Sunday, March 8, 2009

Perspective on Dadhood

This was a tough week for the Cornett & Company. Sick baby, sick mama, and sick daddy. Daddy was already kind of a sicko, but having everybody under the weather reminds us of how lucky we are the rest of the time.

There is something character defining about being awake at 5am, a little feverish yourself, and walking the floor with your feverish and crying baby. I am careful here not to use the word "fussy", because 6 months of parenthood has definitely helped me to define the difference between sick and grumpy. There is a certain pitch of the cry that rolls over in my daddy brain. It sends a signal that is not mistakable for anything else. The coughs and cries that bring me down the hall to the nursery at night turn to shrieking wails as I try to rock him back to sleep. He quiets when I hold him, and he screams bloody murder when I put him down. So eventually we settle for a compromise, propped up in the brown upholstered chair in the laundry room. We give him some medicine for the fever, talk softly, rock gently, and try to survive the night.

This isn't even the hardest part. Only in parenting are you forced to make these kind of decisions that affect another person's life or future brain function - should we go the Emergency Room because his fever is 103? Or . . . should we go back to bed? Shhhhh. He's sleeping now. His rosy cheeks begin to fade. I set him down gently and his eyes do not flutter. Those glassy eyes that looked up at me an hour before are resting now. I lay myself down on the bed in his room and listen to the ragged breathing and the hum of the humidifier. The light grows softly in the window, and the spring birds begin their pre-dawn noises.

Nobody told me I signed up for all of this! But I'm not going anywhere.


N. Shields said...

How did the drugs work?

Paula Peterson said...

This may be exacerbated by the first bout
of teething on top of it...

cpao said...

oh, sad...poor Jude! I hope things are better now that a (gasp) 2 weeks have passed! I had a 103 fever and felt miserable, I can only imagine the poor little guy... btw, the photo of Jude's haircut is awesome. The fear, the scissors, and the strange excitement on e-Ben's face make for a classic combo!