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.