Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Nerves

I am frightened out of my wits; and have such tremblings, such flutterings all over me such spasms in my side, and pains in my head, and such beatings at heart, that I can get no rest by night nor by day.

It is not a new or original idea that Jane Austen was just a teensy bit uncharitable towards poor Mrs. Bennet. Yes, she is a criminally embarrassing mother, every teenage girl’s nightmare, but her anxieties are real and her obsession with marrying off her daughters seems far more reasonable and realistic than Mr. Bennet’s cheerful indifference.

I’ve been thinking sympathetically of Mrs. Bennet’s much-maligned “nerves” this week as I have coped with all manner of tremblings and flutterings, simply because Bub has had a fever, headache, and earache on and off for four days. I can’t imagine what I would do if my daughter eloped with an impoverished militia officer, because all it takes is a fairly minor childhood illness to have me clutching the counter to steady myself while the room spins and lurches.

There was a certain sweetness to the first days of illness. Saturday and Sunday hubby and I spent mostly on the couch, snuggled up in pyjamas with feverish foreheads resting heavily on our shoulders. We watched Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, put up the Christmas tree, ordered the Festive Special from Swiss Chalet. By Monday, the pleasant languor had worn off, replaced by worry. Why didn’t Bub recover? Did he need antibiotics? And if so how would we get them down his throat now that he knows how to gargle?

For a day or two, I can enjoy the transformed personality of the sick child. In illness, children are affectionate, immobile, heavy-limbed. After four days, though, I began to sharply miss the mischievous boy who roars at his sister and races excitedly into the kitchen to tell me that our cat has just strolled into the living room. So it was with relief and recognition this morning that I said “Cheese!” as Bub happily held up a tape measure, tape extended, then clicked the button so that the tape flew back in with a satisfying snap. I had contemplated buying him one of those kid-tough digital cameras for Christmas, but I’m glad I didn’t: when he’s happy and healthy, a tape measure is all he needs.


Sweet, sleepy Pie.

44 comments:

Maddy said...

Strangely, there's nothing like a sick child to cause us to stop, breathe and take stock. Glad to hear that you've weathered the storm.

One of mine is attached to one of those retractable tape measures too.
Best wishes

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"which takes you straight to my new blog.

metro mama said...

Glad he's better! They are sweet when they're sick though, aren't they! What a lovely pic.

MAGIRK said...

Oooh. That is a perfectly eloquent description of how I, myself, feel when my own children are overcome by illness.

Absolutely worrisome.

It sounds as if he's on the mend, though. Glad to hear that. :-)

flutter said...

Oh sweet thing. Glad he's on the mend

b*babbler said...

I'm glad he's feeling better. The cuddles a sick child give you are delicious, but I never fully enjoy them, because they do come at a cost.

Swistle said...

Oh, I know JUST what you mean about the first day being almost pleasant!

Mac and Cheese said...

I only get cuddle from Pumpkin when she is sick. Not such a good trade-off.

Binkytown said...

I share this with you. The Worry! Croup just about had me under the table..Hope tomorow is a better day.

AnneK said...

Such a doll! Hope Bub is feeling better now.

niobe said...

Whereas I've had an irrational fear of those tape-measure things ever since one, while retracting, sliced a gash (admittedly a very small one) in my finger.

Omaha Mama said...

I'm glad he's feeling better! We've had our fair share of illnesses around here too. With one very unsuccessful round of spat out antibiotics!

Sweet pic too, I know just what you mean about sick kids. The lounging is nice for a bit.

Beck said...

I always thought Lizzy Bennet was a suck about her mother: MY FATHER WORE A GIANT FUR HAT TO PICK ME UP FROM HIGH SCHOOL. The horror.

I'm so glad Bub is feeling better - I well know that growing note of hysteria when my kids are sick and NOT GETTING BETTER. It's HORRIFYING!

nikki said...

I constantly fret when my kids get sick. Should I give them medicine? Take them to the doctors? It's a never ending roller coaster.

And a tape measure? Is the only thing my three year old wants for Christmas.

nikki

DaniGirl said...

Oh how sleeping babies make my heart flutter - and just that hint of a frown, telling the world all is not perfect. She's breathtaking! (Hoping they're both back to good health for next week, and that whatever it is bypasses the grownups!)

DaniGirl

Julie Pippert said...

Nothing harder or worse than a busy child who is suddenly lethargic.

Julie
Using My Words

painted maypole said...

one of my May Queen's favorite things is her dollar store tape measure (which we bought because she kept stealing ours) and she runs around the house measuring things.

glad Bub is back.

