Only In Dreams.

¶ Still Ill

The day after I posted about how sick we all were, I wrote this:


Simone: Better
Twyla: Worse
Me: Worse
Scott: Unchanged/Unafflicted


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.

Happily, this

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:

Simone Has A Dream

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.)


  1. A'Dell says:

    Wait, Twyla had RSV? WHAT? How did I miss that?? Oh, I am so glad she escaped without hospital time, UGH RSV is such an awful nightmare. I’m still not letting anyone breathe on Preston. Maybe in March,

    Re: supper, it’s hilarious what children notice. I love stuff like that from preschool.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    My son had an activity like that at preschool. He has a dream, too. His dream is that one day, everyone will drive a dump truck.

  3. Jane says:

    My daughter runs a summer “fairy camp” where little girls learn the many uses of glitter and wands. Once she was asking the little girls what they would wish if they could wish anything. They gave the predictable answers of…a puppy…a new bike…a Barbie. My daughter suggested that they might make a wish that would make someone less fortunate happy. One little girl raised her hand and said, “Butterflies for hobos?”

    • MR says:

      “Butterflies” and “Colors, et al” have just made my day – thanks for sharing, those are adorably hilarious!!

      Glad your whole crew is feeling better!

  4. Ellie says:

    Dying dying dying.

    I let out a **shriek** of laughter at Simone’s response, and you and your mother. Oh Lord.

    My poor children. When I shrieked they were peacefully writing out their Latin verbs with all four principal parts, and oh dear. i think I scared them …

  5. Corinne says:

    Is there anything sadder than a sick baby? This is a rhetorical question because obviously there is NOT. Poor little peanut.

    We are very thankful in our house for Synagis as well. Especially for the red stop sign carseat hanger-thingie they gave us saying “Please don’t touch the baby!” and “Have you washed your hands?” It saved me many times from having to karate chop a stranger.

  6. Lisa says:

    Can you get something like a Gumigem/Chewigem for Twyla to chomp on while she’s in the sling? I can vouch for their durability; my 6yo has some sensory issues and gnaws the hell out of her dog tags from Chewigem. Might save you some bruising!

  7. Jaida says:

    From a fellow Twin Cities dweller, this winter can SUCK IT. We’ve had nonstop illness as well, and I am so, so so grateful that my littles are just a little bigger now (3.5 and 6). My former preemie (a very mature 30-weeker, comparatively) got RSV when he was 4 and it put him in Children’s for a week. So very happy it was your relatively robust girl that got it, though never ever fun. I remember nearly fainting at the cost of Synagis, but thank god it exists, eh?

    At my daughter’s school they did something around election time where the kids indicated laws they would make if they were president…the answers were absolutely hysterical.

    And finally, am very very jealous of your having your mother in close proximity. Mine is in Alaska and I would give anything to be able to drink wine and cackle with her on a regular basis.

  8. Whew! As a fellow follower of Summer and her general goings-on, I too was relieved by this. Please tell me you are also planting some beanstalks in your backyard and soon adopting a deer…

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