One of the many advantages to working at home is that when your baby starts vomiting and running a fever and needs his Imma, you can be there in ten seconds, not forty-five minutes.
On Thursday I was working away and heard, a few rooms down, crying followed by wailing followed by constant, hysterical shrieking. I try to stay out of my babysitters' way when they are here--if I pop out of my office for every crisis, it undermines their authority as well as the work/home separation for my kids. But once in a while I do it. When I came out of my office on Thursday, on my way to the source of the noise I passed a large pool of vomit followed by smaller pools of vomit before coming to a vomit-covered baby with more vomit coming out of his nose, in the bathtub being de-vomited by Asnat. (She has been in the Israeli army. She is not fazed by a little puke.) I took over, calmed him down, nursed him, gave him Tylenol, and got him to sleep while Asnat (the fabulous) got out a bucket and rags and cleaned up. Then I went back to work.
He seemed basically okay later, if not his usual self. Friday, I had to go in to the office, but felt okay leaving him. I checked in with Ada mid-morning: low fever, not quite his usual self but basically happy. Friday afternoon, he was warm and cranky, and I gave him some more Tylenol, which helped; he ate bananas and macaroni and cheese, went to bed content and slept all night.
Saturday, he woke up under the weather but not alarmingly so. We went to shul and he ate a gallon or two of cholent. Afternoon, fever was back and he wasn't happy. Crying, some napping, much misery. More Tylenol.
Sunday, he woke up with a loaded diaper (cf. cholent, above) unhappy and subdued. He was playing a little, but not walking--just crawling around a little, looking lethargic. We all went to the bagel store, where he happily snarfed a whole bagel. On the way out, he started crying in the stroller and was asleep by the time we got to the park; he had a nap while Barak and his cousins played. Then he woke up. Crying. A lot
He either cried, wailed, or howled for the next six hours, except for the times he was lying on my chest with glazed eyes half-open. I called the pediatrician and got my Least Favorite Doctor Ever, the one who tells you without need for details or information that there is nothing wrong with your miserable suffering child and if there is, it is all your fault. I don't think I am either negligent, stupid, or inclined to health-related hysteria, but I would like to be able to say more than "My baby has a fever" before being told that he's Fine.
A few hours later I started wondering how long this would have to keep up before I took him to the emergency room. (Bear in mind that the only time I have ever taken a child to the ER was when said child had stopped breathing.) He just looked so, so, so sick. Limp, miserable, not caring what was going on around him, not really awake or asleep. Tylenol did absolutely nothing to make him feel better or bring the fever down.
And then at around 5, he started perking up, and watching his cousins, and saying, "guh duh duh" a few times. He drank some water. He ate a banana. He played a little. He nursed. He went to sleep. He slept through the night.
This morning, he seemed fine again, but I had had it--I took him to walk-in hour at the pediatricians, where one of the 4 doctors I like (there are 5 in the practice, including Dr. Awful) took a look at him. By the time he got there he had the charm turned on full blast. "Hi! I'm Iyyar! You may not know it yet but guess what--I'm your new best friend!" Every time she looked away from him, or I talked to her and didn't look at him, he'd lean waaay over to get directly into the line of sight and give a big cheesy grin. "Hi! It's ME! The reason we're all here! So how about if you smile at ME, please? Great!"
She thinks it a virus, of course--come back in two days if he's still feverish. I think she's right, but there was no way I wasn't having him looked at after yesterday. Right now he's off napping, after some more bananas and yogurt and observing of the chaos that is six children eating breakfast.
And I need to go write a speech.