The plan was to double date on a picnic with Grandma Nancy. Unfortunately, Mother Nature (being a mother herself) was sleeping in and waiting for breakfast in bed.
So we spent the morning at Kaiser Santa Clara. I’m really growing quite fond of that place. The first time I wandered over there for an appointment three years ago, I got completely turned around and lost (not a hard feat for me). Now, the new medical buildings have become old hat – almost a second home. Today we visited the second floor: Evening and Weekend Clinic.
The muppets are still sick. Although the doctor assured us it was just the common cold on Tuesday, by Thursday Destroy sill had a mild fever. His cough was breaking up and seemed to be extremely painful. He woke up every two hours – nobody got much sleep. Even Search was waking up to cough and look around the nursery annoyed before harrumphing himself back onto his mattress.
Perhaps out of spite for a sleepless night, I received a text at work on Friday. “So good news. Search is going to get his first black eye. But he barely cried!” Search had been taking additional risks as part of his climbing adventures (way to emulate Mommy, little man) and bit the dust; he apparently chewed on his music table on the way down.
By Friday, Destroy had begun wheezing again. He wasn’t interested in food or his bottle. This concerned me. Jon wheedled and begged and Destroy begrudgingly at three ounces of milk. By the afternoon he was in no mood to indulge our nutritional whims. His fever was making a return appearance, his top tooth was starting to cut through his gums and he couldn’t breathe through his nose. The poor muppet was miserable. Search was also completely stuffed up and coughing intermittently.
So yesterday I called the advice nurse. “Is he wheezing?” Of course he’s wheezing. We play this game every time he gets a cold. The doctor called me back and we agreed he should probably be seen in the weekend clinic. (Well, more realistically, the doctor indulged a hypochondriac mom. But in my defense – I am being hyper vigilant to ward off pneumonia or the dreaded RSV.)
This morning, the three of us were having a makeshift picnic on the floor of Exam Room 3 in the Weekend and Evening clinic. When the doctor finally walked in, Destroy perked right up, grinned and clapped for her. “That. Does not look like a sick baby.” But she’d read our file and seen the magic words, “27-week Preemie.”
Destroy got the full physical exam workup. Starting out with THE MONITOR. We cycled through the first time and the machine beeped 0 0 0. At least the absence of a pulseox was clear that it was wrong – my kid being pink and alive and all.
The muppets have a cold. The diagnosis has not changed since we saw the doc on Tuesday. It’s the common cold.
In lieu of our double date picnic, Grandma Nancy came over with pizza and we had a grand afternoon. She also brought See’s candy (pause to hear the angels sing). Jon presented me with a digital photo frame from the muppets – now I can see all their adorable pictures all day at work. I baked gooey chocolate fudge brownies for the celebration. Grandma Nancy laughed, “You baked on Mother’s Day? Clearly you’re new at this.”
Destroy ate all of his dinner like a healthy chipper little muppet. Then he drank all his milk. And threw up en masse. I wiped him up to the best of my abilities and stripped him of his outfit. At this point I noticed a foul odor crawling around me, so I picked up his brother for a diaper change.
In slow motion before my eyes, I saw Search make a break for it. Right through the diaper. I grabbed him before his foot hit the floor. But when I stood up, I realized how quick he was. Poop everywhere. He got divested of his outfit as well.
I stood in the middle of the living room, looking at the grinning faces of two sniffling baby boys – one had a large purple bruise over his left eye, the other’s right eye was bright pink from swelling and irritation. I’d spent my first Mother’s Day at the doctor’s office, holding fussy muppets with significantly runny noses. And now, I was covered in regurgitated chicken apple compote and poop.
Clad in nothing but diapers and smiles, Search babbled and Destroy squealed. Even in their private twin baby language, their message was crystal clear.
“Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. We love you.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all mommies out there. May your children bring you all the smiles and love they are worth. If this is your first celebration as a mommy – you understand how puddles of arf can be so endearing. And for all the mommies to be – there will be bumps along the way, you will kiss bruises and you will clean a significant amount of bodily fluids. And you will love with a force you never knew you were capable of.
And then they’ll poop on you.