I Had Seventeen Things to Post About

February 18, 2008 @ 5:25 pm | Filed under:

Approximately. But I forget what they were. I am tired. We have all been sick, and some of us are still being sick, and though I am sick no longer, the annoying cough lingers, the unpleasant souvenir of a particularly ruthless cold. My Body Went to Virus Land and All I Got Was This Lousy Cough.

Poor Jane was hit the hardest: she gave us quite a scare the other day. Valentine’s Day, I think it was? Or the day before; it’s all a blur. The combo of high fever and not having eaten breakfast yet caused her to pass out on the bathroom floor. I heard something fall and called to her, and she didn’t respond, and then I found her there all limp limbs and tangled hair. When I knelt beside her, she roused and said, "What? I thought I was in my bed," which was funny a long time later. I got her to her feet and then she began to moan and her body began to sink, heavy in my arms, and I lowered her back to the floor and her eyes were wide and staring and there was nobody there.

Not my favorite moment of motherhood.

Beanie was standing behind me shrieking What’s wrong with her??? as shrill as a teakettle at full steam, and I sent her for the phone while I shook Jane and shouted at her, and after what seemed like forever but wasn’t really, Jane blinked and came back and wanted to know why she was on the bathroom floor and what was wrong with Bean. I dialed the doctor whose nurse made the whole thing even scarier by saying in a voice taut with alarm: "Get her to the ER immediately," adding that if I couldn’t get Jane to the car without her passing out again, I should call an ambulance. But then she said that it was probably just the fever and empty stomach. Which is what five hours of tests and waiting, mostly waiting, at the ER confirmed.

So that’s good.

The next day, Jane was still feeling lethargic. Her little sister decided to help perk her up with cup of mint tea. She left the mug steeping too close to the edge of the counter, and Rilla pulled it down upon herself.

That was a bad moment.

She was scalded on her neck, ear, and shoulder, but I got cold wet cloths on it immediately and the burns were not severe. Thank God. It was awful for Rilla and awful for me, but perhaps worst of all for the tenderhearted sister who had unknowingly left the mug in baby’s reach.

All in all, a rough week for my poor girls. Every one of them was laid flat by the fever at some point and suffered sleepless nights due to their own coughing or their roommates’.

Ah, but Saturday morning brought an upswing in our spirits with the happy arrival of my parents and my eleven-year-old niece. Nothing in the world beats grandparent therapy. We stuck pretty close to home on Saturday, battling the last day of Beanie’s fever, but by Sunday the older girls were well enough to go to church and then Scott and I snuck away for lunch together. In the late afternoon my folks took all the kids except the baby—who is still, today, feverish and crabby, and who gave us quite a wretched night last night, what with the crying and the fevering and the being original and adding throwing up to the mix, which none of the other kids had thought of doing—for a walk at our favorite nature center. And today? Oh my children are so lucky. As I type, they are on a boat on the Pacific, looking for whales. Whales! And dolphins! Yes, I am jealous. But of course my two littlest people are not really candidates for three-hour boat tours even in prime health, and most definitely not today.

I can’t wait for the girls to come home and tell me all about it. Perhaps the mental image of whales fluking, or whatever it is that whales do, will replace the pictures I can live happily without, thank you very much: Jane’s blank staring eyes; shrieking Rilla drenched in hot tea. My friend Sarah used to work as a pediatric nurse, and she told me that to this day she cannot walk out into the first crisp day of autumn without thinking about how that weather always meant a rush of toddler patients with burns from cups of coffee, tea, hot cocoa left carelessly in reach.

That night I served fish sticks for dinner (Friday in Lent, doncha know), and as I forked them onto plates I remarked casually that they were too hot to eat yet, they’ll burn your mouths…and I heard a gasp from Rilla’s direction and saw her sitting in her chair with both hands clasped to her mouth, her eyes huge with horror. I guess she understands burn now.

Whales! Dolphins! Salt spray, wind in hair!

Yes, that’s better.

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25 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Christine M says:

    Oh,wow! What a week! Here’s hoping for better days ahead. And I hope the girls got to see some whales!

  2. Shannon @ some fine taters says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m glad to hear things are looking up, but what a week!

  3. Hypatia says:

    What a tough week! Thoughts and prayers will be with you, for continued recovery — I feel like apologizing for not sending them sooner. 🙂 Congratulations to you all on making it through, and with senses of humor intact!

