Tag Archives: Worry

Sick Boys and Gratitude


This post was written at 3:00am. Please keep that in mind when you start to feel critical of all the typos.

Yesterday, Happy Dude woke up from his nap on fire. He was burning up and while I’m never really able to get a reliable temperature read, I did the patented cheek-to-forehead-touch-followed-with-a-kiss move, and I estimate that he had a fever of 103.8˚. I know it’s not unusual for kids to run a high fever when they’re fighting a bug, but that doesn’t make touching their BURNING HOT SKIN any less disconcerting.

He was pretty cranky for the rest of the day. “Cranky” for Happy Dude just means not 100% smiley and cooperative. It also means that when the Nibbit takes one of his cars (normal), Happy Dude FREAKS out (normal) but then he cannot recover (not normal). HD cries over this injustice for many, many minutes… long after the Nibbit has thrown the car back at him and has moved on to terrorize someone else.

Anyway, we fed him a steady stream of Tylenol, Advil and apple juice and he went to bed fairly easily.

Well, this morning, I received a call from the preschool saying that the Nibbit had a strange cough and was experiencing some labored breathing. I picked him up, rushed over to the Pediatricians’ office where he was promptly diagnosed with the croup. The doctor thinks that Happy Dude is probably carrying the virus too because apparently you can carry the croup virus without barking like a seal.

Side note: Is it even possible to think about croup without thinking about that scene in Terms of Endearment where Debra Winger is holding her baby in the steamy bathroom and they’re both sobbing? NO. IT’S NOT.

Side, side note: I also think about that movie whenever I add a candy bar to the grocery store check-out conveyor belt at the last minute.

So, I went to bed four hours ago expecting the worst. I expected the barking cough to start any minute and figured we’d be up all night in a steamy bathroom eating candy bars that I threw on the conveyor belt at the last minute.

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the first cry at and saw that it was already 2:02am! I had already gotten three hours of sleep! Victory!

I headed into the Nibbit’s room, gave him another dose of Tylenol and he went right back to sleep. Easy peasy. Score: Me 1. Croup 0.

Moments after falling back to sleep (of course), I heard more crying. It was the Loud One this time and I immediately thought, “Oh no. She caught it.” I went into her room and she was whimpering about having a bad dream about being really allergic to puppies. Seriously? THAT’S your idea of a nightmare? Soothing words, blah blah blah. Back to sleep. And it was STILL only like 2:20am, so of course I’m thinking, “If I fall asleep RIGHT now, I can still get four more hours of sleep!”* Score: Me 2. Croup 0.

Then about a half an hour ago, I heard Happy Dude. And he was NOT happy. I ran into his room and the poor kid was trembling with fever. And moaning. I woke KJ up to help me with the Tylenol and after we got him medicated and calmed down, I rocked his little trembling body until he was back to sleep. And not trembling anymore. (Yea for drugs.)

So now everyone is back to sleep except for me. I’m wiiiide awake. And I probably will be until about 5:30am when I fall asleep only to be awoken again 12 minutes later because the Nibbit wants the iPad.

Anyway, the whole point of sharing this looong story is this: if the whole trembling baby thing had happened a week ago, prior to my sharing my tendency to over-react to worry about things, I would have been really nervous. I would have thought that maybe that trembling baby was, in fact, the other shoe dropping… that the shaking and the fever would escalate and we would eventually be in the ER and then we’d be told that he has some terrible trembling-baby disease and then … you get the point.

I would have looked like this:

BUT after I wrote that post about worrying, something crazy happened. I found out that I am FAR from alone in Crazy Town. SO MANY OF YOU LIVE THERE WITH ME!! I HAVE A LOT OF NEIGHBORS IN CRAZY TOWN! Sorry, I’ll stop screaming.

A few people left comments on the blog, a few on Facebook, but mostly friends came up to me, face-to-face and said, “I worry like that, too. I have cancer dreams, too. I AM CRAZY, TOO.”

So as I sat rocking that trembling baby a half an hour ago and I started to worry just a little bit, I immediately told myself, “You are just entering Crazy Town. This is normal. Your friends live here, too. BUT this baby is going to be fine.”

And then I looked like this:

In conclusion (I know, it sure as hell took long enough) I just wanted to say thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone. It helped.

And now I’m going to lie in my bed wide awake for the next two-and-a-half hours.

