Monday, December 13, 2010


Petunia is sick again. She developed a fever on Friday night, and had a fever all weekend, except for when she was under the influence of acetaminophen and, inexplicably, for the few hours around the time I took her to the after pediatrics clinic. The doctor at after hours peds must have thought I was nuts- Petunia seemed fine and healthy there. Her fever spiked again in the afternoon, though, and went up to 103. She was pathetic and clearly miserable, and ended up going to bed at 7 p.m.

She seems to be feeling fine today. She's been happy, except when Pumpkin and Hubby drove off without her. She doesn't like being left at home when she's feeling well. She's playing with several cars that make noise right now. The girl loves a button she can push to make noise!

I probably wouldn't think anything of this illness, except she had a very similar illness last weekend. And I probably wouldn't think anything of that if she hadn't had a run of fevers earlier this year. So we're going to our regular doctor today. I don't expect to learn much, but maybe she can help me figure out when I should actually start to worry. I am, of course, worrying now.


Meanwhile Pumpkin told us this weekend that "no one" will play with her on the playground at day care. Closer questioning revealed that it is likely that the truth is that no one who is playing with the most popular girl in the class (let's call her "B") will play with Pumpkin. Her little friend "E" will always play with her, and "R" will play with her if she rides bikes,  and "M" will play with her "except if she's playing with B". Still, hearing her talk about it just about broke my heart. She's the child of two geeks- we expected to have to deal with something like this eventually. But we didn't expect it at the age of three.

Of course, she is only three, and while she's very verbal, she may not really be able to express what is happening. Or a rare occurrence may be getting amplified into something that happens all the time. I've sent an email to the center's managing director, asking for a time to call and talk about this, so that they can help us figure out what is really going on. And then we'll have to figure out how to respond.  In the meantime, I'm worrying.

Anyone want to try to convince me that Petunia doesn't have some weird, rare disease and/or that Pumpkin isn't doomed to the life of a social pariah? Or, you could just tell me a story or leave me a link to take my mind off all of this!


  1. Well, my kids always get fevers on and off for a while before they get teeth. I know, I know, that fevers are not a symptom of teething, but my older son has had 2 febrile seizures, and within a week we'd see a molar or two pop through his gums.

    Hope your kids are feeling better soon.

  2. Andrea11:24 AM

    All will be sorted out this afternoon. The pedi will say it's something that's been going around, nothing to worry about and Petunia will be on the mend. A time will be arranged to talk about the Pumpkin playground situation and that will get better too. One way to look at it is that Pumpkin is not the one excluding, which would should make you feel good about hwo you are raising your kid! It does seem early, but we all have to learn these lessons through life.

  3. Well Noah often suffered inexplicablly from fever (around 38 degrees (100F), usually never higher) when he was a little younger. Not so much now at 'round 6. No explanation for it, and never needed to take him to the doctor either, just one of those things. I suspect it was growth related.

    And yeah, can completely understand where you're coming from about your worries about Pumpkin. Have the same fears about Zoe who is not likely to win a popularity competition any time soon. She is such a warm, sweet affectionate little thing, but only with people she knows and trusts and when she tells me she only played with 'my teacher' at school, I panic a little bit for her. Fortuntely, my boy has personality to bottle.

  4. I suspect an ear infection developing in Petunia. I've noticed on myself that the fever tends to spike in the PM, but will be below 100 in the AM when I am in the doctor's office.

    They look in the ear and they don't see anything--perhaps a little redness, but nothing alarming.

    Then I go home and it spikes again to 102+. In an adult.

    In a baby, that could be 103-104.

    A couple of times, the ear drum burst in the middle of the night.

    Book at appt for late in the day for them to check Petunia's ear.

    My daughter experienced something like Pumpkin's ordeal in elementary and middle school. I guess bullies start really young now.

    You should definitely have a meeting w/ the teachers and the director ASAP. They need to watch how this girl wields her influence.

  5. There is a "high-fever only" illness going around here; not in my house yet. Petunia is in the serious get-sick-a-lot-zone - defined as the first winter in daycare when they're old enough to self-move and young enough to still put everything in their mouths, so it's hardly surprising she's been sick repeatedly. Trust your ped!

    As for Pumpkin, she seems to be sensitive. I wouldn't assume that other children are being "bullies;" I honestly don't think most 3 year olds have the social skills to be bullies on purpose. But children do prefer some peers to others at all ages; it's just a pity that Pumpkin is a) noticing and b) upset about it. I think some talk along the lines of "everyone is different and likes to play different games" will probably help.

  6. I think there is something in us as adults that makes us believe that fevers are not ok under any circumstances. No matter how many times doctors tell us that fevers in young children are far less worrisome than in adults. If she has no other symptoms, she's most likely ok. Good to see her family doctor though just to be sure. :)

    As for Pumpkin, I have the same worries for Rosie. Once we were at McDonalds, and she was talking loudly (and, I'll admit, a bit annoyingly) and the boy at the table beside us said loudly "I don't like that girl! She's so annoying!" He was a couple years older. And I had a revelation - OMG is she annoying to other kids? We all know kids in general are annoying to adults but I never thought that kids could find each other annoying. So now I worry that she won't make friends. :( We'll see what happens when she starts daycare again in January when I go back to work. So I've got nothing for you on this one. I'll bet Rosie and Pumpkin would get along with each other though. They could talk about how geeky their parents are. Ha!

  7. Oh, @Cloud, I promise Petunia does not have some weird, rare disease. She just has some version of the common childhood illnesses we all need to get at some point in time (better now than later), but which seem reg-flaggy to you because you are a scientist who knows about such "weird, rare diseases" that exist out there in the world, and your firstborn didn't experience illness in this way, so this is unfamiliar territory.

    As for Pumpkin, I think you (and all of us mothers of girls) need to get our library's copy of "Queen Bees and Wannabes" by Rosalind Wiseman, to read ahead in order to understand these unavoidable social dynamics going on, and how to support our girls. Sounds like little B is a Queen Bee in training - they don't end up that way overnight, right? So yes, you are already seeing the socialization beginning, and the good news is you can have a real impact on how Pumpkin copes in the future.

  8. wish you good luck and easy solutions for both situations! i'm feeling for you - worrying about our beebs just plain sucks. hoping it all passes soon.

  9. I'm sorry about your double dose of worry right now. I'm hoping the fever is just a sign of another daycare bug passing through her system, too.

    I don't know if it's all that different for boys vs girls at Pumpkn's age. Tate plays with a mixed group and alliances shuffle daily. It's fascinating and frightening all at the same time because the instant he is hurt, so am I which doesn't do him any good. Keep talking about it. That's all I've got.

  10. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Oh dear. While I'm certain that both babes are fine, but I so feel your pain.


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