyone, but told me to hold off giving anything to Grant unless he developed the same symptoms.

After Isla finished her course, her symptoms came back. Called and got a new prescription for her.

The night before we left for Disney World, Jonah’s fever came back, and he also had a rash around his mouth that would not go away and was starting to look worse. Took him to ER. Doctor said his strep wasn’t gone, either. New prescription for Jonah.

I got two hours of sleep that night.

I won’t bore you with the detailed timeline of our illnesses, but the first full day there my uncle had to spend 6 hours out of the park to take Miles to urgent care. Diagnosis: unresolved strep throat. New prescription. The following day I had to take Jonah to urgent care because he’d developed a rash on his face, arms and legs and I was worried he was allergic to his new antibiotic. Diagnosis: Unresolved strep throat and a strep-related rash. Two new prescriptions for Jonah. The day after that Miles and Grant had sore throats, Grant’s was so bad he cried when he tried to eat though he claimed he felt fine otherwise. I kept telling him I was going to take him back to the hotel room to rest but he’d cry and say no, he was okay. But when we sat down for dinner and he couldn’t even eat dessert I knew that was enough – so off to urgent care visit #3 I went with Miles and Grant. The photo above is from the exam room, waiting to been seen by the doctor.

When I walked in with my two boys, I admit, I cried. The nurses ushered me to a back room and I felt bad because I didn’t want the boys to think my sadness was their fault, but I couldn’t control the tears. After six months of planning and anticipation, I was so sad that my kids felt sick and weren’t able to enjoy the trip 100%. I settled down and we waited. And waited. Finally the doctor appeared and (again, to make a long story short), she tried to blame me for the kids’ antibiotics, scared my kids by listing off all these horrible things they could possibly have and telling them they probably couldn’t go to Magic Kingdom the next day and made them cry and beg to leave.

They tested Grant for mono, of all things, despite knowing all the rest of us had had strep throat and it would make the most logical sense that, he, too, had strep. When the results came back, no mono.

In the end, the doctor said Grant had strep throat so wrote him a prescription for an antibiotic. She also said Miles had unresolved strep so wrote HIM a new prescription and also said he had hand, foot and mouth disease. Miles cried because the doctor had already told him he couldn’t go to the park the next day, but she said since he didn’t have a fever or open blisters he could go, so at least we left with that.

I woke up on our final day at Disney not sure if we’d be able to make it to Magic Kingdom. If any of the kids felt sick I knew I’d be staying in the hotel room with them while my uncle took the well kids out. But, thank you, universe, Miles and Grant felt like new kids and we made the most of our short time there.

Yes, my optimism was tested. I took Miles’ urgent care visit in stride. Jonah’s wasn’t awful because it was the day we went to Hollywood Studios and he’s too short to ride most of those rides, anyway. But when we had to go a third time, I briefly fell apart.

My friends have said that one day I’ll look back and laugh, and already I’m starting to do that. If a kid is going to have a sore throat, better to have it at Disney than at home, right?

I’ll share more about the great experiences we had, but for now I am sharing about the chaos. I said once that I’d expect chaos on our trip, and oh, did I get chaos.

Note: Before anyone jumps in to criticize my taking kids with sore throats out to the parks, the physicians we met with assured me that since they’d been continuously on antibiotics that they were not contagious. We rested as much as possible, I offered to take them back to the hotel room and sleep but that made them more upset than the sore throats, and we let Grant sit in the double stroller almost the whole day he felt less than perfect. Thankful I brought the double, I’d almost decided to take just the single stroller!



  1. Hey, things like this happen all the time to everyone. I’m sure you were great in handling it all! => We can make things better, somehow. Ha! The gift of mothers. I can’t wait for your Disney posts. For all it’s worth, I know it’s unforgettable.

  2. And . . . it’s stories like these that make me a HUGE wuss about traveling with the kids. We take them to Chicago to see my parents. That’s about it!!! Sorry for the doctor visits, feeling icky, etc. I can imagine how frustrating it was for you (even with the good moments mixed in.) You’re a trooper!


  1. […] married 10 years ago (let’s not talk about how the scale has inched up again, though, okay?). The kids and I spent time together having fun (and visiting urgent cares) at Disney World. I tried Zumba for the first time and loved it. My friends convinced me to go salsa dancing and I […]

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