Things for the parenting manual :
You will have way more toys than you need
Besides your child and possibly your spouse, you will have the most contact with your washer and dryer.
And the latest addition…there are few things worse in parenting than when everyone in the family is sick at the same time.
Sunday afternoon, Eva develops a cough. She had the cough for a while, but now she winces and screams when it happens. Monday morning she has a fever, and it’s a sick day for her. Steph takes off work, and I go in late while she preps for her sub. She has a fever on Monday, so this means no daycare on Tuesday as well (24 hour rule). Steph takes her to the pediatrician and they find an ear infection.
I know that children’s medicine is usually flavored, but it still seems odd to me that a baby would also have flavored medicine. Not that masking the taste is weird, but it’s bubble gum flavored, not a taste that Eva has ever had. By the end of these 10 days, I imagine she won’t ever want to try bubble gum. It’s really quite torturous, according to her constant squirming, head bobs, and gagging.
Monday night, she eats some of her bottle. We wonder if her appetite is low due to the sickness. We try to get her to drink more, to keep her from being dehydrated. She takes a little more, then refuses to take anymore. In fact, she returns some back to us. Well, not some. A bunch.
I remember a time when I heard the polls on TV about who was leading the presidential race and wondering if I would ever be a part of it. Then, one day I was called and a part of it. Then, they kept calling. I am no longer excited. It’s the same for this. I knew that one day my daughter would projectile vomit. That day has arrived. The first throw up was impressive. (I’m sure you love reading about throw up, but just in case you don’t, I’ll refer to it as singing the rest of the way.) It made me feel like a real parent, just like the first time she talked during church or pooped up her back during church. (pooping shall be referred to as whistling the rest of the way).
However, just like each one of those calls came/comes in, the moment is gone, and all you are left with is an interrupted meal and singing all over the floor. In fact she sang on her clothes, mommy’s clothes, the fridge, the carpet, etc. That, with the whistling was making for a fun few days.
Tuesday’s my day to stay home with her. She’s more sleepy while sick, so I’m Mr. Mom in the morning. Cleaned a drain that had bugged me for months. Emptied the dishwasher. Finished a blog post. Etc.
Eva continued to whistle, but she only sang a little bit. Tell me, did I emotionally scar my child by making her play on the linoleum instead of the carpet after her bottle? Singing on the linoleum is far easier for dad to clean after.
Steph took off as soon as she could from work, and was home by 3. I had leftover chili for lunch, but it wasn’t sitting right with me so I went to lie down for a while. My tummy ached. I closed my eyes at 3:30 and opened them at 5:00. I felt exactly the same, until a tune came to me. I ran to the next room to sing it.
Singing made me feel better, momentarily, but I was so drained from singing. I was worthless at this point, but was lucky to have Steph home already. Eva started to not feel well herself, and while laying down waiting for the next tune to come to me, I could hear her crying…nix that, screaming downstairs. There was nothing I could do. I felt bad, but it might have been worse to know that I couldn’t comfort her.
Eva went to bed and I continued to sing and whistle the night away, at least until 11:00 when my body decided that I had no more tunes left. I passed out for the night.
Wednesday, two in the morning, Steph wakes me to ask how I’m feeling.
“Good, because I just sang a song.”
So, my Wednesday where I recover is gone, instead it is filled with parenting responsibilities. I must feed Eva, play with her, take care of her whistling, and somehow give her the bubblegum medicine. All this while being sustained by 7-up and water.
This is what makes you a parent. It’s not those times where she’s smiling and laughing. Those are the easy times. It’s the times where you used to pop in the Star Wars vhs tapes to watch the trilogy while sipping 7-Up and eating saltines, and instead caring for a baby who despite being sick herself is still spunky.
Steph pulled herself together when I needed her. Eva learned a new trick, to stick out her tongue when any medicine landed on it, so the two person medicine dump became necessary.
While the family may have lost many, many battles with the singing bug, we ended up winning the war by making it to the weekend.