Here at the Woody Center for Disease Suffering (motto: "Note the complete lack of the word 'control' anywhere in our name!") we pride ourselves on being able to spot a sick child the second they snuggle with us and raise the ambient temperature in the room by twenty degrees. Such was our keen diagnosis as soon as the Jelly Woodyette walked into our room at 3:19 this morning and announced that she was still having tummy trouble. Mrs. Woody took one feel of her forehead and immediately called for marshmallows and a stick.
She could have actually called for just about anything, because at 3:19 in the morning I'm inclined to give her anything she wants so I can go back to sleep. She could have said, "Honey, I'd really like to buy that Pamela Anderson Edition Bengal Tiger Stole we saw in our new GreenSierraPeaceClub Mileage Program Catalog!" and I'd hand her my credit card.
Fortunately, what Mrs. Woody called for, instead, was the Children's Formula Bubble-Gum Medicine for Fevers and Other Assorted Maladies. Unfortunately this calls for my glasses. I have roughly the same visual acuity as a mole with cataracts, and any activity that requires my being able to recognize anything smaller than a tour bus means putting on my glasses. This means fumbling around near my bed for them, because I rarely put them in the same place from night to night. Thus, having fumbled for my specs and staggered through the bedroom to our kitchen, I proceeded to pour the recommended dose of medicine for our daughter.
I then promptly spilled a portion of it when I nearly broke two toes on the frame of a painting that we haven't yet hung in our living room and that my muscle memory hasn't yet accounted for. The sacrifices we make for a sick child!
The initial diagnosis is, of course, flu. For the uninitiated Dads out there: Coughs mean colds, fevers mean flu. At least, I think so. And please don't get me started on whether you feed a fever or starve a fever because, as far as I'm concerned, the fever can jolly well go out and get a job if it's that hungry. Especially at 3:19 in the morning.
A sick child (read: miserable and sick) also means Daddy gets to find new quarters for the rest of the night. Since I ostensibly only had one hour of unalarmed sleep remaining (tomorrow: How to Ignore Your Alarm and Keep Your Job), I opted for our living room couch. This couch is reasonably comfortable, and with our recent heat wave does not generally require a blanket. Still, it took a few minutes before I was able to go back to sleep. I took a loooooong shower this morning while trying to wake up. May have had something to do with the stack of recent library books I slept on that I hadn't seen and couldn't be bothered to put away.
Anyway, Jelly is sick. When Jelly complains of tummy trouble, the only real excitement comes during the Porcelain Olympics. There are two main events for these Olympics: the 20 Yard Dash, and the Hurl, Flush and Wash. As of this writing she has declined to participate, which is good news for Mrs. Woody. The HF&W, for instance, is generally accompanied by much comforting of a weeping daughter, which means Mrs. Woody is not resting so as to get rid of what's left of her own pneumonia.
Yet here I languish at work. Woe is me!
Soon, however, work will be over and I will once again return to the House of Pestilence. I will kiss Mrs. Woody and the Doodle Woodyette, then snuggle the Jelly Woodyette for a while. Then - you know how it is - I'll probably have to call in sick tomorrow with my own tummy trouble.
The Circle of Life continues.