To See it Clearly, Take it Rear-ly.

Today was supposed to be the inaugural visit of Dr. Nanny, the sweet, moments-from-graduation med student I have hired to look after Simone from time to time. I was excited about having the opportunity to get some work done during the daylight hours, before my mind has begun to drizzle out my ear as it does at the end of the day. My work thus dispatched, my evenings would once again be free to use as god intended, for the dissemination of my complaints and crackpot theories via the Internet. I’ve missed you people. Of course I was also excited for Simone, as she would have a caregiver capable of using the Glasgow Coma Scale post inevitable head injury.

But it was not to be.

Simone is sick (hopefully as a result of the MMR vaccine she got a week ago and not something more sinister) and is absolutely beside herself with ennui. Nothing is any good—being held, not being held, sitting, crawling, toys, the absence of toys, cats, the absence of cats—it is all too tedious to bear, and I couldn’t very well subject Dr. Nanny to such histrionics, not if I want her to return. Besides, I get a little mother bear-y when Simone is sick, and all I want to do today is hold my baby while she vainly protests, plying her with Tylenol and endless tuneless renditions of Fly Me to the Moon. Pausing occasionally, of course, to insert a lubed thermometer into her tender asshole.

Before you close your browser in disgust, let me explain that in fact Simone finds this LESS objectionable than the axillary method (ever since her NICU days, she has reacted to a thermometer under the arm as if I had heated it first over an open flame). Also, rectal temperatures are much more accurate, and as Simone’s topped 102 degrees an hour ago, I am not screwing around with armpits, my friends. Besides, you all know how the saying goes:
Of axillary
temps be wary,
To protect ‘em
use the rectum!

(Ok, I just made that up. But it SHOULD be a saying, don’t you agree?)

And as you can tell, because I am here writing to you, I seem to be getting a little time to myself today after all, as Simone has been asleep for an hour. This is the most telling sign that she is verily ill, as the poor moppet never, ever sleeps longer than 40 minutes during the day. So I am sending up a tiny flare to tell you that I’m still here, and that the end is nigh. Not THE END, the end, but rather the end of me not being able to snatch even a moment to write to you. Hurray for Dr. Nanny! Now I’m off to feel Simone’s forehead and hold a spoon before her mouth to see it fog reassuringly.


  1. Linz says:

    I love the newly traditional saying and feel for you with the sick post-vaccination babe. (My 2-month-old daughter had her first 2 vaccines yesterday and is spending today, by turns, being a very fussy nurser and recreating les eaux de Versailles with runny yellow poo.) Hang in there!

  2. Heather says:

    Hope Simone feels better! Thought – she may have simply caught some random bug out-and-about. Ask me about the time my RSV-quarantined kid came down with stomach flu and then gave it to me.

    On that note — thank you and curse you for the Thomas’ English Muffins recommendation. I can’t stop eating them. Must be laced with crack, which I can’t find on my points calculator so it must be fine.

  3. Laura says:

    My kid vastly prefers the up-the-butt thermometer (labeled BUTT in bright red letters to avoid medicine-cabinet comedy) to the armpit method, too. Let’s tell them all about it, some strategic teenage day.

    SO glad you found a nanny. She sounds like a peach! Dr. Peach.

  4. Carla Hinkle says:

    I hate sick babies … and also the delay of Dr. Nanny is quite unfortunate.

    I am sure you know about the vastly superior powers of baby ibuprofen, right? It blows baby Tylenol out of the water. Or is Simone not allowed to have it because of preemie stuff?

    (If fevers get very high you can even alternate Tylenol and ibuprofen but I’m not sure how old a baby has to be for that, I haven’t done it on anything less than a 18 month old and not a preemie at that.)

  5. I reckon that Dr. Nanny will not be phased by a little Grumpy. Our next door neighbours are both doctors; their daughter – our son’s godmother – is a vet. And the thing about health professionals is, they know what the real worry-symptoms look like. So they do not get exercised over ennui.

    Nor do they get the least bit concerned about bruises, spots, cuts, 40-degree temperatures, vomiting, funny moods, wobbly walks, diarrhoea, blocked tear ducts, speech delays, heart palpitations, angry rashes, minor holes in the heart or loss of appetite. (Unless you’ve got them all at once. OBVIOUSLY.) I know this, because at some time or another, we have paraded all these symptoms in front of them and received short shrift – which is a little embarrassing when you’re an over-anxious parent (*coughs & looks conscious*) and every single one of your child’s symptoms, when googled, seems to presage either meningitis or ebola.

    Having said all that, it’s fabulous to be able to go out and know that, should the child require emergency suturing, the resulting stitches will be your babysitter’s Very Neatest Work.

    Poor Simone. Feel better, sweetheart.

