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Lipstick and Legos – The Germ Factory

27 August 2016   Holli Maurer
The Joys of Being a Single Mom with a Sick Kid

Saturday morning while I was trying to squeeze in some hours at work, Little’s Step Mom texted, “just a heads up, Little is under the weather.” She texted me every half hour or so and did all the right things. Motrin went down the hatch and I told her I’d be there early to get him. When I arrived at 2:00, Little’s Dad was snuggled into bed with him and they were watching Lego Batman in bed. Little’s fever though was at 103.4; so I gave him Tylenol and put him in the car to head home. 

Within an hour Little’s fever turned to 104.3. I called my mother, I called his doctor, and I posted on Facebook, seeking guidance on how to break his fever. One of my biggest fears is doing something wrong; and I always think I’m at a slight disadvantage because there’s no responsible adult with me here that I can bounce things off of. I was left alone with my delirious Little. 

“Should we go to the doctor?” I asked.

Little responded, “Your face is a doctor.” These are the type of responses I get 99% of the time, folks. I thank my 15 year old nephew for the “your face” responses.

The Prescott Fire Chief responded on Facebook (have I mentioned that I love small towns) and advised me to put tepid towels on him. What? I googled the word “tepid,” (am I the only one who didn’t know that word?) and threw some warmish towels on Little. PS – why didn’t we just use the word WARMISH?! I understand this language. Anyway, he kicked them off and began a conversation with a person who wasn’t present in the room. I was terrified. I ran down the hall to get some shoes on, and slid through a pile of cat vomit. Against my better judgement I left said cat vomit in the hall; Little was more important than my already wrecked carpet. Oooh, that reminds me that I need to call a carpet cleaner…

We arrived at YRMC and Little was lethargic and no longer responding to my questions, though he was awake. I brought him in underwear only and had wrapped him in a blanket. The triage nurse came out as soon as I broke down in tears, sobbing my way through the words, “104 degree fever that won’t break.” She came over and calmly unwrapped Little from his Bing-Bong blanket and whispered to me, “honey, he’s too hot. Take this off him.” I felt like an immediate failure. I kept thinking to myself that there was no way I could call Little’s father and tell him that because I’m an idiot and wrapped him deep into a fleece Bing-Bong blanket he’s now in the hospital. What would I say? He’s in a Bing-Bong coma?

Little let triage take him and poke him all over. The nurse asked me what his symptoms were, and Little sat straight up, and listed every detail of the day. “My other mom gave me medicine one time, then another. Then my mom came at lunch and gave me more and then more. I feel like I’m going to throw up and my head really hurts.” This was the most rational thing Little had said all day. The nurse got us right back, before the other patients at the ER. There was a young couple sitting in the chairs waiting to be seen. As they took Little back, the people waiting made eye contact with me and rolled their eyes. The girlfriend/wife/fiance/whatever very loudly expressed her dissatisfaction with Little going first. Gross. I secretly hoped that as Little was shuffled past them that he would lean over and with accurate precision, vomit on them. 

The nurse explained to me that they would have to do an IV on Little. I used a lifeline – and phoned a friend. I texted Little’s dad, who was out of town, and poured my heart into a sad little message to him. In the midst of the text, Little leaned over and told the nurse that he “was fine with that.” As it turned out, I was the only one obsessing over doing the wrong/right things. Little was braver than me! 

My mother came to the hospital and offered to go get me food/drink/a break. All I really needed was someone to sit by my side though, and tell me that Little was ok. In my mother’s true fashion, she snapped a sad pic and “checked in” on FB within minutes of her arrival. She’s the cutest thing I know. 

Little charmed the pants off the entire doctor/nursing staff at YRMC. At one point, the attending physician came in and talked to Little as if we weren’t even there; asking him how long he’d had his symptoms. He then asked Little if he thought that he had gotten this sickness from “his girlfriend.” After the doctor left, Little was talking to my mother and I about random topics. Our favorite was Little telling us that “mommies were sometimes a little gross.” I asked him why he would ever say that, and he responded, “you know, because sometimes they are covered in toilet paper.” I gave a blank stare and my mom erupted in laughter and said, “Oh, you mean MUMMY not MOMMY!”

We got home late Saturday night from YRMC. I came home proud of my Little and proud of myself. I carried Little into the house and tiptoed in so I wouldn’t wake him. As we turned the corner to head to his room, I slid right back into the same cat vomit we had left the house sliding through, and Little was awake again! Little assessed the situation and told me that I should have cleaned it before we left the house. I sat on the floor cradling my little and laughing so hard I was crying. My life is anything BUT glamorous; these are my fun filled Saturday nights.

Little slept in my bed that night. I tell everyone that I don’t co-sleep, but I hereby confess that I do. Little and I play a back and forth game ALL NIGHT you guys. He wears me out. Little’s Father has told me time and time again that this only happens at my house, which is probably true. I highly doubt that on Little’s first day of high school or on his wedding night that I’ll hear him tiptoeing into my room to snuggle. While I realize that this is not the best for my super packed dating life, for right now, I’m fine with him co-sleeping. I mean, let’s be honest, the men aren’t lined up outside my house fighting for a spot in my bed, y’all. Next week I will address the horrifying reality of dating in 2016; but that is not the point of today’s blog.

I was kicked in the face about five times Saturday night by Little. I have a king sized bed, but slept in a 3”x3” spot on the bed because of the Little, the Chihuahua and the super Fat Cat taking up residence on the rest of the bed. I know exactly how many Little cups we have at the house, because I had to fill up water in each one of them until he “felt ok” about the cup he was drinking out of. He chose the red Star Wars cup, and drank out of it until he realized Darth Vader’s light saber was partially rubbed off, at which point he lost his s*** and had to start the cup elimination process all over again. We have 14 cups you guys. He had to have his favorite Lovey tucked in bed – but not to the left of him – to the right of him. Just as we got settled for bed he informed me his Lovey had to go potty. Our bedtime process lasted 53 minutes. FIFTY THREE MINUTES. 

I applaud any single mother – actually, any parent in general – that has to deal with the Germ Factory that invades our lives after school begins. I feel your pain! Please feed your Monsters vitamins and if they are sick please keep them home. As for me, I’m just here fighting off a fever and working from home. Little is playing on the floor, singing about Bing Bong and “hiding pebbles” all over the house. That’ll be fun to vacuum up later… perhaps I can get the cat vomit at the same time?