This hasn’t been a very good week for Sammy. When I left for work this morning she standing in the middle of the living room, wailing like a baby banshee and wiping at the hot tears that were streaking down her cheeks. She was inconsolable, no matter what we tried, and had been like that on and off for the last several days.
Let’s back up before I tell you why, though. The first part of the week was actually great. We had the birthday party on Sunday, and Sam even got a second dose of festivity on Monday at the Mommy & Me class, though she looks pretty apathetic even at the tender age of two. On Wednesday Ger and I fed her more cake and opened the gifts she had received in the mail from family. At the end of the night she sat astride another pile of birthday booty, including bath toys, books, a bubble bucket, and personal checks (the last of which are going straight into her savings). Her Aunt Shawn had even arranged for a special, 30-second phone call from Elmo (or his understudy, we don’t know for sure), the first 20 seconds of which Sam spent looking at the phone in confusion, the last 10 seconds of which she finally caught on and got into it.
One of Sam’s favorite birthday presents, though, came from Grandma and Grandpa: a shopping cart and baby doll that you can see here (also a rare picture of Sam with her hair in pigtails). Sam is totally into the doll (which Ger named “Francine” after the mom in American Dad for some reason), and loves to feed her breakfast. And snacks. And lunch. And more snacks.
Here are some pictures:
But back to the inconsolable crying and hot tears. Around Thursday Sam started to get sick. It wasn’t much at first, but by the weekend she was running a nasty temperature (climbing as high as 104° before we pounded it back down with Tylenol) and she seemed to be in a perpetually bad mood. I think she had a sore throat, too, because when she tried to eat I could see her grimace with every swallow. So of course she practically stopped eating, which probably didn’t do much to improve her mood. She’d often just stand there, blubbering and crying “Oh no, no, no! Oh no, no, no! Oh no, no, no!” over and over again, as if that repeated negation might make her misery depart for some other place. But it didn’t, and neither did most of what we did for her. Every offer of food, drink, or toys was met with immediate and sometimes spastic rejection. Occasionally we could get her calmed down enough to watch Sesame Street or one of her DVDs, but eventually she’d rev back up and would start crying and chanting “Oh no, no, no!” again.
We actually thought Sam was doing better by the time we put her to bed last night, but she woke up at 5:40 a.m. (a good hour and a half early for her) and started crying. I was already up and Ger decided to just go ahead and get Sam up, too, since she was whimpering through the baby monitor. When the blinds were opened and Sam saw that it was still dark outside, she did a little freak out of her own. This condition of the Earth’s rotation TOTALLY pissed her off for some reason, and she started up in earnest again, screaming at the pre-dawn outside her window. Finally I just put her back in her crib and she lay there semi-quietly until light began to leak through her curtains and the world was right again. For about 20 minutes, anyway. To make matters worse, Ger seems to have the same illness.
During one of Sam’s fits I consulted our “What to Expect the Toddler Years” book to see what it had to say on the topics of fever and malady in general. I swear, sometimes I think that the author of this thing just copied and pasted “This is normal. Your child will be fine.” to every chapter of the book, because apparently everything is just to be expected and you should just be calm. What I want to do when I have some free time is to write a book called “What not to Expect.” Pages 2-500 of this book will be the subject index in the back, covering every conceivable condition or circumstance from “Asthma” to “Zebra Poisoning.” Every entry in this subject index would reference Page 1 of the book, which will just have the following in big, bold letters:
What? Are you kidding? YOU NEED TO FREAK OUT! RIGHT NOW!
Because sometimes when your daughter is already way ahead of you, you just want permission to freak out. It could be good to freak out, but you can’t. Because that’s not your job. But it would be good to be a temp on assignment to that project for a while.