Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

My kid smells like a gummy worm.
A peach gummy worm.

The lil' dude is sick. She is taking the ever-popular Amoxicillin, which is peach-flavored these days. I thought it was always hot-pink and bubble gum flavored, but I guess that was so last season. So, the lil' dude smells like a peach gummy worm. If that is the least of my problems, we are doing A-OK.

She has your typical junk- a bronchial infection made possible by wee-lungs hyper susceptible to illness since she had RSV just before she turned 2mo. old. Her Ped. also found an ear infection, which was like a buy-one-get-one-free item since I wasn't expecting that. The Ped. asked if I had noticed the lil' dude pulling on her ear, or rubbing that side of her head more often. Umm, let me think. Yes, she moves non-stop, and grabs anything she can find . . . does that mean my hair is sick, or the Dad's nose, or my necklaces, or the dog's collar? Strike one for Mama.

So we came home from the clinic with a super high-tech breathing machine and some peach medicine. I thought for sure the lil' dude would freak out once I turned the Nebulizer on for her, but instead, she tried to eat the face mask, and ripped the tubing from the medicine cup attachment, twice. New toys!

So, she will be fine. She should be able to go back to her littles at daycare tomorrow. The real question is, will I be fine? It's scary be in charge of such a teeny tiny person who can't tell you what's wrong, or where it hurts. The Dad and I were going back and forth last night, trying to figure out how we could alleviate the lil dude's rasping . . . not unlike the blind leading the blind. I "steamed" her in the bathroom for 10 minutes, then took her outside to breathe the brisk air. We filled the air in her room with a humidifier. We let her sleep in her swing for the night, she must have thought it was Christmas. We let her go to bed without her cereal and green beans combo. I was up with her at 6:30am today, with the clinic nurses' line on speed dial, at the ready for the clock to roll over to 8:00 so I could be the first worried mom caller of the day. I was still put on hold.

I know it's just your garden variety cold. It will not be the last one we endure. Things we can't control will be a part of our lives more than we want them to be. We'll keep leaning on each other and fumbling through and praying to everything holy for the lil' dude to be perpetually alright. We haven't seen our last crusted-over nose, or bib stained with peach medicine.

As I loaded the babe at the clinic for home, I stopped by the drive-through at Starbucks for an Iced Mocha for the road. If you've read any number of my previous posts, you'll know Starbucks is hardly a stranger to me, yet as I pulled up to the window to retrieve my drink, the barista working the headset said, "Wow, I love your hair! It looks great on you." I was stunned . . . My hair was pulled into a messy half-bun on top of my head, my fave look when I don't have time to wash it in the mornings. (Remember, today I was stalking the nurses at the Ped. office instead)

I thanked her. She made me smile during a difficult morning. The kindness of strangers, just the perspective I needed.

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