Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Flu Shots and Sleepless Nights

            We got her a flu shot yesterday afternoon. The swine flu has been going around, and we already know a handful of people who have it. Since this is a serious ailment, with major risks, and with Michelle being pregnant, we decided the two of them should get their shots.
            Add to that the fact that we just went through Daylight Savings Time, and Celia was exhausted by 6pm. She cried and ran into the bathroom, holding onto the edge of the bathtub and bouncing up and down.
            “Do you want to take a bath?” we asked.
            She looked up at me, then pointed at the faucet with her hand bent at the wrist and declared, “Bah!”
            “Bath!” I said to her, nodding. I put her little plastic tub inside the bathtub and turned on the faucet. Then, I looked at Michelle and said, “Looks like she’s going to bed without dinner tonight.”
            Michelle frowned. If Celia isn’t well fed, we know she’ll wake up hungry. This whole “gaining an hour” thing turned around on us, in the end. Who’d have thought kids were so darn scheduled?
            So, Celia went to bed early, without dinner, and I started grilling some steaks for my pregnant wife, because she “felt a craving for more iron.” I’d barely pulled the steaks off the barbecue when I heard the baby crying upstairs.
            “Michelle,” I called, “Baby’s crying.”
            Michelle went upstairs and subsequently brought down a frantic daughter. Celia was sweating, hot, and wailing uncontrollably. She’s more mature these days, so we both looked at each other worriedly.
            “Get the thermometer,” Michelle said.
            I raced around the bathroom opening drawers, then ran upstairs and finally found it. I brought it down and put it under her armpit, but by then she’d cooled down. Still, she wailed and wailed. I tried singing to her. Michelle gave her some Tylenol. She’d calm for a moment, then pick up again.
            I looked sadly at the steak sitting on the kitchen counter, which had been cooked to perfection and was now getting cold. I went into the kitchen and cut a juicy piece off. Delicious.
            I cut another piece, walked back into the living room and fed Michelle. She smiled at me as she chewed it. We ended up eating most of our steak that way, until the Tylenol set in and Celia calmed down.
            We sat at the table and managed to eat and feed her some good food. That was a relief. But even so, she woke up a couple of hours later, and we spent time on the internet making sure she was okay. Michelle said her arm felt like someone had majorly bruised it, so I understand how my daughter was in pain. It all made sense objectively.
            Still, whether it makes sense or not, when your baby is in tremendous pain, you’re not 100% sure why, and you don’t really know what to do with it, a man starts to grow some worry lines.
            I realized just how much I love my daughter last night. I would do everything within my power to make sure she’s okay. I feel a tremendous sadness for parents who lose their children. When we invest so much of our hearts, time and energy into one single person, we grow attached in an incomparable way.
            In some ways, I can’t even remember life with Michelle and without Celia. All those months together were simply a precursor to what we have now. All those times alone were just getting us ready for this. The great adventure of parenthood.

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