Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Warning: this post involves puke.

Yesterday afternoon the big boy woke up from his afternoon nap with bright red cheeks.
"You feel okay, bud?" I ask him.
"No." he responds and lays his head down, refusing to budge from the bed, even when I offer him television.

I know my boy though, and I know even a moderately high fever will make him vomit. So I bribe and cajole and eventually he submits to being carried downstairs (to the hardwood floors and off the carpet) by his most favored parent - Daddy.

Over the next hour he deteriorates into a heap on the floor, his cheek pressed to the cold wood.  I try to ride it out - I know with him a virus hits fast and furious.  I take his temp and he wails - the thermometer under his arm an endless agony while we all wait for the beep.

103.7. I give him a dose of Tylenol, which he dutifully swallows, a trooper. Then promptly vomits. A pink, cherry-scented, splatter pattern on the floor. Hubs and I share the duties of holding him and ssh-ing, obtaining clean clothes, and mopping up the floor.

We hide in the kitchen and take turns eating dinner, feeling it would be cruel to eat in front of him. And it is at this moment, as we divvy up the leftover Chinese-food appetizers from Saturday that I realize: we have become parents. We soothe the sick one, clean up the mess, feed the healthy one dinner, clean up the dishes, set up the coffee pot for the morning.  Working around and with each other, in a dance so finely choreographed it's effortless.  We manage.

Over the next hour, the fever cools down a bit, and we feed him popsicles. We listen to his favorite song, "The Yellow Submarine" on endless loop.  By bedtime he is himself again, negotiating for extra stories and demanding to bring his yellow spatula to bed with him.

We switch on the baby monitors and collapse into our favorite spots on the couch, eyeing each other wearily. No words necessary. Two soldiers savoring a quiet moment in the trenches.  An understanding so deep it is sustaining.  It may be a difficult, messy journey we're on -  but at least we're on it together.


  1. give the big boy a hug from nana..hope he feels better today..take some time to take care of yourself too you can afford to get sick either..

  2. Awe sweet boy :-( Hope he feels better soon. That is one of the feelings I hate most when your lil one is sick and you want so desperately to make them feel better. Sometimes I think mothers should invest in stock of Lysol.

  3. Thanks guys - he's fine, really. Back to his old hijinks today :)

  4. I'm going to assume "Yellow Submarine" is the original and not some imposter version by the likes of the Wiggles or Rafi. So give yourself some credit for being COOL parents, too. Just sayin ...

  5. Sarah - unfortunatley it's the Raffi version - we are cool parents(I prefer the original, of course), we just have offspring with bad taste :)

  6. Thanks for stopping by! We have a lot in common- my boy turned three this month, too! I hope yours is feeling better, poor kid. :)

  7. Glad the boy is feeling better! Those little fevers are funny, aren't they? Spike, then the kids are fine. You and the Hubs have a good system going!

  8. Better soon! Better sooner without Raffi...



  9. Beautifully written! It's funny how this makes me want to take on the challenge of kids as I know hubs and I will make an excellent team! Thanks for the courage!

  10. from Betty -- That was beautiful.