All My Children

Julia is still sick. And she's become disillusioned with the state.

For the first 9 days of her cold, she thought it was pretty cool. All the phlegm made great sounds, and even after she lost her voice she seemed overly tickled with the hoarse croak that would come out of her mouth, and kept croaking and croaking until she began to lose even that. When she lost her voice (Sunday), Kristin and I took her to the clinic where she was made much of by all the nurses. They said they'd never seen such a cheerful and flirty sick baby. Julia kept smiling and trying to sweet-talk them with her little froggy-voice. The doctor confirmed that she had a cold, but agreed with us that her congestion was extreme, and prescribed a decongestant and told us to watch for signs of ear infection.

Monday, Julia started to become cranky. But by yesterday she was downright ornery. She stopped talking, laughing or smiling. She wouldn't make eye contact. If she was not on my shoulder with her back getting patted or with her face pressed against Kristin's breast, she was hollering. Yelling. Screaming out in the only way she could that she was miserable and it was all our fault and how dare we not do everything we could to make her more comfortable since we had made her so miserable in the first place. WE OWED HER.

It was a long evening. And Kristin was up with her all night.* We were planning on taking her back to the doctor's today, but about 4 AM she finally ate (we'd been struggling to get her to eat all day) and fell asleep. And when I had to wake her up to get ready for the day, our cheerful, babbling baby was back. We're hoping that she's turned the corner and will now begin to get better. Our house looks like it did immediately post-partum. Laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming all undone. Clutter, clutter everywhere and not a place to sit. Actually, it looks worse than it did back then, because people kept coming by and cleaning up for us. Now, we're on our own.

Still, it could be worse. I'm just glad she seems to be getting back to normal.

The dogs are hoping that she's getting back to normal as well.

Since Julia's been sick, we've had the dog gate up to keep them out of the living room. That's because the living room is full of humidifiers, dirty burpcloths, aspirators, medicine droppers, baby toys and all sorts of other stuff the dogs are just slavering over getting their teeth on. We're too exhausted to clean up, and besides, if we put the stuff away, we'll just be searching frantically for it again in the next moment when Julia needs whatever that was we put away right that very second. So, the dog gate. This has severly interfered with Oliver and Oscar's customary lounging.

See, it's cold in our house right now. And we have hardwood floors. And though in the basement are 2 very large beanbag chairs that the dogs love to sleep in when we're downstairs, they won't go down there without us (unless Oliver has stolen something he wants to chew in peace, then he takes it down stairs to hide while he destroys it), so that means that when the couch and chairs and loveseat in the living room are blocked off, the only soft thing to lie on is their (gasp!) dog bed. And though the dog bed is huge enough for both of them, they refuse to share it. Well, let's be honest here. Oscar refuses to share it.

He is a typical oldest child. I should know, I am one. And I admit that I was a terror to my younger siblings. If you don't believe me, re-read this.

When we first got Oscar, we were so excited to have a puppy to spoil, we bought him a deluxe dog bed. And he rewarded us by chewing it to pieces. So we took it away. Later, when he was older, we bought him another one. He, refusing to succumb to our complacent, middle-class love of luxury when there are dogs in the third world who don't have the opportunity to sleep on a clean floor let alone a cushy dog bed, would have none of it. Besides, none of his other friends slept on a dog bed, and he didn't want to be the uncool one. So, he scorned the dog bed. The dog bed stayed unused and pristine, occasionally we used it as extra seating for our guests, it was that clean.

Then we got Oliver. Now Oliver is a luxury-loving dog. He loves hisself some comfort. When we first brought him home, he made a beeline to the dog bed and we worried that it would soon be in shreds, depriving us of our fancy floor-cushion. But no, instead of tearing it up like it was a rabbit making faces at him, he curled up on it with a sigh and fell immediately asleep. Oscar ignored the behavior for a couple of days, and then suddenly he decided that after 2 years of insisting on sleeping on the floor or the couch, he had a pressing need to sleep on his dog bed. This pressing need would manifest itself the moment Oliver got comfortably settled in the middle of the cushion. And even though at the time Oliver was a measly 7 lbs and took up maybe 1/100th of the space on that huuuuuuuuuuuge cushion, Oscar had to nose him off and sprawl out over the entire cushioned surface. Poor Oliver had nowhere to sleep since he was too little to get up on the couch (which is where Oscar usually slept). So we bought another dog bed, a smaller, Oliver-sized bed. Which Oscar immediately co-opted as well. That was hilarious watching him squeeze onto that small bed. And when Oscar wasn't on it, Zoe (the cat) was. It was an endless merry-go-round of bed swapping that was only alleviated when Oliver got big enough to get on the couches. Then, though Oliver preferred the dog bed to the couch, Oscar seemed to have felt that he got his message across, and left the bed to Oliver in order to resume sleeping on the couch or chair.

Now, since the couch and chair are barred from use, and Zoe has fully claimed the smaller bed, poor Oliver is again left to sleep on the floor. He is very unhappy. So unhappy that even though he knows he is not allowed on the bed, if we leave our bedroom door open, he jumps up onto the bed (no mean feat since the bed is 4 feet off the ground). For the first 2 days he was doing this I would come in to the room to find him on the bed and we would go through the whole routine of me forcing him off and shooing him out of the room. Now, as soon as I approach the bedroom, I hear the thump of him jumping off the bed, and I'll walk into the room to find him curled up on the floor, breathing only slightly faster than normal. He thinks he's got me fooled. I'm just too tired to push the point.

Even Zoe is getting put out by this extended cold of Julia's. Zoe liked the illness at first because we all did a lot of lounging around, and Zoe's favorite activity is lying on people who are lying around. But now even she's getting a little disgruntled because Julia won't talk or pull her fur anymore. Zoe loves it when Julia pulls her fur. She thinks she's getting petted. And she and Julia just look at each other and purr together. But now that Julia isnt' playing with her anymore, and Kristin and I have begun pushing Zoe off of us because her ploys for attention are too annoying on such little sleep, Zoe has decided that a house full of sick and prone people (though something she asked for in her dreams) is not as much fun as she thought it would be and has begun avoiding us.

We all need Julia to get well again.

*Yes, Kristin did have Julia all night while I slept the sleep of the dead. And she is wonderful. But to be fair to me, we've been trading off nights, so I've been doing my share. Honest. I swear to god. In fact, when Kristin was sick with her sinus infection last week, I did 4 whole nights in a row. So there. Stop looking at me like that.

Posted by Trista @ 8:32 AM

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You guys are all going to deserve some R'n'R soon!!

Posted by Blogger Amanda @ 11:01 AM #

Poor little sick punkin! I hope she feels better soon.

Posted by Blogger Kiker @ 12:22 PM #

What a brave little one- that's great that she was able to keep a smile on for as long as she did, and get it back after some food and sleep finally. I hope you both can get that yourselves, soon, too!

Posted by Blogger starevelina @ 6:48 PM #
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