Ten Facts and an Excuse

The excuse: my kids were sick. It started with Das Big Boy’s pinkeye on a Sunday, after he’d spent Saturday having a blast at a community carnival where he’d frolicked in a rather suspect bounce house/ball pit/level 2 disease research lab.

So we went to the pediatrician on Sunday, declaring ourselves either patient zero of a town wide pinkeye infection or a victim of the aforementioned germ cave. We thought there might be more to it than pinkeye (cough and boogies were present), but didn’t lobby for antibiotics because that’s not how we roll, although afterwards (and *before* things went totally pear-shaped) we both said we thought he might need them. I guess the point of that statement was unnecessary medical smugsbyness.

Sunday night he was restless, and had a fever of 101 but normal o2 sats (we have a pediatric monitor (known as Froggy) that I bought on Amazon and use only when he seems really sick, I promise), so I gave him some Motrin and he finally slept well. But at 6 am I woke up and heard him breathing fast. Sats were 89-90, which might be ok for the Columbia Presbyterian NICU, but which isn’t exactly winning any medals in the breathing Olympics. My sat monitoring woke him up, which, as usual, fixed his sats (they only sag when he’s asleep, and only with more serious illnesses). He felt warm. I took his temperature: 105.7. Holy shit. He’d NEVER had a fever higher than 102. I woke up Herr Husband, who got on the phone with the pediatrician’s service (Superhero Dr. Larry was at a conference and unreachable, which never happens! But good for him. I had rather hoped he was on a well-deserved family vacation). I gave DBB more Motrin and took him to Children’s. His fever had come down to a somewhat more reasonable 103.5, and they diagnosed an ear infection and respiratory virus. Chest X-ray was negative, but they worried a pneumonia could be lurking or brewing. And even though he had a flu shot, and had a negative rapid flu test, they worried about flu. They even asked if he’d been around anyone with measles! Ack! Don’t even get me stated on “anti-vaxxers.” I’ll just say congratulations on intellectually aligning yourself with Kristen Cavallari. (I try not to be a judgy mama, but I get high-horsey when my kids’ health is compromised by other people’s beliefs in WRONG, discredited nonscience.) Anyway, he got antibiotics for the ear infection and possible pneumonia, Tamiflu for the slightly possible flu, and steroids for the cough which had sounded a bit croupy the night before. I had audio of it on my phone, which prompted the ER doc to declare that she loved me. Oops. More smugsbyness.
This love actually paid off, because they didn’t admit him. They decided they trusted my ability to care for him and observe him for anything more serious. Even more smugsbyness, I guess, but the real point is that I do know my kid and how to care for him (thank you NICU nurses!). So we left and he took a huge nap and I had yet another fight with my local CVS and his sister cried all that night and went to the doc the next day for antibiotics for her own ear infection and GAH!
I love that I think antibiotics are overprescribed for ear infections and I’m all opinionated and snotty about it and then my kids get sick and I’m all, “Where are the drugs!?” And I don’t even mean Xanax. I know where that is. My closet. Waiting for me to stop breast feeding already! I digress. Back to my attitude towards medical intervention. Granted, my kid had basically a 106 fever and couldn’t breathe effectively (they sort of think the fever so taxed his system that his lungs couldn’t keep up). But still. I guess I should remember that I’m not really anti-interventionist (see earlier Kristen Cavallari snipe and miracle baby saved by lots o’ intervention).

So there’s my excuse.

Here are some facts:
1) Das Big Boy has been informed that he can’t marry me because I’m married to Daddy (I left out the Oedipal explanation. He’s three, you guys). His second choice? Grover.

Playing with playdough together! You should know that Sad Owl is really a sadsack and nothing cheers him up. Not even see saws or elevator rides or hugs from Squirrel or being smushed back into a blob.

Playing with playdough together! You should know that Sad Owl is really a sadsack and nothing cheers him up. Not even see saws or elevator rides or hugs from Squirrel or being smushed back into a blob.

