No parent enjoys it when the kids are sick. Especially when the kid is a baby or a toddler.
After a while, though – provided it’s just a cold and not cancer (god forbid) – their ill-health shifts from being nerve-wracking and a source of anxiety to being annoying and a source of irritation. My baby has had a fever for the last few nights and I’m sick and tired of it!
Emphasis on tired.
My baby responds to medicine as if we were forcing him to drink battery acid, doing his best to block entry of and/or expel the sticky liquid, either by passively allowing it to drool back out, thereby creating a nasty laundry disaster, or by spitting it out all over you. Mom and Buried and I have spent the better part of a week with sticky blotches of grape-flavored goo on our clothes and arms. (Don’t even get me started on Detective Munch, who is inexplicably terrified of tissues.)
That said, for the past three nights I’ve slept next to a feverish Hammer – by “slept next to” I mean laid next to, wide awake, borderline panicking as the heat radiated off of him and he spent a good six-to-eight hours screaming and restlessly rolling around – and it has not been a lot of fun. I haven’t gotten a bit of sleep, and my tank was running perilously low even before these middle-of-the-night vigils.
The most frustrating part? There’s little to be done. The thing basically has to run its course. Unless the baby’s fever hits something like 300 degrees, or he maintains it for the length of a hockey season, all the doctor tells you is fluids, steam, and fever reducer.
Wait. That’s not the most frustrating part. The most frustrating part is how every morning after The Hammer has spent all night in the throes of a seemingly fatal illness, robbing me of my sleep and infusing that sleeplessness with (even more) panic and stress (than usual) only to rebound and be his typical cheerful, energetic, destructive self the next day.
Is there anything more annoying than the obliviousness of a child who’s putting you through the ringer without even the slightest clue he’s doing it? I’m not saying I’d prefer he be so sick he can barely function most of the time, but I’d definitely like him to get to the age when he understands the need to fake it if he wants my sympathy.
But no. Instead, not only does he show few signs of being hindered by his fever and congestion during the day, he doesn’t even have an ounce of sympathy for me! He’s just doing his thing, being an adorable, obnoxious menace, destroying my nights with worry and going about his days like nothing has even happened. His ability to soldier through would be impressive if it weren’t so infuriating.
The Hammer’s sick, I’m tired, and the worst thing of all is that only one of us will ever recover.