Sunday, July 20, 2008

7/20/08 Taken down

What an exhausting, trying day. I'm wasted.

Did I say Katrina was a "good" sick baby? Well, even if she is, she couldn't stand up to the bug ravaging her tummy today. After a late bedtime last night, she woke up covered in throw-up around 11pm, leading to another half-hour up while we cleaned up.

I managed to sneak in a short swim this morning (20 minutes, 900 yards, still worth it), before all h*ll broke loose. When I got back, Katrina was taking a nap, and Dave said she wouldn't even lie down unless he stayed in the room with her, which has never happened in her life.

I sometimes do crunches or other boring exercises after swimming, and like to do them while watching TV. So I turned on Food Network and caught the beginning of "30-Minute Meals." To my surprise, Gabriel and Julian were really interested in the show, and asked me questions like, "Can you do this in 30 minutes Mom?" or "Look at the steam!" or "I didn't know mushrooms were food!"

I was having a great time talking with them when the fun was cut short by Katrina's waking up covered in vomit again. Indeed, the fun was over for the rest of the day. She cried and cried all day, wouldn't nap again, demanded milk and food, insisted on being carried, yet refused to be held, then cried and cried some more. She was clearly uncomfortable, and I did everything I could think of to distract her and help her. But it's very difficult to console a baby who doesn't hug or cuddle!

She did her best when I took her out briefly -- to drop off boxes at GoodWill -- reinforcing my theory that unless they're really really really sick, often getting them outside for a change of scenery does them good. The misery picked right back up when we got home though. I spent the afternoon carrying her, reading to her, trying not to feed her (she did get some Cheerios, that got me through 15 minutes), sitting with her, trying to lie with her, and trying numerous times to try to get her down for a nap, giving her Pedialite, reading to her, trying to play with her. She was gravely offended when I offered her the ever-reliable Mimi.

She had to wear down eventually, right? But the more tired she got, the more ramped-up she got. The crying escalated to full-on floor-kicking tantruming and full-blast screaming. This was different from the earlier painful whimpering, but much harder to get out of. Everything I did only worked her up more.

I needed to get dinner made for the boys. And I was seriously worn down from nonstop crying and futile attempts to calm her down. So I did the unthinkable: I put my sick, miserable, screaming baby in bed, handed her her Mimi (which she angrily threw), turned off the light, closed the door, and left. "Just for 5 minutes," I told myself. "I need a break."

She was zonked before that 5 minutes was up. Finally, without an audience, she surrendered. Thank heavens. I retract anything I might have said about her personality making her a good sick kid. Her resistance and making a show of rejecting things and refusal to give in worked very very much against her -- and me -- today when she got seriously overtired.

But I got a good reminder of the long-term prognosis. I had to put Gabriel on timeout for attacking, and hurting, Julian, then added time for reaching out with his hand to try to trip me while he was on timeout. He sat and glared at me and muttered insults, which I had a hard time not letting him see me laugh at. When his time was up, I told him to go wash his hands for dinner -- and he refused. Hah! He's gonna show me, all right, he's going to stay in timeout!. Oooh. I'm scared now.

His counterproductive conflict-seeking was much much more painful when he was a toddler, so now it was rather amusing. It's silly, he knows there are a lot of things at stake that he cares about. He's lost his edge with the ability to reason and weigh consequences. And his sister will too.

I'm looking forward to a sunshine-y day tomorrow.


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