2) The health benefits of using glasslock over plastic storage are undercut when you drop your daughter’s glasslocked strawberries on her nose. Discuss.
3) If your kids are sick and you are stuck in the house with them, finger painting in the bathtub is really fun.
4) Ditto shaving cream wars. And a homemade playdough character named Sad Owl.
5) A fun way to get your kids to clean up is to have them fall in love with the book Trashy Town (more on that in a minute). Then push them around the house in a diaper box–their trash truck– making them pick up stray toys. Then return to the place where the toys go, refer to it as the dump, and have your kids put their toys away in the proper bins. Sorting practice and cleaning and the physical challenge/vestibular input of climbing in and out of the box. I should have been an occupational therapist.

They LOVE this cleaning game. We'll see how long it lasts.

They LOVE this cleaning game. We’ll see how long it lasts.

6) I am so fucking tired of winter and cold weather that I have shouted at the forecast my iPhone. A lot. Also, no matter how much fun you are having with your sick kids you are ready to kill them on day four if you still can’t leave the house. Thankfully, it was warm enough for the playground. Now that Little Liebchen is the best walker ever, she stomps all over the playground as if she invented it. Please note her sliding talents.



7) Have we discussed that my Mimi is a 101 years old? Have we discussed that she and I had a awesome chat about sexual double standards last time I visited her?
8) DBB is in LOVE with his preschool teacher, who is kind and warm and creative and nurturing and soft-spoken and young and blonde and smiley and sparkly-eyed and pretty. But I think she won him over with her reading of Trashy Town. At home, he likes to pretend to be her and have me be his other similarly awesome teacher. This is adorable, but awkward at bath time when he pretends one teacher is bathing the other. Because I am running for mayor of Awkward Town, I shared this anecdote with his teachers.

Slide boss.

Slide boss.

9) I just watched True Detective. I know people loved it, and I thought the performances were good and the visual scenery compelling. But I thought it was written by white stoner frat guys who were taking freshman philosophy and were overly impressed by their own depth and intelligence. After every episode was a chat with the writer and director and it made me sicker than the horrors of the show. If I’ve insulted you by saying so, I’m sorry. It’s no judgment on you. Is “no judgment” my new “no offense”? And also, didn’t I learn from the show that judging is how we form our identity? Now excuse me while I pack a bowl and read Lacan. (Actually, I love Lacan. So maybe I’m cut from the same cloth as the show’s writers… Uh oh… But not the stoner part. I’m a mom now, people!)

She stopped screaming.

She stopped screaming.

10) “If you are trying to have a not even that nice dinner out with your family at The Cheesecake Factory, and your daughter won’t stop screaming, you can try feeding her butter in the foil packaging,” said the worst mother ever, aka, me.



6 Comments on “Ten Facts and an Excuse”

  1. Jennifer Schell Podoll says:

    My heart hurt reading about your ER visit. Sick kids are stressful and sad. But you are super mama. I’m impressed by the recording of the cough. Going to file that one away. We’re on the road to RI right now. This is what E is doing.

    Yup. Clark Kent. He won’t take them off. (And, yes, it’s 10:45 pm. Don’t judge.)


    Jennifer Schell Podoll Mobile/Text: 914-450-6137


  2. Gigi says:

    I laughed out loud – dropping the glass container on her nose! You are one terrific writer!
    Love you!

  3. CJTW says:

    9 times out of ten, listening to an artist talk about making their art reveals it as crap and makes me dislike the artist.

    I loved True Detective.

    I also wish I could have more conversations with Mimi about sexual double standards.

    • Leda says:

      1) So, is Brian in the one out of ten or the nine out of ten?

      2) This reveals to me something quite surprising: you are a white male.

      3) She has a lot of feisty opinions, so watch out!

      4) Apparently I like listing.

  4. […] 2. Homemade playdough (using the mixer is a big thing for our kids, thanks to George and Martha and Curious George and the Birthday Surprise), which leads to Strega Nona re-enactments and making Sad Owl. […]

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