2am: Wren sits bolt upright, opens her eyes, and announces “wa be roh ahm du.” Her eyes close, her head drops to her chest, she begins to sway a little. Her eyes fly open again, and she lifts her right arm as if gesticulating to make her point. “Ma zo eh gub! Buh.” Her eyes close again. She falls over. She snores.
After a busy day of crawling, cruising, block-stacking, and block-stack knocking-down, we begin our nighttime routine. It begins with the change into overnight diapers and proceeds apace to tooth brushing, after which I take Robin into the bedroom to nurse down. I used to nurse both kids together at bedtime, but now they keep each other awake, using my belly as a bongo, jabbing each other in the eye, giggling insanely. So now it’s Robin’s turn first, and only after he has drifted off does Husband bring Wren in.
While Robin and Mama snuggle, Daddy and Wren spend their special time together perusing YouTube. We have begun to collect Wren’s favorite videos, which I thought I would share for the possible benefit of other hip, internet-lovin’ babies and toddlers.
Wren’s first video pick: Multiple SIDosis, by Sid Laverents. The first half may be interesting to adults, but the action – and Wren’s favorite part – really gets going at the 4:50 mark.
I got in a fiiiiiiiiiiiight at the Farmer’s Market again yesterday (the last one was nearly a year ago, when some lady snapped at me to cover up while nursing). We had brought the kids over to have brunch. Robin was unhappy with A) food not coming fast enough, B) being in the stroller, C) the way we kept feeding the other baby instead of him, WTF, and D) everything else. He yelled periodically. Not constantly, and it’s not as if we weren’t doing our best to address it. But two asshole women at a nearby table kept glaring at me, and when I smiled apologetically at one she sneered, “I’m not smiling.” And they kept glaring. And glaring. Finally I went over there and said, “Hey, so, I’m getting a lot of nasty looks from over here, and it’s really bothering me.” Ms. I’m-Not-Smiling told me, unsmiling, that my children were disrupting her meal. “I’ve been watching you,” she said, “and every time he yells you pop food in his mouth. You’re rewarding his bad behavior.”
“Let me get this straight: he’s yelling because he’s hungry, so you want me to . . . not feed him?”
Well, they had come here to have a peaceful lunch. I pointed out that this was the Farmer’s Market; it was filled with kids and loud people. But all of the other kids near us were behaving perfectly, they answered.
“All of the other kids near us are older and capable of speech.”
Ms. I’m-Not-Smiling told me that she was a high school teacher, so she knew how kids like mine were going to turn out. I asked her if she really thought her badly behaved students were bad because their parents had fed them when they yelled for food when they were one year old.
There was more. Too much more. Husband came over and I informed him that we had been doing this whole parenting thing wrong all along and THANK GOD SOMEONE WAS HERE TO SET US STRAIGHT.
Oh, the whole thing was a freaking trainwreck. At the same time that their rudeness made me angry, it also reinforced my anxiety about bringing the kids out in public. It’s true: sometimes they’re loud (especially, I’ve noticed, when they are in loud environments). I’m already completely embarrassed by it even before the kind contributions of Ms. I’m-Not-Smiling. But what am I supposed to do, keep them locked away until they’re six?
Ah, Rotavirus, my new mortal enemy.
Wren started vomiting on Wednesday the 4th, and I brought her to the ER in the evening after the vomit turned bright yellow and she became listless. They did an ultrasound to check for intussusception, and found none. They said she was dehydrated, stuck in an IV, filled her up like a little water balloon, and sent her home after a few hours. The next day she didn’t vomit, but she just wouldn’t stay awake. At times, I couldn’t wake her up at all, even with flicking her feet and rubbing her chest. She wouldn’t nurse, she wouldn’t eat or drink anything. She wouldn’t whack her brother with blocks, even when we put the blocks in her hand and sat him right next to her. This alone told me that something was Not Right.
I called her doctor, who asked me, “When she’s awake, is she coherent?”
“Um, she’s one year old, so I’d have to say no.”
“I mean age-appropriate coherence.”
“Well, she said ‘kitty’ a couple of times, but not like she meant it. If you mean does she seem focused and aware, that’s still a no.”
“You should probably bring her back to the ER.”
The ER doctor, a sombre man with a dark beard, tossed around the possibility of meningitis, and did a lumbar puncture to rule it out. Immediately after the puncture (and probably in revenge for it because Holy Mother of All That Blows was that traumatic), she developed explosive diarrhea. He admitted her to the hospital, where she was soon diagnosed with Rotavirus, the baby stomach flu from hell. The baby LoJack on her ankle and the IV machine plugged into the wall meant I couldn’t even take her for a walk, so the only time I got to leave the room was when Husband and Robin came to visit. I bathed only with baby wipes and deodorant. Wren kept pooping on me. I was sticky and smelly and my hair fused into one big puffy dreadlock. When Husband brought me a change of clothes I nearly cried with joy. Wren pooped on them an hour later.
We came home on Sunday. I showered immediately. Wren improved over the next couple of days. Her last diarrhea was on Tuesday morning. That same morning, I got a serious case of The Puking, which – thank heavens – lasted only about twelve hours. Phew! All done.
Through all of this, Robin had been running a fever between 101 and 102, and he developed a really fancy rash and got kinda cranky, but seemed basically okay. Until this Wednesday. As soon as he saw that his sister was better and his mother had stopped throwing up, my kind and considerate little boy started having diarrhea. A lot of it. Everywhere. And that’s where we are now, still mired in the poopfest. This morning I changed his diaper, and in the .05 seconds between one diaper coming off and the next going on, he sprayed the changing table, the wall, and part of the window with liquid poo.
At least we’re at home, where I can shower.
Today is the babies’ first birthday, and I have so much to say about this last year. But the internet is down at work (I KNOW!) and I will be late(r) if I write this post from home before going in. Stupid work, interfering with my sentimental reminiscence.
Me: Ow! No bite, Wren! Ow! Quit it!
Wren: [grin, with teeth still clamped down on my nipple.]
Husband: What are you going to do about this biting thing?
Me: FedEx her to Japan.
Me: What? I’ll put airholes in the box!