Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sick and the City

On Wednesday, when Harry's babysitter dropped him off on campus after my class and before her class, she told me that Harry hadn't been acting like himself. I noticed that his little cheeks were really red, and I expected them to be cold from the wind, since it's a brisk a walk from the parking garage to my building. When I kissed his little face, though, I noticed it was burning hot, despite the chilly Wisconsin weather.

I got home and immediately stuck a thermometer in his ear (didn't have the heart to try the rectal thermometer, since we've been eating lots of oranges lately-- which he calls "apples"-- and they always give him a bit of a rash). 101.5. I was worried, of course, because this was Harry's like second fever ever. I gave Harry some Tylenol and called Ben, who reminded me that our weekend plans were going to be totally screwed-- and that's when I remembered: WE HAD WEEKEND PLANS FOR ONCE. REALLY COOL ONES.

I had to present a paper on abortion in Victorian America at the National Communication Association annual convention in Chicago. And this was totally not the cool part of our weekend, especially since I had to wear the dorkiest maternity suit ever and gray suede pumps that I thought looked trendy but just looked like kind of a bummer with my blah, fat suit. The cool part was that we were going to stay at a nice hotel on Michigan Avenue Thursday through Saturday and shop and take Harry to the aquarium and some museums and shop and eat fatty Chicago food and see old friends and buy shiny things while shopping. Then-- and here's where it gets super cool-- Harry was going to spend Saturday night with his grandparents in the burbs, and Ben and I were going to shop some more and go out to a grown up dinner and then attend the university recruiting parties at the Hilton. We figured we'd sleep in on Sunday, have a relaxed breakfast that didn't involve someone sticking his grubby hands in our plates to fondle hash browns or steal bacon. We were even going to stop at IKEA on our way back to the burbs and look for lead-free toys for Harry for the holidays.

So, Wednesday night, we rushed to Urgent Care when Harry's fever shot up to 102.5 AFTER taking Tylenol. The doctor was really patient with us. He checked Harry's ears and chest and throat and diagnosed "the sniffles." We asked if we could still go to Chicago, and he said, "Yeah. I am pretty sure he can take Tylenol in Illinois."

Soooo, we loaded up the car on Thursday morning, and at first, the trip was awesome. I really like Vacation Harry. He is happy, alert, and willing to go with the flow. He loved poking around the hotel room-- the fountain in the lobby was like a fantasy oasis, and the super fast elevator was the best ride ever. The view out our 23rd story window really did it for him. He spent most of the time we were in the room curled up on the window ledge, staring lovingly at the train and the building construction below us. The sounds of the city amazed him. He was all "Beep beep" and "Bam bam" and "Zhh Zhh." He said bye bye to everyone he saw, which kept him really busy.

We hit the ground running on Thursday. We went to Garrett's for a huge bag of caramel corn that I have nearly finished BY MYSELF. Ben bought a new overcoat, which is good because he had a tummy ache that disappeared after this purchase. And I totally understand because I have had the I-need-a-new-coat stomach bug a few times myself.

Here we are at a deep dish pizza place that didn't have room for high chairs. Harry and I had a love-hate relationship with his booster seat, and we both got covered with spaghetti. Ben had a love-love relationship with his wine. The bastard.

Here's Ben and Harry at about 8:30 on Thursday night-- do we know how to party, or what? Ben woke up son after I took these pictures and said, "I was not asleep." Nooooooo, not at all. We went to bed cautiously optimistic that Harry's bug was gone and we could enjoy the rest of our weekend.

Then we had the worst night's sleep ever, with Harry tossing and turning and crying (both in his sleep and while awake). We slept maybe 4 hours off and on, and I had to be up at 6 to get ready for my panel at 8 am. And to register for the convention. Which? So expensive. $170 for a canvas tote bag and a badge holder cum fanny pack. Think what I could have bought at Coach instead.

But for me? No Coach store for a new diaper bag. No ginormous H&M for trendy maternity clothes. No Nordstom. No Tiffany. No Nike Town for baby Air Jordans. Because Vacation Harry was gone, and Sniffles Harry was in his place. He woke up with a 102 fever and a bad attitude (understandable, of course).

I gave my paper, changed out of my uncomfortable shoes (which looked very orthopedic so you'd think they'd feel good, too, but no), and we hit the road. Buh-bye date night.

Here he is lounging on the couch last night watching The Incredibles because when the AAP said no TV for kids under 2, they CLEARLY did not mean sick kids. (and yes, the sexism and classism of The Incredibles does bother me, but we have a very limited selection of kids' movies. We thought Finding Nemo-- our only other choice-- would make Harry think of the fishies he didn't get to see at the aquarium-- and yes, he has that kind of a memory. We bought him a tiny dustbuster for Chrismukkah and hid it in his closet, and he totally knows it's there and sometimes stands outside the closet going "zhhhh" and crying a little. Good thing Hanukkah is early this year)

We went back to the doc who stands by his sniffles diagnosis, and Harry was been fever and Tylenol free since bedtime last night *fingers crossed*.


  1. Oh poor poor Harry! He looks so miserable in those last few. And the ones of him sleeping next to Ben made me snort a little because they even sleep the same! Sorry about all the missed shopping and the date night. And no, the AAP was not referring to sick kids. That's how I know how much Charlie likes Shrek's karoke dance party.

  2. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Poor Harry! He is sooo pathetic when he's sick! Sorry you guys missed the fun weekend!

  3. Anonymous9:32 AM

    I'm just glad his fever is gone now, kids get sick quickly and well the same way, take care of yourself and little unknown, a good sneeze is not good for bladder control...Bomma

  4. Poor sick little guy. :( I hope he's feeling better.

  5. Poor Harry!! And poor mom & dad!! I hope he's feeling better!

    And I love your pictures!! They always make me smile!