She's yelling in the night. I stumble from bed, barely conscious. I had so hoped for a healthy stretch of sleep after my long (albeit self-imposedly long) weekend.
When I get to her room, she is sitting, saying that she threw up. I look and there it is, spread across her pillow. I feel terrible for her. I had turned off the monitor earlier in the evening and forgotten to click it on again. She'd been calling, she said, for a long time.
Her cheeks are violently red. She's the most composed little patient. This has always been her way. I change her pillow, get her a bucket, a cup of water. She is fiery hot, but amicable.
I sleep in her room, on a lumpy futon. Several times she wakes and asks for me, not sure if I'm really under the tousled blankets. No more vomit though. Thank God.
When I get up in the morning, not quite rested, J. is already gone. He has a filing due and will be away until midnight or so. Great, I think. I feel like I'm being punished for taking a chunk of the weekend off.
Kitty Cat and I manage to get Fruit Bat to school.
And then we come back and collapse onto my bed. She watches cartoons while I meet deadlines on the laptop. I find I'm enjoying it. A quiet day fetching food and drinks, taking her temperature, doling out Tylenol. Her cheeks are still crimson. While she naps, I kiss them. She wants me close. I want to be close. We huddle that way until Fruit Bat gets a ride home.
He is delightful. Empathetic. Checking on his sister. He and I actually get a little time alone while she rests. We eat dinner across the table from each other, just he and I.
In the not so distant past, the thought of a day stuck at home with a feverish child while J. worked worked worked would've sent me into paroxysms of anxiety. I would've wrung my hands, ground my teeth. I'm a little nervous about what tonight will hold, afraid to hope for a long stretch of sleep. But now I have perspective, older children, and it is better. Much better than it was.