  4. Activties Coordinator says:

    Been there, done that, burns and all. I’m sending Motherhood Empathy your way. Hope it gets better soon.

  5. JoVE says:

    Sorry to hear all your troubles. I hate it when my kid has to learn things the hard way, too, though the lessons seem to stick. I’ve been whale watching and it is lovely. Hope they had a good time.

  6. KC says:

    How scared you must’ve been each time! Praying for you all. I can’t wait to hear about the whales. Big hugs, Lissa.

  7. Sheila says:

    Oh, how scary.I will never EVER forget the first febrile seizure my youngest had: there was that same horrible, gut-wrenching fear, sinking me while he thrashed and flailed and steamed in his fever. Horrible horrible horrible. And then it was gone and he was fine and I was left trembling, never to forget. Motherhood. Ha.

  8. patience says:

    Oh Lissa! And amongst all that you took the time to write to me in such a thoughtful way … ((hugs)).

    I will always remember the first time my dd had an “absence seizure”, while we were driving her to the doctor because she had croup. I looked at her in the rear view mirror and she was gone. Her eyes were completely blank. The horror is seared into my soul. I held her all the way to the hospital! (She grew out of them, thank God.)

    I pray your family has passed through its trial of fire and that everyone recovers fully and soon. Blessings to you all.

  9. Cay G. says:

    What a week!
    Good grief!

    Your family gets the prize, that’s for sure.

  10. Mrs. Fussypants says:


    What a week. I nominate you for the mommy who made it through awards!

    Love, Alli

    ps- I’m jealous too! I want to see some whales.:)

  11. Julie in AK says:

    I’m sorry, but I had to laugh…you guys sure haven’t been very lucky in the health department lately!

    Hope everyone is better, cough and burn free, etc. soon. And, say hi to your folks for me!

  12. Anna says:

    My heart breaks for you. What a struggle you’ve had! May next week be better, and… Whales! Dolphins!

  13. Mrs. Fussypants says:

    Forgot to mention. You will be featured tomorrow on HHacks! 😉 Hope you like it.

  14. sashwee says:

    Sweet baby Rilla, I’m so sorry to hear of your recent bad experience. I’m so glad that you and your siblings have your wise mama and loving family to help you recover from life’s vissicitudes.

  15. Wendy in VA (now in MD) says:

    Oh my goodness! I was wondering why you had grown quiet here… I’m so glad everyone is on the mend. I’ll be praying for good health and defrazzled nerves. :o)

  16. Wendy in VA (now in MD) says:

    Oh my goodness! I was wondering why you had grown quiet here… I’m so glad everyone is on the mend. I’ll be praying for good health and defrazzled nerves. :o)

  17. Meredith says:

    Well, honey, you made it and yes, thank goodness for the G’s!!! Love and hugs to you all, prayers continue for good health and more FUN!!!

  18. Beck says:

    One of my babies once upended a cup of coffee on their face – which was mercifully lukewarm, THANK YOU GOD. Some times are REALLY hard, aren’t they?

  19. Jenny in Ca says:

    oh my, you’ve had such a week! praying for you guys, glad to hear that everyone is on the mend and that Rilla wasn’t burned real bad.

  20. mel says:

    Oh no…my oldest passed out when she was 2 years old. Knocked herself out cold on the bathroom floor. I fell APART, called my mom, I don’t know why, it seemed the thing to do at the time, in total hysterics..”THE BABY, THE BABY!”..and get this…I’m a NURSE. haha! I’m totally cool with other people’s crisis. But this was *my* baby!

  21. Steve in CO says:

    Glad Jane and Beanie are doing better. And I only understood “hot” after a couple bouts with a stove. Sounds like your Rilla gets it, though.

  22. Nicole in MN says:

    I’m so happy that you are able to feel thankful right now instead of anxiously praying. Parenthood is so emotionally taxing and filled with extreme highs and lows that can change back and forth in seconds.

    I’m happy that all your babies are ok.:)

  23. stef says:

    Oh Lissa. So sorry to hear about the week you’re having!! Prayers coming your way…

  24. Beth says:

    Oh, bless. I am so sorry. So glad to hear everyone is on the mend.

  25. Mary Beth P says:

    I can relate! My house has been ravaged by strep throat, going on 2 weeks today! Daddy’s turn, now (you know what that means, no help for MOM). Tell me again how to survive with 5 kids!