Thursday, October 31, 2002

Who needs sleep? Never gonna get it.

Dale: Who needs sleep? What's that for?

Long time, no post here. See my "shiny happy people" side over at this location. Be advised I'm doing this on three or so hours of nonconsecutive sleep.

Maddie was disconsolate last evening. She went down after her bath, but woke up. I marched manfully into her room, and was quickly overmatched by the minutes-long wails of a 14 month old. Every trick in the book, including laying her head on my chest to hear my heartbeat, failed. The wailing only got worse. I set up her new (used) toy, a battery-powered Fisher-Price light projector that plays "Rock-a-bye Baby" while placing a sky full of hearts, stars and a smiling crescent moon on the ceiling. The projector, planetarium-like, moves happy lambs, laughing puppies, and friendly bunny rabbits across the ceiling to the strains of the lullaby. No dice, not remotely interested. Daddy (and his cheap, futile parenting ploys) was persona non grata. Mommy had more success, but Maddie consistently woke up after an hour each time. Finally, at 2:30am, after giving her Baby Tylenol, taking her temperature (which showed a normal reading) and calling our family physician's on-call service, I said we were taking her to the emergency room. We left in such a hurry that I didn't realize until much later that my bed-head hair could best be described as an unhappy marriage between Jim Traficant's toupee and Kim Jong Il's finger-in-the-light socket look. At least I was wearing pants.

After our arrival, of course, she was the belle of the ball and acted for all the world like a happy, healthy, and slightly tired baby. Fortunately, the wait was not long. We were in line behind a guest of the Macomb County Correctional Facility and his two grim, brick-like sheriff chaperones. One of whom, of course, briefly dropped his businesslike mask to grin and wave at the Belle. We're just hardwired to respond that way, I guess. Someone should try the baby approach with Her Majesty's Horse Guards, placing a happy waddling toddler in front of them who wanders around saying "Hiii," "eckss," "beets," and "oops." If that didn't work, you'd have to check to see if the guy had been installed by the staff at Madame Toussaud's.

Anyway, Maddie got another toy, this one a doll from a friendly EMT and father of two who empathized with the bleary parents. The doll was a big hit. We were processed in, and quickly saw a doctor. Maddie's happy demeanor and normal temperature were unable to fool medical science--the quick diagnosis was an ear infection: "really inflamed." She got a dose of amoxicillin and we were given a prescription for the same. Maddie also received "oh, how cute!" accolades as we passed the nursing station on the way out. She was falling asleep by then. We stopped at the 24 hour pharmacy, and had the prescription filled while we waited in the drive thru. The pharmacist, also probably a dad, helpfully included a measuring spoon. A nice touch, especially at four in the morning. Maddie was fully conked out when we got home, not stirring when Heather removed her from the car seat, nor when the one piece snow suit was removed. Despite the circumstances, the evening was a good reminder of how decent and considerate people can still be.

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