Sick Day Scare and a Miracle

For nearly three years, my patience and understanding with Brandon has been a point of pride with me. Not that I think I’m better than anyone else, but I’ve been so pleasantly surprised that the various stages and angst haven’t gotten to me more than they have that it became a prideful thing.

Well, you know how they say “pride goeth before a fall”?

Recently I wrote about our relatively new status as disciplinarians. Up until the last few weeks, we’ve had little reason to say no to Brandon. We’ve also been able, in most instances, to diffuse the situation before it escalates to a meltdown.

Life is not that simple anymore. Brandon has hit his stride as a two-year-old and he’s got the attitude to prove it. We have taken to calling him “Veloci-Brandon” during those times when we get the ear-drum bursting, bone-chilling, blood-curdling shrieks that indicate he is less than impressed with whatever is happening at that particular moment. He’s also learned how to use the word “no” very effectively.

He is fussier than he’s ever been in his entire life and I’ve been losing my patience with it. There’s no way to console or diffuse these situations. Timeouts are moderately effective, but he often comes away and enters into another shriek-fest over the same issue. Sometimes we know what’s wrong, but it is often a mystery.

Yesterday, Brandon got sick. I knew when he got up from his nap that there would be no going to daycare today - he had a fever. Matt and I entered negotiations about who would stay home. He’s carried the load of staying home on Brandon’s sick days for over a year now and, ultimately, I was the one who ended up staying with him.

There was a big part of me that just did not want to do it. This is the first time in Brandon’s life that there are times I have trouble enjoying the person he is. It’s a stress like no other to have your child shrieking and not know what the problem is or how to make it stop. I’m starting to understand how the baby got thrown out with the bathwater.

Then something happened that shook me up badly.

As an approaching-three-at-an-alarmingly-fast-rate-year-old child, Brandon has a lot of freedom to come and go as he wishes. He’s unbelievably good about not getting into things he shouldn’t and we haven’t needed to supervise his every trip up and down the stairs for about a year or so. Notwithstanding this high level of freedom, he isn’t left alone for long periods because he is, after all, still only two.

As I was cleaning up his morning snack, Brandon decided to go upstairs without me. He was there for a couple of minutes when I heard a crash as I was going up the stairs. I ran as fast as I could - which wasn’t very fast and that really needs to change - to find him in my bedroom with a TV hovering over his head. He’d opened all the drawers of the dresser the television was on, causing it to tip over.

I am more thankful than you can even imagine that the TV got stuck when it couldn’t fall between the open top dresser drawer and the bed. Otherwise, all 50(?) pounds of it would have come crashing down on my baby boy, whose hand was caught between two of the drawers.

I struggled to get the TV back up onto the dresser and free Brandon from the drawers to see how serious his injuries were. And here’s where we have another miracle.

His crying subsided and he held up his hand to me, saying, “Need Mommy kisses.” I kissed his hand, then hugged him as he said, “Mommy kisses make it all better.” That little exchange - more than anything else he could have done - assured me that he was completely fine. I like to think that he knew how utterly freaked out I was after seeing that TV toppled over. He reverted back to a game we came up with months ago to assure me that he wasn’t seriously hurt.

And I realized that my impatience is such a waste of time. No matter what is going on, why he’s upset, this little boy is precious and I love him more than I can say. Anyone who has the power to scare 10 years off my life in a two-minute span deserves better than what he’s been getting from me. We got comfortable with our expectations of him and now he’s thrown all of that out the window. It’s a hard adjustment for us, but we have to learn to deal without getting impatient and expecting him to “know better”. He’s two. He “knows better” sometimes, but not nearly as often as we’d like. It’s our job to get him there with patience, love and acceptance.

Florida Dreamin’

Every once in a blue moon, I have this pretty detailed fantasy where I move back to my hometown, Tallahassee, Florida – a city that, despite being the capital of the state is occasionally NOT on the map. Of course, Brandon and Matt go with me. We’d sell our house here in Ottawa and buy a nice place in Tally – perhaps off North Monroe to be sort of close to family, but maybe we’d try some of the southeast areas of the city that are newer or just find where the best schools are. Of course, we might end up a pretty fair distance from my dad, brother, sister-in-law and nieces, but that’s Tallahassee distance, which isn’t that far.

I’d get a job with the State; because I know all the official languages (English) and I have worked for the state in the past. It was a good place to work when I was there before, so I’d definitely work there again. I always just assume Matt would work for the city, but maybe he should work for the State, too.

I’d look forward to living in a town where I know all the areas – like Frenchtown, Killearn, the Fairgrounds, all of the general school districts. I’d know some of the history of the town that’s relevant to me personally, like how the Shoney’s Inn at Highway 27 and I-10 is built on the land where my Grandmother’s house stood for over 40 years – the house where my Dad grew up. That Grandma’s house was actually moved to a little neighborhood off of Fred George Road instead of being torn down when she sold it and the land in the early 1980s.

We could go biking down St. Marks trail, take Brandon to San Luis Mission, visit Myers Park to play on the playground or go swimming, go watch the fireworks at Tom Brown, teach Brandon why Godby is better than Leon. He could get to be in marching band! The perks of moving south are really endless and I haven’t even started with how you don’t have to shovel snow. Ever.

I love the thought of going back and knowing all the back roads and how to get around quickest without ever having to consult a map. With family so close, I would never have to worry about needing help – that’s what families do for each other. I’d get to help my family in return, too! Getting to see my family regularly and get to know my sister-in-law and nieces better would be a dream come true.

Of course, my older brother is in Tennessee, but we’d even be a lot closer to him – it’s only a 9-hour drive to from Tally instead of a 16-hour drive from Ottawa. Plus, we could probably arrange family trips to meet up in Atlanta and be tourists for a few days. And Disney’s only a short 4-hour drive southeast.

All of this coming up now proves that two years of not seeing my family is too long and that this week has been really lonely for me. Matt’s sick, I’m sick and it’s not been easy to cope with everything we need to do for ourselves and Brandon – and also prevent Brandon from getting sick. We’ve managed to get through so far, thankfully, but I can honestly say I’ve not felt so alone in a really long time.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I have been almost constantly sick since the middle of March. I got a bad cold that led to a nasty case of laryngitis, then passed the cold to Brandon, so he was already sick his first day of daycare. His cold didn't last long (thank goodness), but after only two weeks in daycare, he was sick with the stomach flu. None of the other kids had it, so I think he picked it up elsewhere - possibly through me since my boss' son had it just before Brandon.

Pretty much the day after he was finally over the flu, Brandon got sick with a cold, then I got sick with a cold. That was about two weeks ago and mine just got a lot worse today. Not only that, but Brandon's eyes are inflamed and red with some kind of funky discharge. Doesn't seem to be pink eye, but come on!! Can we all go a month without being sick already? It is supremely sucky to be sick in this nice weather we're having. I went for a bike ride yesterday with Brandon and had to quit early because I was having trouble breathing due to chest congestion. That's just annoying.

I'm done whining now...just needed to vent for a few minutes. We'll all live and hopefully be a little more immune to illnesses that are inevitably going to come up in the next few months.

Update @ 3:08am, May 4/09: Woke up to use the washroom and I can barely swallow. Decided to have a look at my throat and I have white spots all over it. Looks like strep. God help me, I think I'm going to lose my ever-lovin' mind!!!