Saturday, January 26, 2008
I have been planning Isaiah's 2nd birthday party for weeks. Unfortunately, a nasty virus didn't seem to care about all the work I had put in, and Isaiah got sick. It started as just a cough on Monday, but by Tuesday night, he had a high fever and was lethargic and stuffed up. I woke up at 4 a.m. that morning to give him some soothing liquids and medicine and to rock him back to sleep. His cough was the most disturbing part because it was so deep and obviously painful. Whenever he coughed, it just racked his entire body and he often cried at the end. Even after he had fallen back asleep, I couldn't rest again. I sat up the rest of that night looking up symptoms on WebMD trying to figure out what he had, and I went over and over the decision of whether or not to cancel his party on Saturday. On the one hand he could possibly get better by the weekend, but on the other hand, he would probably still be contagious. I finally decided that the party needed to be canceled. I also debated whether or not to take him to the doctor. His cough sounded very bad and painful, and his fever was pretty high, but it was so cold out, I didn't know if a doctor's visit would do anything but make him more sick.
Isaiah and I just ended up staying at home on Wednesday, because Michael and I really didn't want to take Isaiah out in the cold unless it was absolutely necessary. I kept Isaiah upstairs the whole time in Michael's and my room filling him with lots of apple juice and snuggling with him as we watched Thomas movies on the portable DVD player. Despite all of my internet searching the night before, I wasn't quite sure if Isaiah had croup, the flu, a cold, or what. I did know, however, that whatever he had the advice was actually pretty similar: give him Tylenol for his fever and keep him well hydrated. Those were two things I could definitely do. Actually, I think I overdid it a bit on the hydrating part, because Isaiah was so full of fluids that twice he actually peed through his diaper and onto me. His coughs were still painful to watch, but we actually had a good time together. He cuddled all day and we read lots of books. One problem, though, was that he kept insisting that he was hungry, but he didn't want anything that I suggested.
"Hungry," he would tell me.
"Do you want bananas?"
"Do you want toast?"
"Do you want cheesy noodles?"
"No cheesy noses."
Finally after he woke up from his nap and told me that he was hungry, I would have given him anything he asked for - fruit snacks, oreos, you name it. So I just asked him what he wanted to eat. He put his finger to his chin in his thoughtful position and then answered,
"What? Did you have a dream about penguins...okay, but what do you want to eat?"
I promise you, we have never eaten penguins in this house, nor have we alluded to eating penguins or mentioned that penguins are tasty or anything. I assumed he meant that he wanted to eat animal crackers shaped like penguins, so I went and got the box of animal crackers.
"Isaiah, do you want these animal cracker penguins?"
"No - eat penguins."
After much convincing, Isaiah finally settled for rice. I still have no idea where he got the idea of eating penguins.
The next day, Isaiah and I trekked to the doctor despite the sub-zero temperatures. She said that although she couldn't tell me the exact name of the virus Isaiah had, she could tell me that she had seen three toddlers with the same exact thing that morning. She mainly just eliminated things that it wasn't. He had no fluid in his lungs, no infection in his ears, and nothing else that would indicate a need for antibiotics, so we were just sent home to wait it out.
We decided that although we couldn't have any kids over for Isaiah's party, we could still invite grandparents, aunts and uncles, and adult friends, assuming they had the restraint not to suck on Isaiah's sippy cup or put his toys in their mouths. I was still really disappointed, though, and I realized that it was a rather selfish disappointment, because Isaiah wouldn't know that he had been jipped out of playing with kids. In fact, he loves it so much when our family and friends come over, I knew he would be perfectly happy. I had to come to terms with the fact that my discouragement was really for myself because I had fostered the idea of Isaiah playing with his cute little friends, and I had already pictured in my head the adorable photographs that would be taken of kids racing around in their train costumes or playing the other games I had for them. I finally just made myself suck it up, because Isaiah's ideal party didn't really need to include kids and games the way I had pictured it. So, after Isaiah went to bed the night before the party Michael and I stayed up until midnight decorating so it would all be a surprise, and we kept Isaiah upstairs for the entire morning until it was time for his party. It was actually really fun to have a picnic breakfast and lunch on Isaiah's bedroom floor, and it was exciting to keep the party a surprise. When he came down, he exclaimed over the balloons and the party favors, and he was so happy to see everything. The party was actually really great. I could relax and focus on Isaiah, and Isaiah loved being the absolute center of attention. He had a wonderful time, and I couldn't have asked for a better birthday party for him.