Apparently I was kidding myself. I wasn’t ACTUALLY a REAL genu-ine parent until last night. I guess it is impressive that I’ve been a parent for EXACTLY seven years, six months and four days and that I’ve never had to do this. At long last, I finally experienced the ultimate initiation rite in the wee hours of the morning. Kayliana – our healthy, robust (said with a rolled r) little baby girl has finally caved and joined us in the sickness we’ve been swapping around for the last week. First Zach had it, then Matthew REALLY had it (missed four days of school). Then I got it and spent part of the weekend in a fever-induced trance on the couch. And, alas, Kayli succumbed to the germ nastiness, at 2:40 this morning, she had a fever – the ultimate in sick-kidness (next to vomiting, of course).
Let me set the scene: it was a dark and stormy night. Literally. As I pulled on the requisite parental uniform for the middle-of-the-night-we-need-infant-fever-reducing-medicine-dash-to-the-drugstore – sweats and a baseball cap – I listened to the rain on the roof. It sounded like a rowdy crowd of sports-goers, stomping their excitement against metal bleachers. It was POURING. I heard the wind pick-up and the erratic clanging of the neighbors’ wind chimes. Awesome. Mike sat groggily rocking fussy Kayli and I bid him adieu as I went out into the storm. (Yes, I’m playing up the drama here). I unhitched Chestnut to ride to town for the doc- Oh, right. Thank God, this ISN’T Little House on the Prarie-days. I turned up the heat in our Honda CRV, cranked up the windshield wipers (front AND back) and listened to the BBC broadcast on NPR to stay awake. Life IS tough.
It took three stores and forty-five minutes before I returned home with the much-needed Infant Tylenol. Thankfully traffic was light (no surprise)! And what did I come home to? The miserable, fever-stricken, stuffy baby sleeping soundly in her crib. Mike – back in our bed, in a deep sleep. I reassured myself that it was still worth the run to the store. Chances were good that Kayli would wake up again in need of the fever-reducing meds that I had so valiantly collected. I collapsed into bed and tried to not mentally write this blog post, shut off my brain and fall asleep. I’m sure Kayli will wake up any moment…
Nope. She slept the rest of the night. I could’ve waited until daylight to go to the store like most normal people. And then, when I took her temperature again this morning and phoned the doctor, I was told that a 101F fever is not medicine-worthy. We’ve got to wait until 102 to give her anything. So, really, the best case scenario is that my rescue mission was a big fat, middle-of-the-night, extraneous exhausting field trip and that we don’t need the drugs at all! But at least, now that I’ve experienced the depths-of-night-buttcrack-of-dawn children meds-run I feel I’ve truly earned the title of a true, 100%, Neurotic, Paranoid, Bona Fide Care-Giving Parent. Where’s my badge?