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You Give Me Fever

Welcome to the Land of the Sick Child. When Eric or I fall ill, it's bad, to be sure. When it's Sam who's occupying the sickbed, though, we reach a whole new level of awareness.

First, a child has no understanding of the phrase "to suffer in silence." Why should he? If the world revolves around him, as he thinks it must, then surely we must all need to know about every little sniffle and every tiny itch of the eye. Then there's the fact that this particular child refuses to acknowledge that he might just possibly be able to attend to a few of his own traumas. He claims that he can't wipe his own nose, and he can't wipe his own eyes. "My eyes!" he shrieks when they begin to water. "Help, help, help!" There's no explaining, in the heat of the moment, that he can manipulate a tissue as well as I, and there's no remembering it if I explain it after the fact.

Oh, and then there's the fact that, in the midst of it all, should he spike a fever, our innate parental alarms begin to sound in a way that we never experience for ourselves. Actually, I can keep my calm pretty well right up to about 102; Eric's the one who begins to worry when the thermometer passes the 99 degree mark. Last night, I dashed out of the house for a bit after dinner, and when I came back, Eric informed me that Sam's nasty cough had turned into a fever.

"He felt hot when I changed him, so I took his temperature. When it got over 101, I dosed him with some Tylenol, and he didn't even resist," he said. I'd had a feeling something was up; Sam had refused all his dinner and hadn't wanted to do much besides sit on the couch and cuddle most of the day. In bed all night, he was a little oven lying between us; he was scarcely better this morning, so we gave him some more fever-reducer, which seemed to help.

This afternoon, Sam and I had to clear out of the house, but he seemed healthier, so I didn't worry. Of course, Murphy's Law came into play not long thereafter; at lunch, he suddenly pitched into my arms and declared, "I sad." The back of his neck was so hot, it felt as though it could burn my hand. I cradled him for a long time, practically forcing him to drink from his cup of water. We couldn't go home! House inspectors were there for at least another hour!

He perked up a little. "It's yellow down there."

"Down...where?" I asked, confused.

"Yellow downstairs. Down down the stairs."

At that point, all hope of keeping my cool vanished. My son was delirious, and I didn't care if we were supposed to stay away from home. He needed rest, and he needed to be in his own bed, and he needed that fever to go away. I'm okay with letting an ordinary fever do its work of fighting off infections and other bad things, but when my son suddenly begins to spout sick-minded nonsense, I draw the line.

We got home, and the inspector was still there, along with two other men - one of whom, I assume, is our buyer. (Yes, yes, I'll get to this in a second. Be patient!) I marched in and asked, "Is the inspection still going on?"

"We're almost done," he said.

"My son has a fever, and I need to get him to bed," I said, and I took Sam into his room and closed the door. There, Sam and I sat on the bed and rested until everybody left. I gave him some medicine, and he seemed much happier within half an hour. His fever, under the arm, was 101.2, which probably means he was well over 102. I called his doctor, and we agreed that if he's still feeling bad tomorrow, we'll come in to the office. For now, he's drinking plenty, and he's speaking sense again. Right now, he's marching around with a toy camera, taking pictures of "scary monsters" and singing a little made-up tune with random syllables.

My stomach is still knotted, though, from that moment in the restaurant. For a brief second, all I could think was, "He's cooked his brain!" Logic has no place in Sick Child Land.

Okay, so now I can get back to what you all want to hear. We have a potential buyer for the house, with an accepted offer and everything! It's not even the people I talked about in my last entry. Their preapproval didn't pan out, so they had to walk away from the table. In the meantime, though, before we even knew about that, we had a second offer come to us. A young man was looking to buy. He made us a deal, we counter-offered, and he accepted. In the end, it was that simple, and we're still getting back what we paid for the house. This guy wants the fridge, though.

Anyway, we're in the "inspection period" now. He has until March third to set any additional conditions, and then we close. I hope my early arrival today didn't create any unease, but I don't see how it could change anything as long as everybody remains reasonable. I could hear very little from behind Sam's door, but it sounded as though their inspector talked a long time with him about the house. I hope there's nothing too crazy that he found; as far as we know, other than the aging roof, there's very little about this house that needs to be fixed.

Eric leaves for Germany on Sunday, which means there will be an overlap in the time periods - a time when I'll be the only one here should something arise. Once we get past this period, we'll be in the clear with the way this relocation service works. (The relocation service buys the house from us, and they are the ones who go to closing instead of us. If something happens after that it's officially not our problem.) Please, please, please don't let anything bad happen when I can't get in contact with Eric!

Eric's going to Germany, like I said, for about two weeks. (Let's not get me started on how much I'm not looking forward to this.) He keeps asking me what I want him to bring back for me. I have no idea; I know next to nothing about Germany. Any suggestions? My yarn store owner suggested I have him bring me back some fun yarns or patterns, but I have a feeling my non-knitting husband would instead manage to find the equivalent of American dime-store acrylics. Not his fault, of course; he knows better than to ask me to buy electronics, too.

Anyway, I'm open to any and all ideas about what to request. I feel like Beauty in the original Beauty and the Beast, and I don't want to waste the chance by asking for a twig.

previous one year ago:
"What shall we have for lunch?" becomes "We have no money" becomes "You spend too much."
two years ago:
I know why I measured so large when I was pregnant; it was because he couldn't stand to have his arms bent.
three years ago:
I often walk into the room to see Po wandering around in circles, muttering, "Fi-dit, fi-dit, fi-dit," seemingly with no inclination of ever stopping.
four years ago:
I am never so flattered as when the flattery comes from the mouth of a kid.
In the ears:
Sam's cartoons

On the Bookshelf:

Gratuitous Sam

Changing Baby Barbara

His pet, Poo-Poo Dog

Coloring on Rita's lap


©1999-2003 C. Richmond.