I've spent the last few months with a toddler who consistently has green goo streaming down her face, and while that kind of sickness is par for the course with children, my partner and I have endured a few moments that haven't brought out the best in either of us as parents. We've now had just about all of the fights every couple has when their kids is sick, from whether she's actually sick to whether we should give her medicine or take her to the hospital.
One element that complicates sick kiddos is the way you were actually raised and, of course, how your partner was raised. My mom's unofficial motto was "Suck it up," sympathy not being her strongest characteristic, which is exactly where I point the finger when I feel myself getting fed up with wiping my daughter's nose one more time. Meanwhile, my dad panics at the merest whimper, so I straddle the line between the two. My husband was brought up with a mom who was a nurse, so she had a bigger reserve of sympathy than my mom. However, she also believed she could solve just about any ailment without needing a visit to the doctor.
I don't think there's anything more panic-inducing than having a sick child, and a sick baby can be even more difficult because they can't tell you what's wrong or what hurts. A few weeks ago, our daughter spent literally eight hours writhing and screaming, and no amount of cuddling or cajoling would make her stop. I couldn't even think straight when trying to figure out what to do or how to help her and, unfortunately, that sickness alone resulted in no fewer than seven major arguments between me and my husband. Sick kids turn parents loopy, and you'd have to be saints to avoid it.