My cheerful kid who never gets sick got super sick last week.
And while most people get cranky when sick, she tries to stay cheerful, but also gets kind of slap happy. From fever? From boredom? From pain? I don’t know. But what I do know is that when we entered the doctor’s office and I said “don’t touch anything” my normally mature six year old heard my instructions through her feverish ears and decided that since I didn’t say “don’t lick anything” she was good to go on sampling the taste of her waiting room chair.
I was filling out forms and looked over just as her tongue made contact with the plastic arm of the chair. But when I yelped her name and saw her glassy feverish eyes I decided that the oncoming antibiotics should cancel out whatever she contracted in her licktatious fever mania.
Then, after I explained to the fetal-age doctor-on-call (23 years, tops) that Jane had been sick for two weeks, had had a high fever for several days, and I was having a hard time suppressing it with pain-meds, her solution was that I give Jane a steam bath for congestion.
“That seems counter productive for keeping her core body temperature down,” I said.
“Oh, um, yes,” the doctor muttered.
It was at this particular juncture that I had to decide whether or not to channel Goldie Hawn a’la Overboard and shout, “LISTEN TO ME MEDICAL PEOPLE.”
(You would be surprised how often I suppress that urge.)
I did not do that thing. But I did end up using the phrase “this ain’t my first rodeo” and Jane and I left with an antibiotic prescription and one less friend in this world.
Then when we got to the pharmacy a man tried to talk to Jane, she did not care for it and muttered “STRANGERS” and crawled under the counter. On the way home she dozed, but then woke suddenly, her head jerked up and she started singing, “Everybody loves a winner, so nobody loves me…” I pondered whether perhaps Jane and I listened to too many show tunes in the car, and whether she really needed to know the detailed lyrics of Liza’s Caberet song, but my train of thought was quickly distracted when she banged on her window and yelled “get out of the way” at oncoming traffic in the opposite lane.
Jane-With-A-Fever is perhaps one of the funniest of all Jane-versions. She’s becomes a strange combination of Archie Bunker and Lucille Ball. When we got home she told me my hair needed to be petted (and proceeded to do so), and then she asked to eat pickles. Then when I told her no, and gave her crackers with her new antibiotics, and they made her sick anyway, she told me, “I feel bad. It smells like people’s mouths in here. Help me.”
Fast forward 24 hours and she’s her old self again. Fever free.
Thank you Alexander Flemming.