4:00 Am, I attempt to roll over but find my feet are cemented to the bed by a heap of scorching child and Scooby Doo blanket. At first I don’t know what is happening, but I quickly realize that Lars has made his way into our bed and he clearly has a fever. I jump up, and turn the bathroom light on to see my boy pale and placid, I ask him if he is okay. Calmly he says, “I okay Mama.” I don’t believe him. I can feel the heat radiating off the child’s body. I remove the heavy wool sleeper he had went to sleep in hours ago, and try to remember any warning signs yesterday of this sickness that has abruptly arrived.
We make our way to the living room, there’s no reason to keep Jamie up with this, he will be awaking in a few short hours for work. My eyes droop heavily, while my son’s are vivid and amazed at the fact he is allowed entrance to the living room at this ungodly hour. The high temperature emanating off him is still palpable, I realize that soon I will need to give him a dose of Tylenol and I dread it. He has always had a sever aversion to taking the medicine and puts up a fight at all costs. I make a quick pit stop at the coffee maker and bear down on the button, the instant perking sound of the trickling black liquid gives me a monumental boost, and I remember my mantra, ‘As mothers, we do what we need to do.’
Lars and I sit on the couch and I turn his Thomas the Train show on, he seems fit for the moment and is claiming to feel in good health. The heat is still coming though, and I can’t see any near future of it breaking. I get a cool cloth and place it on the child’s head, this he is not happy about, but I tell him it is that or the medicine, he can choose. He picks the cloth. I get him some juice, thinking liquids will help as well. He downs the stuff quick, I later find out a little too quick.
I pour myself a cup of half perked coffee, and take it in greedily. His fever is weighing on me heavily, I think it’s time to try and force feed the medicine. Since the time I entered into motherhood, fevers have always scared the living daylights out of me. I tell Lars he needs to be a brave boy and take the medicine, “It will make you feel better.” He rebuts with the fact that again, he feels fine. I go to the kitchen and pour juice into popsicle molds for later, I’m sure these will be put to good use at some point. I then get the Children’s Tylenol primed in our alligator shaped medicinal dispensing spoon, and slyly bring it down to where Lars sits. He resists with devotion. I feel that the energy he is using to oppose my efforts, will only make things worse so I calm him and remove the light blanket from his feet and begin to rub them. Slowly but surely I feel his temperature dropping. A relived sigh escapes me. I bring the air mattress, that had been residing on Lars’ bedroom floor under his blanket fort to the living room, so we both can lay down and rest. Lars cuddles with his Scooby blanket and watches ‘Thomas and the Great Expedition’ while I rub his feet and doze off. The coffee is doing nothing, but I feel reprieve with the proposal of catching an hour before the rest of the house awakes.
It happens in an instant, I hear a gurgling sound in my half sleep state and I know immediately what’s next to come. I have no time to react, as soon as I open my eyes to see if he is okay, he turns his head slightly towards me and projectile vomits almost directly into my face. I’m holding back the urge to puke right back at him, but the gagging is relentless. He lets out a bellow of a cry after the spectacle draws to a close, and while covered in juicy throw-up all I can think about is the fact that he has up chucked on his Scooby Doo blanket, and when he realizes this, my life will quickly become a living nightmare. Our roommate is sleeping in his unfinished basement space, and I am hesitant to walk through his room with a heap of puke ridden, squalid smelling blankets to get to the laundry area. I am in one hell of a bind here.
I run lukewarm water into the tub for Lars and stick him in, while I sponge off my recently annihilated face. I throw on some new sweats and a t-shirt, but the smell will not renounce. I cannot dwell on the issue though because the boy is now crying bloody murder in the main bathroom where I left him seconds ago. I walk into the area expecting the worst, yet hoping for the best. My wish is granted and all he wants is to get out and watch his Thomas show once more. I adhere to his cries, but when we go to his room to put on fresh clothes, this is when he realizes his beloved blanky has been sullied.
Reasoning with a sick four year old is something that takes grace and diligence. I calmly tell him that Scooby is going to have a bath just like he did but blanky will take a bit longer to get clean…I just pray that this child’s concept of time is as jaded as his notion of ‘feeling fine’ while running a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. He wallows with the fraught that his long time friend is now abandoning him in this time of need, but after some convincing, he abandons his post and allows me to give him an older version of his ‘favorite blanky’ and set up camp again in the living room.
7:30Am, he sleeps. Soon Sophie will rouse, and the hustle and bustle of the day will begin. For Lars and I though, it started long before the sunlight hours… I type gently on this keyboard, in a vain attempt not to wake him. For now I will revel in this time of amity, and use it to my advantage to map out my next plan of attack on this ‘sick day’ battle front.