Postscript note: as expected, Happy Dude is indeed fine. He and the Nibbit are both still under the weather, but nobody is trembling with fever anymore. Cars & trucks play (and stealing) has resumed. Phew.


*My Dad and I both have a habit of doing this… we’re always calculating how much sleep we’ll be able to get if we fall asleep RIGHT NOW. And then, immediately upon waking up, we calculate how much sleep we did get. It drives other members of the family (who shall remain nameless, P.) crazy.

I’m worried you’ll hate this post


I am a worrier. I have always been a worrier. I worry about being late. I worry when someone else is late. I worry about being wrong. I worry about things going wrong. I worry about saying the wrong thing and offending someone. I worry about conflict and confrontation.

I worry that I’m going to forget to pick up one of my kids. I worry about how I’m going to talk to my kids about where babies come from and about drinking and drugs. I worry that I’m not doing a good enough job maintaining friendships that are SO important to me. I worry about the fact that I am going to have to cook dinner for a growing family (as in “the current members are growing,” not as in “we’re going to have more members”) almost every single night for like the next 18 years. (After that, KJ is on his own.)

I worry about my kids… about their health and their happiness and about potentially losing them at a pumpkin patch (I swear, that totally did not happen this past Sunday for approximately 58 scary seconds). I worry about them getting sick and me not being able to help them. I worry that KJ will realize that I’m not nearly as fun as I used to be and leave me for someone who is (I’m sure he’s already done the realizing part). I worry about things changing when I really want them to stay the same.

At this point, I know you’re either…

a) shaking your head and thinking, “Wow, I had no idea kmac was such a nutcase”
b) nodding your head and saying, “Me too!” in which case, let’s get a latte together sometime
c) thinking, “Wow, I signed on to read funny parenting stories… I’m outta here.”

If you’re in that latter group, I SO don’t blame you. I’d check out of this Crazy Town too if I could.

The bottom line is I am always worried about that other damn shoe dropping.

I was discussing this anxiety with a friend today and she asked a great question, “Why can’t we just accept that life is good? Why are we always so sure that something shitty is going to happen?”

For me, I think it’s because life is SO good. I have so much to be grateful for … it always feels like it can’t possibly last. (These are the Sugar Days, remember?)

My friend thinks it’s a protective measure we take so that when something bad does happen, we’re prepared. We’re all, “Oh hey Shitty Thing, I’ve been waiting for you… bring it!” (Doesn’t that make perfect sense? My friend is really very smart.)

Lately, I’ve been having very vivid dreams (nightmares) about being diagnosed with cancer.

The dreams vary in plot; I get all different kinds of cancer in all different scenarios. Sometimes my kids are still young, sometimes they’re much older. Sometimes my prognosis is good, sometimes not. Sometimes I dream about how to tell my family. Sometimes I dream about whether I should discuss it on Facebook or not.



I hope we can still be friends.

I don’t know why I’m having so many of these dreams lately.

Maybe because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I’ve been seeing a lot of pink?

Maybe because of the breast cancer storyline on Parenthood? (I love that damn show, but it is KILLING me. I can barely see the laundry I’m folding through my tears as I watch it.)

Or maybe it’s because the weather is colder, so we’ve had to pull out The Monster, which is an enormous, heavy blanket my Mom made for me when she was sick.

Sometimes I wonder if my dreams are all part of a weird premonition… that maybe I’m PSYCHIC and the dreams are a sign that I really am going to get cancer! If that’s the case, at least I’ll be able to say “OK kmac, you saw this coming, you can totally handle it.” (Oh hey Shitty Thing, I’ve been waiting for you… bring it!)

So this afternoon, I Googled “dreaming about cancer” and found this at dreammoods.com:

To dream that you have cancer denotes hopelessness, grief, self-pity, and unforgiveness. You feel you are wasting your life away. This dream also represents areas in your life which are bothering you, disturbing you, and hurting you in some emotional way.

Great news! My dreams don’t mean that I’m actually going to get cancer! Yea!

They just mean that I’m hopeless and unforgiving and OH, that I’m wasting my life away.


Now I have something else to worry about.

OK, so please tell me I’m not alone over here… anyone else living a normal, happy life but plagued by dreams of Shitty Things happening?

PS. It’s worth noting, that there are a couple of special people in my life for whom battling cancer is NOT just a nightmare. It’s their real life, right now. And I worry about them too even though they’re kicking ass.


This is the Monster. It is my favorite material possession and I worry that the Nibbit will somehow destroy it.