Thursday, October 27, 2005

Can't Hold Back The Current

Gretel stays home with me every day, and every day I am dedicated to her safety, happiness, and development -- in that order. We have my mother/baby group come over every Thursday, we go out shopping every once in a while, but for the most part it is the two of us here on our own day in and day out. There is so much I can control about her environment that sometimes it becomes too easy to believe that I'm completely in control. Well, today certainly threw that idea out the window.

I made an appointment yesterday for Gretel to get her flu shot near the middle of November. I made sure Joe and I had appointments set up so that we could protect her from developing the illness this winter. I think I'm particularly careful about this because my nephew has had such difficulties with his lungs just about from birth ten months ago. It's an extreme situation with him, where he has stopped breathing altogether in my brother's arms. Luckily they were in a hospital at the time and he's been doing much better in the past few months. Anyway -- any kind of lung related illness causes me concern, and I felt confident I was doing the right thing when "arrange flu shots" was checked off my list yesterday.

Parenting being the wild ride that it is, naturally Gretel woke up with raspy, hoarse voice, a cranky attitude, and various other symptoms that caused me worry. I took her to the doctor and she's got... yep, para-influenza (with bonus laryngitis!). I cannot see how this is possible, as we do a lot of hand washing, she hardly goes anywhere, no one in her playgroup has had it... and I feel helpless that I couldn't keep this from her. She's miserable. And I'm a little miserable too, realizing that the current of life and the things that can go wrong is just too strong for me to keep tough times like this away from her. And heaven help me, but she's just a baby -- there's only so much she can get into. How do parents of older children ever cope?

Edited to add: Are you reading Mir's blog? The first sentences of her most recent post seemed so perfect.

There are certain changes that happen to a woman when she becomes a mother. If she gives birth, her body changes; it will likely never be the same again, whether from stretch marks or breast changes or surgical traces. Whether the child comes from her body or not, the mother is transformed. She now has eyes in the back of her head. She has bionic hearing. She has an innate lie detector and an Achilles heel.

And of course, every mother has the highly developed ability to become a martyr at a moment's notice.

She's a fantastic writer who manages to capture the nuances and details of everyday life in a way that amazes me.


At 10/27/2005 10:46 PM, Blogger celeste said...

I've been debating whether or not to get the flu shot this year. I've gotten it before, and I ended up getting sick that day because of it. Being injected with the flu VIRUS, lots of people get sick from getting the flu shot...but I've been told it's a less severe form of the flu than if you were to contract it otherwise. I hope Gretel feels better soon.

At 10/28/2005 12:03 PM, Blogger Ciera said...

Sorry to hear that Gretel is not feeling well. It stinks at any age to be sick.

The pic alone is worth a thousand words though. alone, one leaf can do nothing. But have you seen what a bunch of leaves can do? Maybe not stop the current, but they can redirect it!

At 10/29/2005 4:25 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Interesting post. I remember those days. Seems like nothing I did kept my kids from getting sick...and always at the worst possible times!

Here via Michele's!!!


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