An honest take on life and parenthood

Baby bug and mommy bug

on July 16, 2012

Thank god the last ten days are over.

The only thing that is worse than having is sick child is having a sick child while you are sick yourself.

First, I should say that I am very fortunate. Since the Pooh does not attend daycare, she doesn’t get sick very often.  But she recently caught a bug from a playmate, and ended up with a nasty ear infection. She was slightly crabby and feverish off-and-on for a few days, but I wasn’t sure if she was truly sick.

Then she woke up several mornings later with bloodshot, rheumy, swollen eyes, and I rushed her to the doctor. The pediatrician prescribed some antibiotics, and she was on the mend.

The next day, I started feeling achy and my throat started to hurt. And so began a ten day stretch of the worst bug I have had in a very long time.

My voice disappeared and my throat and ears began to throb. And the Pooh was not as recovering as quickly as I had hoped.

My usually sunny, sweet-tempered child was whiny and fussy and completely unreasonable. It didn’t matter what I did. Nothing seemed to please her. I offered to take her to the playground in a gesture of peace, but she wanted to walk there in the stroller. We needed to drive to get there, so she fought me getting into the car, and yelled nearly the entire eight minute drive there.

We got to the playground, and she calmed down. She explored the jungle gym and I pushed her on the baby swing, and then she decided to go on the slide. After going down once, she went up a second time, only to park herself at the top of the slide and enjoy the view, while other children lined up behind her.

“Baby, it’s your turn. Slide,” I croaked.

She sat there.

“It’s your turn. Look! The other kids want to come down and have their turn. Go,” I said in the loudest whisper I could muster.

She continued to sit there and look around with her big brown eyes, no longer red and rheumy. She looked like a sweet doll. But I was DONE.

“If you do not come down now, I am coming to get you this instant!” I screamed in a furious whisper, and slapped the sides of the slide in frustration.

She shifted, and as I started to leave the bottom of the slide where I intended to catch her, she finally slid down. I grabbed her and hauled her out of the playground, as she screamed in protest.

Good god, was I mad. And she was furious at having to leave the playground, so she proceeded to throw a tantrum. Our next stop, which was unfortunately necessary, was the grocery store. Believe me, I didn’t want to go, but we were out of some basic foods that she eats for breakfast.

By the time we got to the store, she had calmed down again.

I put her in one of those carts with the big plastic toy car on the front, and away we went to get her orange juice and strawberries. (BTW, I will be forever grateful to the brilliant inventor of this type of grocery cart, which is a boon to the mothers of toddlers everywhere). The Pooh clipped herself in, and entertained herself with the wheel of the little car and looked around.

The peace did not last long. She started to crank again, and I rushed to the checkout register, painfully aware of black looks from other shoppers. The Pooh started screaming as I put the items on the conveyor belt, and all I could see were two little chubby legs hanging out the side of the car, twisting and kicking. Ughhhhh.

The cashier, Lorraine, a woman in her 50’s, looked sympathetically at me and at her.

I apologized, and croaked, “I’m so sorry. She’s normally not like this. She must still be sick, since it’s unusual for her to act this way. She got me sick too.”

Lorraine said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. Just think of how lucky you are. Some people have kids who act like that all the time. Here’s your receipt.”

I stopped and looked her for a moment, then looked at the Pooh’s little kicking legs. I said, “You’re right. Thanks for reminding me.”

And we went home.

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