As new parents Brakes and I have enjoyed all of the “firsts” Miss Eloise has graced us with thus far; her first poo after she “dumped” her first BF Billi Rubin (that's a little gauche jaundice humor for you! And we took a picture. Is that weird?) immediately comes to mind.
However there are a couple of firsts I have been dreading, most especially her first fever. I’ve marveled at what a great job I’ve done keeping her healthy (despite
encouraging allowing her to eat Puffs off the floor) for the last 9 months. In fact she had never even run a fever, until the Sunday after we moved.
For the last several days, during the craziness of moving, I had noticed that she felt a freckle warm. I kept pulling out the handy-dandy temporal lobe thermometer and zapping her forehead. It showed high 98 to 99 each time. But so did everybody else. (I was zapping people like crazy. Multiple data points, you know.) I decided she was a bit warm but not in fever territory yet. Well, by Sunday, her eyes looked funny and her mouth was so hot when she nursed that I decided it was time to pull out the big guns; we went rectal, people. Brakes held her cute little butt-cheeks apart (baby got back!) (Was that inappropriate? Sorry.) and I gently inserted the thermometer. She froze and looked horrified. I also looked horrified as I watched the numbers quickly climb to over 102 before the beep. My baby had a fever!
After 24 hours of Tylenol the fever was gone and we felt relief. That was not so bad; we had navigated her first illness with aplomb. In fact, Brakes and I were busy congratulating ourselves on our extraordinary parenting skills when I happened to glance down at Weezy’s thumb
cramming Puffs into her mouth as fast as it could folded nicely in her lap. It was sporting an angry, red blister. I quickly gave her a closer look and saw that her face, mostly around her mouth and nostrils, also had a scabby, blistery rash. How had we missed the rash on her face, you ask? As I already explained, we were busy stroking each other’s egos and could not be bothered with close examination of our daughter’s, up until then, flawless complexion. Besides, it blended in with all of the Puff crumbs.
Within minutes I had scooped up my baby and was clutching her to my bosom while Brakes’ googled baby rashes. (Jenny McCarthy isn’t the only one who can study medicine at Google University.) Within minutes we had made a scientific diagnosis: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. It is one of those childhood illnesses that everybody gets eventually. It is spread through exchanging body fluids with an infected individual. (Not by eating Puffs off the floor, the doctor assured me.) It did not appear to be uncomfortable, affect her appetite, her sleep, or her mood. It basically just compromised her beauty for a few days. Within a week the blisters were all gone and she is back to her usual gorgeous self. So all in all, Weezy’s first social disease wasn’t that emotionally wrenching. We all appear to have recovered unscathed. Maybe Brakes and I aren’t such terrible parents after all?
(Note: My child is now fully recovered. You should not run kicking and screaming from us if you see us walking down the street. And we are available for play dates. Especially if there is wine. And puffs.)