I hate it when something unusual or unexpected precedes an event and it’s taken as a sign. I take a mental note of it so that I won’t be so surprised the next time shit goes down, only to still have it completely fly over my head the next time it happens.
This morning, Vance was running late, which I still maintain is his fault, because for several months, I managed to get up, get myself and Deven ready and get out the door in a timely fashion. I got up in an only half-awake stupor to change the baby’s diaper and commence with another feeding. Vance saw me standing there at the changing table, and no matter how zombie-like in appearance I am at that time in the morning, he still decided to ask me for help. I shook my head ‘no’, and he huffed and puffed, and went back to his routine. While I was in bed feeding Archer, I heard high-pitched screams of protest, and yelling from Vance, which is rare in the mornings. Even though I was still half-dead, I thought I should intervene.
Ooooh boy. Deven hadn’t thrown a fit this severe in WEEKS. He was kicking and screaming all because Vance put his underpants on him instead of letting him do it himself. While he was attempting to move on to his pants, Deven was STILL insisting on putting on his underpants himself. He would say ‘okay’ to letting you put his pants on, and then he would take the pants away and again start screaming about his underpants. You would think BOTH parents standing there, barking orders and getting increasingly frustrated would help, but not this morning. We were both successful at holding him down and dressing him against his will. Even after he was completely dressed, shoes and all, and we were ready to head out the door, he was still screaming about his underpants. By this point, he was already LATE for school, and we couldn’t get him out the door without hog-tying him, so…we had no choice to keep him home, which meant Vance had to stay in a few hours so I could get enough sleep that I could functionally handle both of my kids. It’s the last week of school, and we had to keep him home all because he wanted to put on his underwear by himself like a big boy. Well, thats what it LOOKED like.
Several hours later, right after I got up and Vance left work, the real reason Deven’s behavior was so insane this morning became apparent. He was BURNING UP. He had a fever of 102. 2. Typically, right before an illness comes on, Deven begins to morph into some sort of vicious man-eating relative of the Tasmanian devil, much like how I become zombie-like when I haven’t slept. Usually, it’s an epic tantrum right before bed, and then he wakes up in the morning with a virus. Of course, my kid is 3, the age when tantrums are practically an important developmental stage, so every time he throws a huge fit, I have to ask: is he just being an asshole, or is this something more? But the sick tantrums are never just every-day tantrums. It’s usually an explosion of screams and flailing limbs over something unusually stupid, like underpants, and they make his day-to-day tantrums look more like play fighting. Even knowing this behavior is a sign, I was still shocked when I realized he was sick. I almost NEVER catch it. In the middle of these epic tantrums, it never dawns on me to get the Tylenol and the bribes ready. It’s always in hindsight, making this mental note-taking completely useless.
So sick Deven stayed on the couch pretty much all day long, and while his fever was it’s highest, he wouldn’t eat or drink, much less take medicine. He also wouldn’t get up to use the potty, which left me to clean a disgusting smelly pee mess off of my once beautiful couch. Even still, once the rage has faded, sick Deven is an ANGEL compared to regular Deven. I should feel so guilty for feeling this way, but it’s so true. All he wanted to do was sit around and watch Cars a million times, and he didn’t have the energy to get into trouble. He was sweet, and quiet, and a joy to be around.
And then the medicine. Once Vance got home, I told him I wanted to go to Wal-Mart just to get out of the house alone for a bit. Deven’s fever shot back up, so we had to come up with some way to get him to take something. He didn’t want chocolates or M&Ms, or anything else it seemed, so I dug into my own childhood to find a suitable bribe: take this dose of Tylenol, and I’ll buy you a new toy from Wal-Mart. NO SHIT IT WORKED. I hope that is the last we see of this fever, because I can’t afford to buy him something for every dose of Tylenol he has to take.
So he’s staying home tomorrow, and will hopefully be well in time to see this school year off. On Friday his class will be having an end of the year party, and they will be serving ice-cream sundaes. I would hate for Deven to have to miss it.