I’ve found that pretty much everything my baby does is unexpected. Yeah, I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone… but really, how often do you gaze at your little bundle of joy and think, “Gosh, I have no idea what you’re going to do next and likely, whatever it is, I will certainly be aghast and dismayed.”
This week we had a few unexpected incidents. For example, this morning, we were sitting down to eat and I had prepared Walker’s cereal and two spoons of veggies — today it was carrots. Walker hasn’t been eating much real food because he’s had a cold and has been sleeping through breakfast. I was determined to have him eat something but he had a different plan. As many times as I offered the cereal and opened my mouth and made airplane noises, Walker just looked at me tight-lipped. It wasn’t until I offered him the bright orange carrots that his mouth fell open and he took a great big bite. Shocked, I spooned another helping of carrots into Walker’s gaping mouth. I got some more carrots from the jar and he ate that, too. I offered a spoon of cereal and his mouth clamped shut. He ate the rest of the jar of carrots. Now who’d-a thunk it? He didn’t like apples, pears, or bananas but after a few days of nothing, he decided he liked carrots. OK. I would not have predicted that.
On Wednesday night, we had some unexpected activity. Wednesday is “Daddy Day” because I drive down to San Jose with a co-worker for work so Larry is responsible for driving Walker to and from Sofiya’s. This Wednesday I was scheduled to have a team dinner so Larry was going to entertain, feed, bathe, and bed our little man who had been a bit cranky due to a rather nasty sounding cough. He hadn’t been sleeping or eating much at Sofiya’s so we knew he wasn’t feeling so fantastic. Despite his cold, Walker and Daddy had a wonderful evening and the boy blissfully went down to sleep. I arrived home around 9:30 and chatted with Larry about my day and got ready for bed. I’d been feeling great because Walker’s sleeping patterns had been improving — he’d sleep through his 10:30 time and stay sleeping until 1 or 2am — so I thought I’d be able to catch a few z’s before he wanted some dinner. But just to keep us on our toes, Walker awakened with a yell and I walked into his room. I didn’t even have to turn on the light to know he was glowing red with fever (although I did turn on the light to confirm…) His little face and ears were red hot and when I unzipped his jammies, I could feel the heat radiating off his chest. Now, I do have a thermometer and, of course, it’s the rectal kind because we do always want an accurate reading. I had not used said thermometer yet and I was reluctant to do so. I mean, gosh, when one is not feeling well, who wants something jammed up one’s heinie? I was hoping to avoid using it in the prescribed manner, so I put it under his armpit. It registered 99. And that was me not being terribly careful, so that reading was basically from ambient heat. It was inevitable: I was going to have to figure out the thermometer. It took me 10 minutes to get the courage up to take the instrument out of the packaging and even then I just stared at it for another minute or two. Larry and I finally prepared the area, ourselves and Walker and unexpectedly, Walker didn’t seem to mind. We watched as the digital readout climbed 98…99…100…101…102 and it slowed down…103. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? “Get dressed,” I declared. I called the after-hours nurse who told me that since he didn’t seem to pee after he went to sleep three hours earlier, we should probably give him some Motrin and head down to the ER.
About an hour later, we met a very nice nurse who took Walker’s temperature (which had fallen to 100.8). He also taped a monitor on to his big toe and took his heart rate (150) and oxygen level (98%). What a very smart big toe! The monitor had a long cable Walker really liked to chew on. That’s when we saw Walker’s SECOND TOOTH! So apparently we had a baby with a bad cold and a new tooth. We waited in the ER for another 2 hours and, given that we were still a few hours away from seeing a doctor as it was already 2am, we decided it would be better for Walker to flee the petri dish of the waiting room and get a good night’s sleep in his own bed. Good thing, too. As after a call to the doctor in the morning, it turned out Walker was just fine and we were being “new parents.” Apparently, fevers account for 50% of all calls to the doctor and 20% of all ER visits. I never expected I’d be a paranoid parent but, there you go.
I am still sleeping in Walker’s room (no comments from the peanut gallery…) and the other night he woke up at 2am. I’m working on trying to get him to go back to sleep without my help, so, rather than get up, I lied down on my mattress and watched a little hand poke out between the slats of the crib. Then the little hand moved slowly back and forth between the slats for a few minutes. It disappeared. Back comes the hand but it has something in it — a pacifier. The paci bangs on the slat. Bang. Bang. And then he dragged back and forth across the slats. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Then the silicone side slid against the wood. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Apparently Walker was trying to break out of baby jail. I put the covers over my head to muffle my giggles as I imagined him chanting “Attica! Attica! Attica!” I’ll be moving back into our room soon but I’ll always wonder what unexpected little events happen in the middle of the night.