Since Friday night, the kidlet has been combating her first real virus. While her symptoms aren’t all that alarming, and deep down inside I know this is a trivial illness and that she’ll live, it’s apparent that she’s not herself and that alone has sent us into a temporary tailspin of despair.
The 102/low grade fever and complete body fatigue is telling. She hasn’t been interested in crawling or walking much at all, and her clinginess has elevated to a new level that has me wishing she was always this snuggly on one hand, while she’d get better on the other. Whenever I pick her up, she just buries her head in my chest/crook of my arm/wherever and falls limp. The other night when I plucked her from the bathtub, she was shivering so badly, her teeth actually chattered. Absolutely heartwrenching. In fact, I’ve come to realize that every time she groans or whines, my heart feels like it’s disintegrating bit by bit. Don’t even get me started on the baby thermometer. It’s an old relic, and the baby’s terrified of it. Every time it beeps, her whole body tenses up and she screams in terror…and I’ve only been aiming for the armpit!
In fact, the wife and I have switched roles and I find that Vivienne has been crying out almost exclusively for me. While endearing, it’s also exhausting to be on call all the time! It’s a humbling experience to sit there and watch helplessly while your child’s immune system battles with whatever foreign invader has made its way on board. With a virus, that’s really all you can do. We’re 99% confident that this is what we’re facing, thanks to Dr. Google.
Giving up control. The quintessential parenting struggle. Except instead of big dumb high school jock boys who capture teenaged daughter hearts, it’s a microscopic toddler invader that we’re helpless to stop. All we can do is push acetaminophen and fluids until it passes and comfort her as best we know how. While she’s not eating much, she’s definitely drinking plenty of liquid. We’re pushing bottles and occasionally trying to get her to eat when she seems interested.
Although one might say we aren’t the liveliest of parent couples, I was also disappointed to have to reign in activities this weekend, including running. Nursing the kid back to health is priority #1. Ah, the life of a parent.
Does anyone have any recommendations for coping with sick children? Especially viruses?