Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The naked she-pirate

I read something recently about the importance of a post titles. As if the pressure to write something of worth isn't great enough, but now we have to be all competitive with the titles, too?

Today my title is nothing more than a hook--a clever ploy to get you to click. I could call it "when my son spiked a 103 degree fever and I diagnosed him with a virus called hand-foot-mouth," but that doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "naked she-pirate", no?

Luckily, I had some pictures that go with the title. We have these pirate eye patches from a friend's birthday party, and they tend to be a staple of our post-dinner rumpus. While Miles usually opts for the traditional eye styling, Felix gravitates to the more feminine "pirate head band" look. I don't blame him--with eyes like that, I wouldn't want to hide them, either! I don't really think Felix is a girl and am not trying to "up" the estrogen quotient in my home; personality wise, you know he is "all boy" (Or cannibal. Depends on the teeth situation.), but I just think he has an incredibly *pretty* face in large part due to his eyes and fashion sense. That boy's face...it just slays me. 


I really have to get my affinity for tangents checked out.

Hand-foot-mouth disease.


Not to be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which is not to be confused with BSE or mad cow disease. Because then you start talking prions and I will never sleep again for fear my child is going to be the topic of a NOVA special.  

Felix came home yesterday with the dreaded FUO: fever of unknown origin. In fact, a pod of kids were sent home yesterday. Oh, I know "pod" is the wrong categorization, but I'm usurping the title from the marine mammals and using it for a group of toddlers; don't tell me you didn't just have a great visual. Eric called me midday to inform me he was playing hookie (kidding!) and going home with Felix and also brought Miles home for good measure. He assured me: "he'll be fine tomorrow," which is code for: I hope you plan on bringing home your work computer and don't mind conference calls with Sesame Street blaring in the background when you try to work from home tomorrow.

Poor Felix woke up in the middle of the night and was burning up, pleading for water. I went into the room instructing Eric to bring in the syringe of ibuprofen I doled out before we went to bed. (We are a family bent on efficiency--dispensing ibuprofen in the dark in the middle of the night is not in my wheel house.) I waited with captain inferno, whose synapses were probably being singed by prions (at 4am, anything can happen), and calmed the cap'n with:

"Daddy will be here in a minute with your medicine. And then we will get you water, sweetie."

He'd go: "Waaaater! Waaaater!" I'd go: "I know, honey, Daddy is coming." (set to the tune of Chicago's I Can't Do It Alone). And then the dreaded: "WHYYYYYY??" Really? Throwing me the old toddler "why" curve ball in the middle of the night? I have a hard enough time fielding that response when I'm cogent.

I walked back into our room wondering where Eric was and made sure he didn't think he needed to go out back to the MEDICINE TREE to pick off some low hanging fruit full of ibuprofen. Ah, he was perched at the end of the bed still "waking" up.

Well, if you want something done right, you better do it yourself. No time for teaching lessons. So I got Felix his medicine, and Eric mustered the strength to get him water.

I put Mr Hot Potato back in bed and I sent an e-mail to work under the covers of the spare bed I was sure to take up residence in for the remainder of the night...

...and that's when I knew it was going to hit--a really good blog post. You know, the kind that germinate when you are in gridlock on I-285, or enjoying an uninterrupted shower, or at 4am when you are huddled on the spare bed on your sick boy's room. I am funniest at 4am and apparently make a mess of sense that turns into gobbledegook when the clock strikes 6am and the crystal coach turns back into a pumpkin.

Light bulb. Another invention: Whisper-dicta-blogger app!  (Much like a post's title, I'm sure the app name is of utmost importance. I'll leave that to the creative team.) It's like a dictaphone on your phone that has a super-duper sensitive microphone for you to whisper into during the middle of the night creative sessions when you don't want to get up, but also don't want to wake your bunk mates. It then generates a draft into your blog for you to refine the next day.

I'll make millions! And if I had this said app, I would have been able to compose the funny thought I had last night about making millions. All I remember now is something about a Ferrari and Britax car seats not fitting in the back. Shame I can't think of it.

Back to the prions or head shoulders knees and toes virus I diagnosed Miles with...or Felix. (Oops!) They are at that interchange able age where they know mom and dad can't get the names straight and are trained to respond to both names as well as "stinker," "boo," "baby doll," "honey," "pooks," and "you there male progeny who luged (in world record time) straight out of my birth canal." (I like to focus on my boys' athletic achievements, okay?)

So today I am left at home snuggling with a highly infected toddler who just wants to lounge on the couch and watch PBS. Strike that. Lounge in my bed and watch PBS. Our TV in the family room no longer works. I always wanted a co-sleeper.

And slowly, but surely, working mother's guilt has seeped into my consciousness; maybe it is just the prions Felix infected me with.

Will work believe me that my kid is sick again? 
Will I get fired? 
Aren't I always that mom who has walking Petri dishes from Microbiology 101?
Did the email I sent them under the covers at 4am wake them up? 
Why did I feel the need to explain the number and hue of his mouth cankers?

I agonize over this stuff at times.  I am tired of feeling like a liability or that I cannot be fully present with my ailing child. Luckily, there is one other mother at my work who has her babies in daycare, and is prey to the herd sicknesses.

Hang on...when did this post get so derailed? Probably somewhere between the 4am creative brain dump and the 11am over tired attempt at translation and composition.

And how did I go from naked pirates, to sick cows, to Mr Wizard's invention special, to working mom's guilt?

But I did get the word "Ferrari" in there. I know at one point last night I was hoping to weave in the word "archipelago" for some odd reason, but I guess that will have to wait for another middle of the night brain tsunami.

Feel better sweet baby! (Or whatever your name is.)

**Update. Last night I slept, yet again, in my son's bedroom. This time, I was asked to hold his hand and spent the night on the floor next to his bed, awkwardly holding his had. 103.3 degrees this morning. Yikes! Milkshakes and Nemo it is again. I perused Facebook while Dorey was geting blasted by jellyfish (it's not even 8 in the morning, peeps) and see that my friend posted a statement from the USDA on April 24th (THE DAY I POSTED THIS REDONKULOUSNESS) about a case of BSE! (Video below) Did I will this to happen? If so, I am currently willing a year's supply delivery of Ben and Jerry's Americone Dream to arrive at my doorstep; I'll worry about storage when Eric gets home. And I am also willing Felix's fever to go away.



  1. I have to say this is one of your funnier posts (thank you Felix), Alison. That is spooky about the BSE! I hope the little guy recovers soon and that you are able to return to work unfired. It is so, so hard to be a full time working Mom. I so wish I could be there to help.

  2. Score on preparing the Ibuprofen in advance. It's such a nurse (and mom?) thing to do! I hope he's feeling better.