Tuesday, July 05, 2011

You're Up One Day, The Next You're Down

So, Petunia's sick again.

It is her "usual"- a high fever, with no other symptoms, really. Hubby took her to the doctor today, who confirmed that there were no obvious symptoms other than the fever, but took a throat culture just in case. We're out of specialists to talk to, and are settling in to figuring out how to deal with the consensus medical opinion: that she's a basically happy, healthy little kid who happens to get a lot of fevers.

We worry and we debate about what to do, but I am also trying to remember that this consensus medical opinion isn't such a bad one to get. As much as I hate to see Petunia sick with these fevers- she gets so clingy and sad until the acetaminophen kicks in and brings the fever down- she is still managing to have a lot of fun. Tonight, after dinner, she wanted to go for a walk ("wok! wok!") so I took her out front, thinking we'd head out on foot, as is her preference these days. She managed to signal that she preferred a stroller walk, so I got her stroller out and got her in. Pumpkin came out to ride her bike, too. We had a friend over, and she wanted to show him how well she rides her bike now. We all took off down the sidewalk. Before too long, Petunia demanded that she be let out of the stroller, and she and I continued on and a slower pace, stopping to smell the flowers.

I mean literally stopping to smell the flowers. When Petunia sees a flower, she says flower ("wower"), does the sign for flower (pinched fingers by the nose, as if you're sniffing a flower), and then leans in and loudly sniffs the flower. I think the last bit is her own innovation, and it is adorable.

Petunia had a good run between illnesses this time. Even the final weekend was pretty good. She slept through the night in her own crib twice, which is unheard of, and, in retrospect was probably a sign that she was getting sick, since she does seem to sleep particularly well the night before her fever arrives. But ignorance is bliss, right? We were just happy to wake up two mornings in a row and realize that no one had woken us up in the middle of the night.

We went to the park a couple times, visited the Birch Aquarium, and managed to have a pretty good lunch out on Monday.  And, of course, we saw some fireworks. We watch them from a church parking lot in our neighborhood that has a good view of Sea World's show. We caught part of the show at the big bay and off Ocean Beach from the top of the slope in our backyard, but Pumpkin really wanted to go down and see the Sea World show with "everyone else" (not even close, kid- everyone else was down at the bay, which we had no interest in fighting our way in and out of that mess), so we went. Both kids enjoyed the show.

We also had a 45 minute tantrum from Pumpkin, sparked by my request that she help me clean up the crumbs she'd blow all over the table. And the second trip to the park ended in tears because Pumpkin, who is trying very hard to learn how to climb up and over some monkey bars at the park, slipped and fell, coming down straddling a bar. Serious ouch, which also caused some serious drama the next time she needed to go potty. She tried to be brave, but she ended up crying, saying that she wished there was a fairy who could come and wave her magic wand and make the boo-boo go away. Me, too, kid. And while she's at it, she could clean up some of the tail ends of my big project at work. That would be really nice. In general, there seems to be a real shortage of fairies with magic wands in our lives.

Pumpkin was all better today- although we weren't sure of that when she went to day care, so I had to have a rather awkward conversation with her teacher about the potential potty drama- and the memory of the tantrum has faded. So I look back on the weekend and remember the good things. Petunia finally figuring out how to get up to the toddler slide on her own at the park, and the proceeding to go down that slide roughly 500 times in a row, while I sat and watched and occasionally cheered for her. Pumpkin skipping home from our first (boo-boo free) outing to the park, with her braided pigtails swinging behind her, and me struck by the memory of trying (unsuccessfully) to teach her to skip about a year and a half ago. She's got it now. I asked her how she learned, and she said she just saw some of the bigger kids at day care doing it, and asked them what they were doing. They said skipping, and she watched them and figured out how to do it.

That's right. Just figure out how to do it. That's a good lesson for me, as I wonder how we're going to deal with our sweet, happy, basically healthy toddler who happens to frequently run fevers. We'll just figure out how to do it. And maybe I should listen to some more John Prine.


  1. Anonymous11:48 PM

    Hope she starts feeling better soon!! Have you seen a specialist in "fevers of unknown origin"? Not sure if this is covered among the other specialists you've seen, but if not, might be worth investigating, some doctors list this as one of their specialties. Best of luck!

  2. Anonymous4:22 AM

    Poor thing! I hope she gets better soon too!

  3. "We were just happy to wake up two mornings in a row and realize that no one had woken us up in the middle of the night."

    You are still in the trenches and yet are managing to stop and smell the flowers. Impressive. :)

    Also, I think, if it were me, the random fevers would probably be causing a low level of constant stress whether I thought about them all the time or not. Just in case you find yourself irritable for no specific reason (other than the sleep deprivation, work overload, etc. etc.)

    Feel better soon Petunia!

  4. "Slipped and fell, coming down straddling a bar" = nooooo!!! Poor Pumpkin! I've accidentally done that to myself on the edge of a bathtub - now I only take showers, not coincidentally. Moments like that make me thank sweet jeebus I'm not a man!

    Wishing you the solutions to all fever-related questions soon!

  5. You know, maybe the fevers are "just a virus" (which is one of my least favorite phrases). But I mean, really. What if her manifestation of routine cold symptoms just happens to involve a fever? That's not so bad. It's certainly not harbinger of doom. As her immunity to things builds up, she'll get fewer and fewer colds.

    My husband (still to this day) gets fevers with his colds. And I'm not talk 100 degrees either. This is a grown man who at least once per year is 104+. There's not usually anything wrong with him. He gets a sweat, then chills, then sweats again and he's better. It's just how he fights illness.

  6. Thanks, everyone!

    @mom2boy- I definitely have some stress about all this. It makes it so hard to plan for anything. And Petunia is so pathetic when she has a fever. It breaks my heart.

    @hush, yes, the whole thing was pretty traumatic for everyone involved!

    @SarcatiCarrie, that is interesting. I know that I tend to catch more things than a lot of other people, so I've kind of figured that she's inherited that from me. But I'm not really fever prone! You're right, though, it will stop being such an issue when she gets a little older- we'll be able to set her up on the sofa with some DVDs and work from home.


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