My little Lila suddenly went from her arms aimlessly waving about and occasionally batting a toy or grasping one put into her reach to looking at a toy and deliberately reaching out, grabbing it, and tasting it. I think teeth will be coming soon, because she has gnawed on tail of tiger, snout of crocodile, and trunk of elephant so far after breakfast today. It is incredible to me how one day babies cannot seem to coordinate hand, arm, and eye and the very next day, everything works together down to coordinating feet to help hold objects. I feel privileged to have been able to witness this miracle first hand one more time.
Yesterday, I took out Zoe’s favorite activity, stickers, so that she would be able to make a sticker bug wonderland with queen bugs and princess bugs and draw them flower castles and flower food on a piece of poster board. She struggled through this activity. “Are we done yet, MeeMaw?” she would ask me plaintively throughout the activity. “Gracious, no, child!” I would exclaim brightly. “We have lots of caterpillars to peel and stick!” Zoe is the sticker queen. Whenever she gets stickers, I have found stickers on my tables, chairs, floors, cabinets, etc. Now I keep them in a Top Secret Location (guarded by dragons and fire breathing spiders) to be brought out to play whenever baby is sleeping, the laundry and floors are clean, dinner is started, and MeeMaw has extra time to spend with this delightful child.
“What’s the matter, Zoe? Are you hungry?” I asked in concern.
“I don’t fink so!” she told me.
“Would you like a peanut butter jelly sandwich?”
“Well, maybe I could eat one!” So, she had a PBJ and Koolaid. She complained that she needed a blanket because it was so cold in the house. The house temperature was in the 80s because no A/C.
We were going to walk out to the bus to meet her brothers getting off at the bus stop, but she couldn’t find her shoes. She started crying. “Well, where are they?” I asked.
“I fink I left them in Mommy’s car!” she sobbed.
“You know what? That’s okay! We’ll get them tonight!” I promised. I turned on Netflix, and she chose to watch “My Little Pony” as her brothers came in. I spent an hour with the boys doing their homework, and asked her if she wanted chocolate milk. She came stumbling into the kitchen rubbing her eyes. I touched her arm, and it was *very* hot. “I don’t feel thirsty!” she told me. “I’m still cold.”
I took her temperature orally and couldn’t convince her to hold the bulb to the digital thermometer under her tongue. Thermometer quickly went up above 102. Hunh. Maybe that one wasn’t working correctly. I found the new one, and took her temperature again. This one quickly went above 103.
“You know what? It’s time for your bath!” I told her. She cried. After her bath, her temperature was *only* 102.7. Time to call Mommy and let her know we needed some liquid Tylenol. But Mommy was already coming up the driveway.
We conferred over the symptoms. She wasn’t coughing, sneezing, or showing any respiratory symptoms, but she was now extremely pale and sleepy. She had eaten lunch and it hadn’t reappeared. She had eaten breakfast. No intestinal symptoms. Maybe West Nile Virus?
Mommy went to the store and got her some children anti-febrile medication. After taking it, her temperature went down to a little over 100, and she fell into a deep sleep on my chair. I had Lila in another room from Zoe. “Whatever it is, I certainly hope Lila doesn’t get it!” said Mommy. “Their pediatrician has instructed that if she has a temperature above 100.4, we’re to take her directly to Wolfson Children’s Hospital.”
“This morning, they played together like they always do, with Zoe kissing her and giving her toys.” I told Mommy. “And Lila has slept longer than usual today.”
Zoe awoke with just a slight fever today, ate a few bites of breakfast, drank juice, then told me she was sleepy and wanted to go sleep in her bed. Lila woke, played, ate, and fell back asleep. Everybody is quiet. The house is quiet. And instead of catching up on sleep, making cupcakes before the boys get home, or doing other productive things, I’m running back and forth feeling children for fever as they sleep, washing hands in between.
You know who will probably get sick? Yep, me.