¶ Still Ill
The day after I posted about how sick we all were, I wrote this:
Simone: Will be fully recovered in time for birthday, but will retain alarming-sounding cough, as is her wont, so that parents of her party guests might judge/seethe at me.
Twyla: Will be too ill for party and have to be left with my mother for the duration OR will be on the mend and able to ride out party in sling as planned, but still sufficiently snot-nosed as to incite judgement/seething (see above).
Me: Illness will reach its peak on Friday, Simone’s actual birthday, and the day on which I have promised to make her a cake with “Diego and flowers” on it, leading to my spending the afternoon half delirious, weeping, and covered in confectioner’s sugar.
Scott: Will remain unscathed until Sunday, then will fall dramatically ill just when the time has come to try to put our lives back in order, ensuring that illness will continue to impact our household for as long as possible.
Then someone started crying and I didn’t get a chance to post it, which is a shame, as it would have been novel to have evidence of my predictions being TOO dire. I was sickest Friday but not terribly, Scott did feel unwell Sunday but recovered quickly, and even Simone’s cough was better than expected. And by time of the party, Twyla was indeed on the mend.
Alas, what I did not predict was that before being “on the mend” Twyla would get much, much sicker, necessitating a trip to the ER after an innocent call to a triage nurse ended with her brusquely instructing me to dial 911. (I did not dial 911. We live down the street from the hospital, it was faster to scoop and run, and anyway it turned out she was being a bit alarmist as dictated by her triage computer instructions.)
The consensus reached by the ER doctor and Twyla’s pediatrician was that she had RSV, and after seeing how sick she was, as a perfectly healthy term baby—not to mention how sick my big, FIVE-YEAR-OLD former preemie had been all week—I am full of renewed gratitude for the quarantine and Synagis shots and plain old luck that kept Simone from getting RSV that first winter home. At the time, Simone’s doctors made it very clear to me how serious it would be, that it would mean hospitalization, probably vent time, and, you know, could kill her. I believed it. But…well. I felt very, very fortunate all over again.
Was soon returned to this
And all was well.
So naturally, on Monday Simone started feeling feverish, and by evening her nose was running.
¶ Love, Reality, Twyla
Twyla bites. Me. She bites me with her four strong, hungry baby teeth (and there are more on the way) and I have an ugly bruise on my arm as I type this. She doesn’t mean anything by it, she just likes to chew on things, and I am so frequently within reach that it would take tremendous willpower to resist. Babies do not have tremendous willpower.
Short of coating myself with something bitter tasting, I am not sure there is much to be done about this, but I felt the need to complain about it to someone sympathetic. I will say it makes my frequent pangs over the fact that nursing ended so much sooner than I’d hoped somewhat LESS frequent, so that is something.
¶ I Have a Dream
While cleaning out Simone’s preschool binder, I ran across one of the “Weekly Update” letters from last month—one that I’d missed, obviously, because I am certain that I’d have remembered it otherwise. Here is an excerpt:
“We had wonderful group time discussions on how important Martin Luther King is to all of us. We asked the class to draw and tell us about their dreams for the world and what they would like to see.”
And a photo, so you can see Simone’s vision for a better tomorrow:
I was so touched. I was also pleased to see that poor Summer got a mention, and I think “Colors, Beanstalks, Me, and a Deer” deserves extra points for originality.
My mother and I found the whole thing an endless source of mirth. And it was pleasant, when out for dinner with her on Saturday, to feel I was fulfilling my daughter’s dream for the world.
“I never thought I’d see the day,” Mother said, no doubt remembering the world of her own youth, when a Mommy going out for supper was still illegal in many parts of the country.
“To dreams!” said I, and we raised our wineglasses and cackled.
(It is awfully nice to have her home.)