  6. a says:

    I got the ear thermometer, because the armpit trick wasn’t working, and I couldn’t bring myself to go rectal. It works OK, but what I really want is the thing they have in her doctor’s office – a wand you run over the child’s face and voila! instant temperature!

    Hope she’s feeling better soon – although the napping seems to be helping you too!

  7. Ginger says:

    Hooray Dr. Nanny, we want our flotsam back. Alexa, I have a medically high needs baby and our doc says Ibuprofen is the way, after 6 months is fine. We just battled fevers that might go to 104 and such, and baby Ibu saved my bacon. Good luck.

  8. Jessica says:

    Love the new saying with thermometers. Don’t love that the baby feels like heck which means the Mom feels like heck. Love how much you made me laugh silently in my work cubicle. And Hairy Farmer Family – you’re funny too. Got a blog? I need more laughing.

  9. God bless you, Jessica, I’m not really a funny woman. Just a desperate one!

    I twittered ‘When fever roars hot: the bum’s the right spot … but it now seems to have disappeared. Probably for the best, too.

  10. T says:

    I don’t really understand what’s so objectionable about a small glass tube under the armpit, but A would go mad, MAD I tell you when we would try that. Babies, eh?

    I hope Simone feels better soon.

  11. Flicka says:

    What a great limerick! I am totally using that and teaching it to every mom I know.

    Poor Simone. I hope she’s up and about very soon. She and Dr. Nanny need to start their adventures!

  12. Aurelia says:

    I hope Simone feels better, and I wouldn’t worry about the med student nanny, because I’m sure she’d regard it as a case study!

    Although I do understand that you might want to be with her yourself. Take care hon…

  13. Susanna says:

    Oh chickie, feel better!

    I suppose I should break down and get a rectal thermometer (they are specifically rectal, right?) rather than compensating for the inaccuracy of the axillary by using three different thermometers and averaging the results…

  14. Jennifer H says:

    I’m sorry you’re all suffering there, I hope she feels better soon. You’ve got to get a temporal artery scanner thermometer. You can do it while she is asleep! As accurate as rectal – we use them in the hospital where I am a nurse, but costco has the home use version for around $27.

  15. tash says:

    Poor Bella had to get her temp taken the hard way when we took her to the ER in December for the double whammy ear infection avec rash, and now she screams and runs in the other direction whenever I say “thermometer” even if it’s only going in her armpit. Must check out those ear dealies. Isn’t there some magic strip that we can hold on their forehead and it turns purple if things are bad and cheery yellow if everything’s fine? We can put men on the moon and we can’t think this up?

    You must write more. Tell us where to send checks to nanny person.

  16. Nina says:

    Not that it matters particularly, but I use the digital ear thermometer with my son. It takes less than 3 seconds. The only downside is that you need to remember to have spare batteries and now my son is so enamoured of it that he screams bloody murder if I don’t let him play with it and measure my ear temperature every so often.

    Hope Simone feels better soon.

  17. Autumn says:

    Just learned this one from a nurse when my son was sick last week. He called it “leap frogging motrin and Tylenol”

    So here is what you do. Administer Motrin every sick hours (call Simone’s dr and ask about her dosage. Don’t listen to the bottle)

    Motrin is good for 6 hours. When you get to the 4th hour give her tylenol which is only good for 4 hours of fever relief.

    This way she is never not protected against fever. As the motrin wears off, the tylenol kicks in.

    Plus children’s motrin is better for aches, pains and inflammation.

    Hope that helps! Wish I had known about this those two horrible nights of fevers 103-104 that my son had!

  18. Mrs. Moose says:

    OMG, my Caroline reacted to her MMR a couple of weeks ago with a weird rash that neither her nurses, her doctor nor the internet seemed to have ever seen. She didn’t have a fever, but was a quite listless and fussy. (A tooth also showed up sometime near there, though I don’t know the real date since she’s been biting me every time I stick my finger in her mouth lately). Hope she feels better soon and that Dr Nanny is amazing.

  19. Penny says:

    Heh, when you talked about the rectal temp I thought it was to relieve constipation. Because that’s what thermometers are used for around this house!

    Sorry to hear about the sickness. Hope she’s better soon, and the nanny can swoop on in.

  20. Erin says:

    Hi, first time commenter here. I stop by often to see if your little Simone’s cheeks are getting any bigger, she’s just adorable!

    The Exergen temporal thermometer is the way to go. My preemie guys were over the armpit temperature taking as well. I think they OD’d on it in the NICU. We’re all getting along now that we have the temporal. Hope your litte chick-a-dee feels better soon!

  21. Glynda the Good says:

    Hope the gorgeous girl is better. “Up the bottie to see if they’re hottie”. Yeah, I made that one up… Etc.

  22. Colleen says:

    In the end, how did you find Dr. Nanny? I was curious which one of the many suggestions paid off for you (as someone who will be conducting my own nanny search in the near future). Thanks.

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