There are times when being a mom is really hard. Until this point, most of our struggles (which are rather seldom) have revolved around nap or bedtimes and trying to get Zayd to sleep through the night or take sufficient naps after messing up his schedule. The thing about those "crisis situations" is that it is still kind of about you. I want Zayd to sleep because it is good for him and makes him a happier boy but I definitely ALSO want him to sleep because I am exhausted and would rather spend my days with happy boy versus what I occasionally lovingly refer to as "jerk baby". (One of the personalities he flips on when he is super super tired.)
This week Zayd came down with a sudden ferocious bout of strep throat. Monday the nanny called me home to "look at Zayd" because he was sick and had the nanny extremely concerned. I arrived to my listless little man with a raging 102 degree fever (despite a dose of tylenol) who did look scary sick.
We went to the doctor who ruled it to be strep and sent us home with the yummy pink medicine I remember fondly from my childhood. (How do they make it taste so good and could they sell the flavoring to the children's tylenol folks?)
I spent about an hour after that appointment trying to get Z to relax and sleep a little but he was miserable and getting hotter and hotter despite tylenol. He would fall asleep, then violently twitch awake and scream for his daddy (who was at work). One of these twitches resulted in shivers and snowballed into a screaming crying hysteria that was terrifying. And I was scared. The thermometer was up to 105.6 and I was alone.
I ran to the front yard to cool him off with the short stint of fall weather and try and get him to get out of his screaming trance. Possibly. I definitely headed out the front door but exactly why I chose to do that I can't pinpoint. Possibly it was because of the completely logical reasons I listed but more probably it was because I was terrified and I couldn't be alone in my house with my fears and our rapidly escalating situation. Had Sam been home we would have had Z on the way to the hospital in my arms in 10 seconds flat. But, I wasn't about to drive down the highway with Zayd on my lap and I couldn't imagine letting go of him. I think I held him for the next 48 hours, in fact.
It was truly my first realization that literally the buck stops with me, and I'm the one who has to do whatever needs to be done to get him to be ok. If I can't control his fevers, then we won't necessarily just muddle through. I had many "I am the mom (!?!)" moments over those 48 hours, where it was really painfully obvious that I was 100% responsible for my little lentils life. (I suppose in actuality, I am 50% responsible but that isn't how it registered inside of me.) It sounds dramatic and it probably felt hyper-petrifying because he is mine but it was just a real growth period for me. I'm it. And we are going to do whatever we need to do, and we are going to be ok, and I am the one who will make sure of it.
The second night, when Zayd wouldn't leave my arms, and woke every 45 minutes screaming in pain, I was so serenely calm. And just did it. Even Sam couldn't believe the weird person I had become to deal with the situation. Honestly, that person is probably already gone. Now I know she is there though. I just hope we won't have to summon her for quite some time...(everyone knock on wood).
He's 100% on the mend and even got to trick-or-treat in the Mahncke Park Toddlers and Waddlers parade for a bit yesterday. We'll get photos up soon.