Not Alone

On Monday and Tuesday, Claire didn’t seem herself. She clung to me at Little Gym and in music class. She was subdued and had low energy. She seemed fragile. I felt concerned and thought it was probably more teething. Claire woke a lot last night crying; Husband takes care of nights and he comforted her. When I got her this morning she felt warm. She had a fever, and I called the doctor because it was 102. They had us come in and did a quick exam. No ear infection, everything looked okay except her throat. It was red. The doctor said it was probably a cold presenting first with a fever. (Most of Claire’s colds have started with sneezing.) She spent most of the day in my arms, though she did nap three hours in her crib too. When she awoke from that her fever was 103. We’re giving her acetaminophen to help with the discomfort.

Ironically, today was my day to bring snack to preschool. I’d baked sweet potato bread and bought whole wheat crackers. It figures, on the day we miss class! I called my friend A (Fia’s mom) who is also in the class, and she picked it all up on the way, sparing me an extra trip with a cranky child. Later another friend called to check in and offered to pick up milk and juice at Safeway for me.

After that, Claire’s babysitter came by and ran an errand to the post office and grocery for me (because of course I’d forgotten them on the earlier list). The sweet thing is, she didn’t want me to pay her for her time. I was not comfortable with this, since I do want to compensate her properly. I could appreciate her kindness, however, so I suggested I’d donate her wage to Feeding America instead, and we settled on that.

It feels so reassuring to know people who can assist in a pinch, and just being checked on feels all warm and fuzzy.

My mood the past few days has been rather low for reasons I hadn’t pinpointed, but now that Claire is sick I wonder if it was a little mother’s intuition that not all was right. Also, I was without internet access for the day — the router was down — and learned something: I didn’t die! 😉

One of the reasons for my mood is connected to my own ego. The thing that does worry me is how to help Claire negotiate life. We go on playdates with other kids or to classes, and other kids are just much bigger or more aggressive. It’s all age-appropriate behavior. I’m not saying Claire doesn’t try to take a toy from someone else sometimes. But she does have passive quality in her response to things; when other kids take a toy from her or hit her, she lets it happen and looks perplexed. Occasionally she will follow the child around to get the toy back (without succeeding) or will cry, but usually she just looks a little helpless. I struggle with a desire to overprotect. I also struggle with my own memories and pain from being a very petite and passive kid; I was a target for bullies, and I got plenty of their attention. I remind myself not to project onto Claire, but I do wonder how I’m going to do this part of parenting.

I feel today that Life was nudging me to stop. Stop rushing through my tasks, my lists. Stop wasting time on cyberspace. Stop and listen to music and breathe. Claire spent a lot of the day in my arms. She napped three hours in the crib and cuddled the rest of the time. She’s exceptionally affectionate today — saying “I kiss you” and giving kiss after kiss. It feels sweet, and it also pokes my heart a little because I’m sure it’s an expression of need and appreciation while she feels unwell.

And now I should tuck myself in if I hope to be All Things Nurturing all day tomorrow.

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One Comment on “Not Alone”

  1. Karen Maezen Miller Says:

    How beautiful! How miserable! Sickness is itself the healing. I’m so proud of you and your wide open eyesight. I’ve met Claire and she may take her sweet time, but she doesn’t need to be nudged in the negotiation department. You can rest.