Sunday, May 22, 2011
Bad Mama (Or Maybe Food Poisoning)
This weekend, we drove to St. Michael’s, Maryland, a small town on the Chesapeake Bay, for a birthday celebration for a Littell family friend. Andrew’s parents and sister were there, as well as the whole family of the friend, and we all stayed at a gorgeous place right on the water, spread out over a couple different inn-buildings on the grounds. Crab cakes abounded. Andrew went fishing. The weather was beautiful. However, it’s just hard traveling with a toddler who is very much attached to her routines. Granted, exceptions to routines should sometimes be made, like Friday night, when we joined the group for a big seafood dinner that began at 7:00pm. It wouldn’t have been right to not go—after all, we were there to spend time with everyone; plus, we wanted crab—and for a while, Lucia did fine. Then she was fussy and not fine. She didn’t get to bed until after 9:30; and she got up at 6:00 in the morning, when Andrew woke up for fishing. Fusskins decided she liked the Chesapeake Bay and decided to stick around. All. Day.
Saturday night was the big birthday dinner—big kids attending (parents armed with iPads and other diversions), toddlers (there were two of them) babysat. Yes, babysat. Andrew and I have never before left Lucia with a sitter save grandparents or very very good friends after she was long asleep in her own crib—let alone leaving her, awake, in an unfamiliar place. It was hard. There was one sitter for the two babies, so we set Lucia up in a crib in the same inn-building as the other baby. The other baby, accustomed to sitters, played with the sitter and then went peacefully to sleep on her own with nary a peep. Needless to say, this was not the case for Lucia, who wailed and cried when I tried to leave the room, even after singing to her for a very, very long time. We had to leave her still awake, crying. (But we found out later she was asleep five minutes after we left.)
Anyway, once Andrew and I finally arrived at the dinner, someone said she was sure Lucia was fast asleep. “Unless she’s so upset she’s throwing up,” I joked darkly.
Later that night, once Andrew and I were back and had transferred a sleeping Lucia to our own room, she began whimpering in her sleep and occasionally saying quietly “Mama, Mama.” Convinced she was having a nightmare about being abandoned by Mama, I kept going over and patting her back, shhh-ing comfortingly. The third time I did this, she lifted her head, looked up at me, and promptly…threw up. And then threw up several more times, on me, on Andrew. Worse, she was burning up. We stripped her down and took her temperature: 102. She was lying on our bed with her eyes closed, moaning, as we gave her Motrin and patted her with a cool washcloth. She clung to me like a koala until the fever went down, and then we put her back in her crib, where she slept until 7:00. Andrew and I barely slept at all, listening as we were all night for reassuring signs of life from the crib.
So today we were exhausted, though Lucia woke up smiling and saying hopefully, “Side? Side?” (“Outside? Outside?”) She tired quickly, however, and once we left the inn and skipped out early from lunch with the group (which I ate one-handed while wrestling a crying, writhing Lucia with the other, a Lucia who was determined to defy the laws of physics by succeeding in being both on and off my lap simultaneously), she slept almost the whole way home.
She had a fever tonight, 101, so tomorrow we may be doctor-bound. For now, however, I just hope I can finally sleep. I’ll deal with the vomitous clothes in the morning, as well as the copious amount of self-blame I have for clearly making Lucia sick by traumatizing her with a sitter. (Or, perhaps, it was food poisoning from some overripe melon? We'll never know.)