Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Titus 2sdays: On Sick Days

My baby girl hasn't had a true sick day until now.  She's had a minor cold here and there, but even teething she's taken like a soldier.  So it's kind of knocking me off my feet to have a baby laid out with nasty fevers the past few days.

I'm so thankful for her health.  By her age, my undiagnosed celiac disease had already had me sick more times than my mom could have counted.  My entire childhood and on have been plagued by constant sickness, and I'm so thankful we've been able to keep that at bay for our baby girl.  I believe with my whole heart that her healthiness comes from our knowing about gluten and keeping her gluten-free.  I am so, so thankful for that.

While waiting till she's healthy again, I am thanking God for health in our family.  And also for cold strawberry popsicles in warm bathtubs.

There came a point today when, after leaving an afternoon visit to the pediatrician with orders to collect a urine sample from my 16-month-old, I was kneeling beside the bathtub.  While kneeling, I was blowing bubbles at my screaming baby who was standing in an inch of cold water with a plastic bag hanging down between her little legs.  In spite of the stress and anxiety filling my heart, I had to stop and take in my surroundings.  It was 5:30, I was still in sweats, there was indiscernable gross on my sleeve and my shoulder, my hair was sticking out all over the place, I was tired, and I was pleading with my tearful child to please just pee in the bag so that we could take it back to the doctor before she left at six.  Oh, and there were bubbles all over my knees.

Holy life-is-ridiculous, Batman.

I guess if I were a Tweet-er I would hashtag #firstworldproblems.  I guess all of the many folks I know who spent the day at work while I "stayed at home and did nothing all day" (oh, if I had a dime for every time I've heard a statement like that) would probably never guess that I could be engaged in such ridiculous behavior while they sat in rush-hour traffic.  I guess when I dreamed of one day being a mama my wildest imaginings couldn't really have stretched to include the scene that was playing out before my eyes.

And I guess I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, because this is the stuff I knew I was made to do when I signed up for this mama gig.  My resume never read, "Blows great bubbles" or "Knows how to to get a baby to pee in a plastic bag" or "Can build great fort for a sick baby to lay in while watching Pocoyo."  I didn't have to apply for this position, I got to choose it.  And take it.  No, sieze it.    

Head on my shoulder, where it rested pretty much all day.  If only I were so pretty when sick.    
It's a pretty important job, this mama-ing.  It's hard sometimes, it's usually pretty funny, and it's always precious.  I had no idea I could become so all-consumed with trying to reduce someone else's discomfort, or that my one-and-only goal for a day could be hunting down a pomegranate for my sick baby just because I know she loves them.

She finally gave up that darn urine sample, so I snapped my sick baby back in her car seat, then flew back to the office.  I got there at 6:01, and the door was locked.  I tried not to burst into tears.  Finally, balancing the baby in one arm and holding a cup of pee in my other hand, I tentatively knocked on the door.  Our doctor answered, and by the momentary look of disbelief on her face, I'm pretty sure she thought I was homeless/helpless/dying or some combination thereof.  Not sure what gave it away- that indiscernable gross still on my shoulder, my crazy hair, my look of "Please, God, let someone open the door" or the pale, crying child on my hip.  Either way, the sweet woman ushered us into her office and sat us down while she ran the sample, probably more out of sympathy for our pathetic-ness than anything else.

It was negative, of course.  I almost cried again, partly from relief that my baby was ok and partly from, "Really. We just went through all of that for no reason?"

Then I got back in the car and laughed at myself and knew it wasn't for no reason.  Because I knew that I would do all again instantly if there was even the remotest chance that something was wrong with my sweet baby.  Because I love her and I love all of this more than I knew was possible, even when it includes bubbles and urine samples.

Tomorrow I am taking the advice of my friend Sandy and treating our sick day like a snow day.  No running around to doctor appointments or stores to find snacks she'll eat.  We're well-stocked and the doctor doesn't need to see her again, unless she's not better by Thursday.  So, I am going to shut everything and everyone out and off, make popcorn, find some form of a Disney movie, crawl into that fort with my baby, and cuddle her like it's my job.

Because it is.      


  1. Oh, mama. I love you. I'm laughing but also groaning while reading this post. I am praying that W is restored to health ASAP!

  2. sick days are so tough! i love the idea of treating them like snow days! :) on that same note, our doctor always preaches fresh air just as heartily as fluids. even if it's just to walk out and get the mail and a brief bout of sunshine! hope w feels better soon. treat yourself to a mani/pedi once she's healthy again... i'm certain their illnesses are harder on us!


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