I worry compulsively when he’s unwell. I worry that I’ll miss signs of it getting worse. I worry that I’ll miss a way to help him.

Yesterday he woke up with a runny nose and I with an itch in the back of my throat. Around sundown, my husband and I were drinking tea with honey and whisky for our throats and Thomas wanted no part in anything that didn’t involve mama snuggles (and maybe an apple to gnaw on – he’s working on molars on top of this virus). He went to bed early; we all did. And then I woke around midnight to feel him burning up under blankets and pajamas, fussing and uncomfortable. I worried and dozed through the night as he nursed and lay beside me. Thermometers are haphazard, but they put him just below any concerning level of fever – still he felt so hot. His legs, his belly, his forehead when I kissed it, throwing off heat like a furnace. We had no children’s medication, and I almost wanted to go out and find someplace open to buy some, but the voice of reason (i.e. my husband) reminded me that fevers are natural, that he seemed to be fine, just annoyed, and that it was best to wait until morning.

He woke up chipper, crawled off the bed, chased the dog. I heard him fussing while I was in the bathroom and returned to find him trying to put his shoes on his feet. So I helped him out.

But not forty-five minutes later, a banana was too much to handle and he was back to nursing, then back to sleep. Wearing a robot pajama shirt, a diaper & cover… and his shoes.

Poor little love.

Later I’ll be able to talk to him, to spoil him with star-shaped grilled cheese or soup with his favorite noodles, with silly movies or his favorite books or card games, but now I can just hold him and hope he knows I’m doing everything I can.

And tell myself that one day (one day?) I’ll get a good night’s sleep…

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