The Bear woke up this morning with a fever of 104.1 (F… duh.) We had a tepid bath, some aceteminophen and went downstairs to try out some juice (to no avail.) During WordGirl (8:00 a.m.) she was at 100.3 and doing okay and was still alright by Sesame Street (10 a.m.) – only a little lethargic and curmudgeonly – so I went into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher while she watched the TV from the couch. Ten minutes later, I poked my head into the den only to find that she’d crawled onto the floor, curled up in a little ball and gone back to sleep. I put her back to bed and kept checking on her at a manic every-5-minutes. The temperature started escalating again, so I called the doc, flung the Bear in the car and drove 30 miles to my pediatrician (I have my reasons for going this far.) She was just pitiful in the waiting room and completely unlike herself; she was curled up on my lap with her eyes half-mast (but not sucking her thumb), her eyes were downcast and red and she made little whimpers whenever I tried to move her. I would talk to her and she would repeat whatever word I emphasized (“We’re going to the doctor.” “Doc-tow.”) but there was none of the incessant babbling I was shocked to realize that I missed. She’s diagnosed with strep throat, we get some antibiotics and well-wishes, we drive the 30 miles back home and we plunk ourselves down to rest and watch more “Pooh”.
This may sound terrible of me but I secretly loved what happened for the rest of the afternoon. From 3 until about 6, the Bear laid against my chest, curled up and drifting in and out of sleep. (She was usually disturbed by my incessant temperature checks.)
Ever since she was little, I’ve never been able to get her to go asleep in my arms. Not ever. Not when she was a baby, not when she was teething, not when she’s been about to pass out at the end of the day. It’s one of those things that tears me up inside as her mother but, because she relies on me for so many other things and shows adoration in other ways, it doesn’t bother me too much. However, my mom can always get the Bear to settle down and fall asleep and there’s a really stupid, petty, catty side of me that’s been envious of that, even though my mom never does it to spite me.
Today, she laid in my arms for hours and didn’t move until just after 6, when her fever jumped to 105.1 and we had to plunk her into another tepid bath. (did not like.) Afterward, I took her into her bedroom and rocked her in the rocking chair for longer than she’s ever let me. When I thought she’d fallen asleep, I let the arm that wasn’t supporting her drop to my side a little. Immediately, she reached up to my shoulder and ran her hand along the outside of my arm, pulling it around her again. She didn’t even open her eyes.
I leaned in and whispered, “I love you, Bear” and I heard her say – very, very quietly – “Ah yahzz yoo, Mama.”
Today might be the best day of my whole life.