Dear @!#%! Baby:
If you could do things without being so extreme, I would really appreciate it. Case in point: your first ear infection. You being sick for the second time ever (your first being the 24 hour Merry Shitmas Flu) became AN EVENT TO REMEMBER.
Let’s review, shall we?
6 pm: You develop a fever. You throw your meatballs and sweet potato to the dog.
9.15 pm: I give you Tylenol and put you to bed after we saw a few neighborhood fireworks.
6am: Still burning up. I think, oh hey! I’ll give you a bottle and some more Tylenol and we can both go back to bed for a few hours! Neat! You chug four ounces. And then promptly superhork it all over both of us. With a bonus side dish of sweet potato remnants.
6.10 am: I dry heave.
6.20 am: I place our first ever call into the nurses help line. The sweet soothing-voiced RN advises clear liquid for 8 hours and the BRAT diet thereafter if liquids stay down.
8 am: After dual naps, you hork. On me. Again.
8.30 am – 2.30 pm: You nap and snuggle, on me, leaving me with an empty stomach and a full bladder and an inability to set you down, even for a minute.
2.40 pm: Somehow, you find an energy reserve and toddle around in your walker while I shove food in my piehole and Skype with your father. You refuse to drink anything. So we toddle off to buy some Pedialyte.
4 pm: I somehow force/trick/convince you into drinking three ounces of sickly sweet Strawberry Pedialyte. And then you cry for an hour. So I order a pizza (free, thanks to Homer Bailey and his no hitter) and drive around to keep you quiet.
6 pm – 10 pm: You refuse apple juice, pear juice, water, unflavored and Strawberry Pedialyte, flat ginger ale. We tried three different sippy cups, a regular cup, two different bottles, a mini bottle out of a first aid kid, the Tylenol syringe. I throw a bottle across your bedroom in a fit of frustration and sympathy for you.
10:30 pm: Your fever varies from 103.5 to 102.7 to 99.8 because apparently my thermometer is crazy and it sucks. I take the chance and give you Tylenol. Orally. Because mama ain’t messing with that nurse-suggested suppository thing. You don’t sleep through the night.
11.30 pm: Since you haven’t taken in much of anything fluid, I call the nurse hotline again. Which was less than helpful this time. It took them an hour to call back meaning my already well-delayed shower to unhork myself was on hold. Then I got another push fluids lecture. Because clearly they didn’t understand my pleas of “but he won’t drink anything”. Finally, with a sigh, she suggested Urgent Care in the next 24 hours, rattled off some street names (yep, not addresses, but STREET NAMES) and all but hung up on me.
1 am: I GET TO $^!$@!# SHOWER
3 am: I consider the single ounce of water a success. More Tylenol for you, you poor feverish space heater.
7.30 am: After several other interruptions of sleep, I give up and start the morning. You GRAB the sippy cup of water from me and chug. I gleefully dance. Two ounces, down the hatch!!
7.35 am: Oh, look. water can flow upwards.
7.36 am: Dammit.
8 am: We arrive at Urgent Care as the doors open. It was not located on any of the streets suggested.
8.30 am: The doctor thinks you’re a girl. He says you have a double ear infection. He tells me to push fluids. IS NO ONE #%@!# LISTENING TO ME?! Suggests going to the ER if fluids don’t happen by late afternoon.
9 am: Pick up Amoxicillin at the Pharmacy. As the doors open. Nailing the early birds specials today, we should have gone for pancakes. Somehow, I get you to ingest the pink goo, which apparently has not seen a makeover since at least 1981, as well as more Tylenol, and then I think I’m on to something and put water in the syringe. It doesn’t work.
9.30 am – 1 pm: Naps, snuggles, sad faces.
1.30pm: Clearly, this drinking thing isn’t happening and the effort is stressing us both out and I make the decision to bring you into the ER.
2 pm: I cannot console you. I have a hard time maintaining composure and I can’t do anything to help you. When the time comes, it takes me, a nurse and a tech to hold you down to draw blood and insert the IV. Your dehydrated tiny little vein kept rolling and you were thrashing like a crocodile. It was intense.
3 pm – 4 pm: You wore yourself out imitating a giant reptile, so you sleep through your whole drip. I watch TV.
4.30 pm: Doctor insists you try to drink or intake some sort of liquid. We try apple juice. We fail. So you get your very first Popsicle! Yay! Grape! You try it. You don’t like it. You try it again. I think you like it. You like it for about three minutes and then it’s curtains for Mr. Grapey. I look at it longingly, as it slowly melts in the vomit tray. WHY OH WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE GRAPE?!
4.45 pm: After blood tests are reviewed, they determine you to more dehydrated than anticipated. So we get another hour of IV (and TV) Time.
6.45 pm: Concerned that you are still refusing to cooperate, Doc insists we try more liquid. Eventually, you drink formula. I hold my breath the entire time. Because, SUPERHORK. But…@!$#!# SUCCESS! I’m not sure what would have happened if you had refused it, or yukked it back up, but I was over being in the hospital. And I was hungry. And I had to pee.
7.30 pm: With a parting gift of Anti-Spit Up Enfamil, we are discharged.
10.35 pm: I get a well-deserved cocktail. And a bath.
TELL ME THAT WASN’T THE LONGEST FUCKING DAY OF ALL TIME.
I held you for seven hours.
SEVEN @!$%!~@ HOURS.
Three days later you are doing much better, back on food and drinking regular formula like a champ, though it did put my transition to whole milk on hold because I’m not going to ruin a good thing right now. I can tell you are still uncomfortable and I hate that there is so little I can do for you. It is frustrating for both of us.
So when you get sick next time, darling !@$!@ baby, I hope you remember the lessons learned from this time.
Namely, DRINK SOMETHING. ANYTHING. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.