Amy said...

You know, in Reader that first paragraph isn't set apart in colored font or indented. It actually looks like the beginning of your post and not a quote.

Gave me a start it did!

Hope everyone is better for Christmas!

Aliki2006 said...

Oh, poor Pie.

Yes, forget about those kid-friendly cameras. We bought L. a kid-friendly camcorder a couple years ago and it sits on his bookcase, completely forgotten.

Suz said...

It was like this when Hen-bug was sick. Poor Bug. I hope that he feels better soon.

realitytesting said...

Ah, she's beautiful...

Merle said...

Pie looks so cute. I too relish the moments when A slows down. Glad to hear Bub is better. :)

Mad Hatter said...

Mrs Bennett, you are not for you did not blog about it while it was happening, asking all thrice daily if he was doomed, etc... (Unlike a certain blogger I know on her daughter's first day (weeks) of day care. Ahem.)

As for the rest, all we mothers share those sick-child nerves.

Pie=adorable

Kathryn said...

I don't know what it is about my kids, but when they are sick they are still crazy. They hardly ever just laze around. They cough, puke, sneeze, run fevers, and still keep running around. Bah!
Hope everyone is on the mend now. Ear infections are such a pain as the antibiotics seem to cause their own problems.
That pic of Pie is too much! Such a sleeping beauty.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh I am sure you wrote something very heart wrenching or thought provoking or identifiable on this post, but I am stuck on the picture. Oh the picture. It gives me a heart ache. I could eat that pie with a spoon.

nomotherearth said...

She is so beautiful.

And what is with the tape measure thing?? Everything the Boy measure is "24-16". I like it when he measures me because I sound thin.

-The Shiny Happy Mama- said...

I love that pic. I have one of Noah, sick and asleep on the couch, from when he was Bub's age. It's amazing how sick children make us so much more appreciative of their antics when they're well. Glad to hear that he's better and up to his old tricks!!

letter9 said...

My mom always tells me to enjoy the snuggles now because the only time I'll get them when Evan's older is if he is sick. "I used to love it when you were sick" she always says, and then tempers it with, "well, you know what I mean."

But more importantly: what a freaking cute picture. OH MY GOD.

kgirl said...

gasp! that picture is so sweet! glad bub is feeling better.
and yes, the tape measure; what fun.

Anastasia B said...

I thought I was the only one who felt this way. To have them stop (and me along with them) and rest. Need a drink and buttered toast. A cool pillow and a blanket. It's nice to be needed in that way again.

Pieces said...

This is beautiful. I miss those days of heavy limbed babes draped across my chest. Sniff!

Sue said...

I'm so glad he's better. What a dear, dear picture.

Kyla said...

Oh that Pie. She is a sweet one.

Glad Bub is on the mend. It is hard when they are sick.

Lisa b said...

That photo is adorable. Poor sick bub. Glad he is getting back to normal.
My girl actually took a nap monday so I knew she was ill and it was going to be a rough week.

JCK said...

The picture is so sweet. Those cheeks...

My little boy is sick tonight, too. It is always scary stuff.

Be well!

wheelsonthebus said...

I think I love you for leading off with Jane Austen.
Emily R

Marie said...

Sorry to hear they've been sick. And glad to hear Bub's recovering! My littlest is sick, too...how long before his older brother comes down with it?

Nora Bee said...

This photo is so sweet that I think it just made my milk let down. Sorry your guy is sick, and love the Jane Austen.

Angela said...

i Feel the same way. My son had a temp of 102.8 today.
Worry worry

kittenpie said...

Pumpkinpie has been using the remote for her old baby mobile as a camera, but I finally had to confiscate it because she wouldn't stop holding up the red light right to her eye and it was freaking me out. Once I get a screwdriver and remove the batteries, she can have it back... Gotta love the imaginative uses for household objects!

McSwain said...

And they are so sweet when they're sleeping. I'm glad he's getting better, though--I hate the helpless feeling of being mom to a sick kid.

Jenifer said...

Glad you are all on the mend...I know well those moments of wondering is this ever going to get better.
Have a wonderful Christmas!

The picture of Pie is precious!

Patois said...

I, too, have always "enjoyed" the first day of a child's illness. I'm glad to know I'm not the only odd one out there. So glad to hear he's on the mend. That picture of him is just gorgeous.

Mary-LUE said...

I am glad Bub is better...

Just stopped by to say Merry Christmas!

the end of motherhood? said...

My favorite part of them being sick is when their personality returns and you get your child back. Bliss. Glad all is righted in the world...