Protect the Baby!
By Shannon_Lell on February 26, 2012
Hey! Remember that one time 2, 3, 4... 10! posts ago when I said something funny? When I wasn't all, "Hey, let's talk about God and sadness and things that make me feel like shit." Remember that? Well I think it's time for a little more of it right now. So come, join me in laughing at my pain. Because sometimes, laughing is the only thing that makes it all better.
I KNOW right!? How could I even think of willingly poking many sharp and painful needles into that squishy, smiley, love bug? Oh how I dislike shot-days. But alas, he was schedule for four of them and being a parent who believes in the benefits of modern medicine and my pediatrician, I was going to allow it. Just as they were explaining to me how much pain I would be inflicting on the many rolls of his tender, smooshy baby thighs, they pulled some serious parental-decision-crossroads-bullshit on me and said, "Since he's six months he can get the flu shot now, too." Uh wah?
The mouse began to turn on its wheel inside my brain and I started to feel angsty at having to make this decision. You see, I believe in karmic irony and I knew that if I chose NOT to give him a flu shot then he would most DEFINITELY get viral within 24 hours. But if I DID, he would totally go permanently cross-eyed or something from too many shots in one day. Oh I wanted a way out of this one so bad. I didn't want to subject him to any more needle-pain than necessary, but I also didn't want a flu-ridden infant, either.
Then the doctor threw me teeny shred of a lifeline to release me of my karmic fate and I grabbed on to that sucker like my toddler's wrist in the Target parking lot. She said that this year's flu season has been relatively mild and they stop giving flu shots in mid-March anyway so I had just a little over a month to go and... Peeeerrrrfect! No flu-shot for you my sweet, cherub child! Nu uh, not MEH bebe! No way! Besides, he's too happy and perfect to get sick AND I'm breastfeeding so he has my immunity and I have the flu shot so we'll both be just fiiiiiinnne.
Twenty-four, muther-effing hours later my husband goes viral. The poor guy was hot and cold flashing for two days while I frantically Googled instructions on how to quarantine our bedroom. I certainly felt sorry for him, but let's face it, there wasn't much I could do. He is a grown man with the ability to find his way to the toilet and I had a brand new, un-innoculated baby with sweet, virginal lungs to protect. I mean, this kid still has his new baby, not-even-one-sniffle-in-his-whole-life smell and everything! I wasn't about to taint his sweet, sweet baby air with my husband's germ-infested, man-virus especially since it was MY decision not to vaccinate the poor thing! Nu uh, NOT MEH BEBE!
But it couldn't be as simple as having an ill spouse and two small children to take care of at home (Ha!). Because that would be too easy for my life. My husband's bed-ridden illness was timed perfectly with a pre-planned three-day weekend in the mountains with his family wherein we had a nonrefundable security deposit. Perfect.
Holy shit the packing. For two adults, one toddler and a baby, our SUV was bursting at its metal seams with everything you could imagine including two cribs, a high chair and a boppy, (because God-forbid we don't have the fucking BOPPY). The morning we were leaving OF COURSE we were running late, why would be doing anything ELSE but running late? As I ran around the house listening to the baby whine because he was overdue for his first nap while my husband held him and hacked phlegm into his perfect little, I've-hardly-ever-even-sneezed-nose, I just started grabbing anything that wasn't nailed down and throwing it out the door. Everything accept my shoes, my jacket, my pillow, my swimsuit (who's elastic hadn't eroded over the winter), and my sanity.
Oh, but as soon as we got in the car I was all awwwwwww, deep breath, it's going to be okay, let's make lemons out of lemonade people! Ahead of me were two peaceful hours of two hands on the wheel with nothing to do but toss sweet or salty snacks into the backseat whenever I heard a whine.
And then... there was uncontrolled toddler-puking. Keeping with the theme of precision timing, it all happened the VERY MINUTE we drove past the LAST exit before the mountain pass. Not only was there projectile vomit and frantic crying, but there was absolutely NOTHING I could do about it for many, many, snow-covered, excruciating miles. And just like that, we had another man down.
My resolve to protect this angel baby's breathe just got a million times harder with a cough-in-your-face, wipe-my-snot-on-everything, puke-where-I-please, toddler running around. Quick! Someone please shower me in vitamin C!! What?! I forgot a bathing suit with non-see-through parts? Son of a...
The next couple days would prove that the toddler just had a nasty cold and NOT the virus o' death my husband had. Phew. At least I dodged that bullet.
Okay then! Vacation over. It was a lovely time and now we're headed back to routine and house cleaning and nursing a sickly toddler back to health. All will be well right?!
Holy shit the UNpacking. As I'm loading the 8th load of laundry into the dryer I start to feel a little... sick. Oh no, not now. "YES bitch, NOW! You, me, the bed, PRONTO!" Said the nasty bug inside my body. And just like that, the baby lost his frontline against attack. I failed you my son, I'm sorry, but Mamma is goin' down.
The next day was what I call, 1st world, I-ain't-got-real-problems-but-this-shit-really-sucks, kind of hell. All I wanted to do was sleep. All I HAD to do was watch a sick toddler and one infant by myself. What happened to sick days? I remember I got at least six of them required by law as an employee? I mean my husband got a couple sick days don't I get a sick day, too? Huh? Pretty please?!
As I'm stumbling through the kitchen in my bathrobe at noon to get the toddler some juice (not this juice, that juice!) I step in a big, milky puddle. What the? As I lift the kitchen mats and follow the trail I find that what I just stepped in, and what my toddler has stepped in and is now tracking all over the carpet, is melted ice cream which is coming from our balmy freezer. You have got to be fucking KIDDING ME RIGHT? I mean YOU'RE KIDDING ME WITH THIS BULLSHIT? RIGHT!?
And the hits just kept coming. My husband's car wouldn't start and something about flooding and oil and $400 later he has new brakes, too. Then the tire went flat on the SUV and we had to get THAT repaired. And to top it ALL off... my husband, the only fully recovered adult this week goes down with ANOTHER virus, this time of the lower half. I just gave up and hung these outside our door.
Today, as I write this, everyone is finally, nearly 100% recovered. And you know what? Through that whole thing that baby never did get sick? Isn't that some crazy shit?