Sick Days

I like to think of myself as an experienced mother at this point. Not just a good mom but a calm, loving, laid back voice of reason that can only come with the hours I’ve logged parenting three children the eldest of which has been thriving since 2004. I understand how new moms can be tenseSo when Sadie’s preschool called last week to alert me of a situation, I was disappointed in my reaction.

I saw the number of the school on Blackberry under “missed calls” and rather than assume the worst, I assumed it was Wendy, one of the directors, calling to gab about the therapy walker we were able to get for one of the Adopt-A-Family members. In fact, I didn’t even throw myself a little parade for not going straight to the worst case scenario involving one of my twins and head trauma because I’m experienced now . This laid back shit is second nature!

So I call the school back and no one answers. But it’s almost three and I’m on my way over there anyway so I just check my messages just in case almost laughing at myself for the slight -but ever so slight – edge that creeps in because edge is just so typical and I’m above paranoia. Paranoia is for newbies.

“Hi Stefanie, it’s Aimee. I”m sure you’re on your way here anyway but I just wanted to let you know that Sadie has a fever above 104. I thought you might want to call the doctor. But don’t panic.”

And with that, I completely panicked. Like lost my shit. Tears. Couldn’t remember the phone number for my pediatrician. How could this be? She hadn’t been sick when I dropped her off this morning. She’d had a runny nose for a few weeks but that’s about it. What were we dealing with here? Meningitis? Rampant infection? Black plague?

I called my friend Anouk because A) her number was programmed in my phone and B) she had Elby with her and was on her way to the preschool as well to give me Elby and pick up her preschooler. “Anouk,” I sobbed. “Sadie has a fever of 104!”

“Oh, don’t worry. Fevers can get high in little kids. It’s not how high the fever is but how long it lasts. Miles had a really high fever last year and it was really nothing.” I don’t feel better hearing this. “But Sadie never gets high fevers. This is totally unlike her. And I can’t remember Dr. Pete’s number.” And now I’m really crying in earnest. I’m sobbing because it all feels so tenuous. How can one minute everyone be fine and the next it can all go to shit?

But good news, I recall my pediatrician’s number and call.

“Hi Sandy,” I say to the nurse who works the front desk, a woman I’ve talked to dozens of times in a calm, non worrying voice about insect bites, shots, mild colds and mysterious rashes, “Sadie has a fever of 104!” Sandy asks me a few questions and attempts to calm me down. She gives me an appointment to come in within the hour.

“Do you think she really needs to be seen? If a fever isn’t necessarily that bad then should I take her home and wait and see?” I’m trying to act better than I feel now.

“Well, I think you should just come in so that you feel better.” Yeah, so that I feel better. And right then I realize that I’m one of those moms. How embarrassing.

Of course by the time I get to school, Sadie’s fever is down to 102 and by the time I get her to the doctor (after dosing her with Motrin) she’s cheerily sipping a juice box and insisting that Matilda spin her on the round chair on wheels. And of course when the nurse checks her, her fever is only 99.

She did end up having fever and puking all week and luckily the fever never went higher than 101 but at least I know that next time this happens I’m positive I will be monk like in my calm -a vision of serenity. OR I will panic again. Fuck it, I’m a mom.

Couple more shout outs for donating to the Purple Room family. I will have a full report on the gift giving extravaganza you’ve all provided once I’ve gone to their house this week.

Karen at Karen Sugarpants is a blogger extraordinaire. She’s brave and funny and she’s a kick ass web designer! She’s my web designer in fact. So do you like my blog? Well now you know why!

Neil at Citizen of the Month was one of the first big name bloggers to take an interest in me and my little mommy blog musings. He’s really funny, witty and connected into the “scene.” Here’s something cute about Neil: when Karen (see above) called out a certain blogger in her post for inappropriate behavior, Neil worried that it might be him and asked about it in the comments. Of course it wasn’t but I think it’s sweet that he even asked.

Real Mom in the Media is an interactive website that can be found at Joey Fortman. A great site with lots of info (go check out all the ways your child can connect online with Santa this year) and fun stuff. Again, another site I wouldn’t have discovered if it weren’t for the call for donations. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this the best Christmas ever for a family in need.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on December 20, 2010 6:45 pmUncategorized9 comments  


  1. rebecca said,

    Yeah, I don’t care what it is, I still freak out. More so with my first because she’s been the healthy one, only having a fever about 5 times in her 5 years of life. But then I really freak out with my youngest because of all the problems he’s had and with him, even a splinter turns into something major requiring an operation.
    rebecca´s last blog post ..Someting Exciting

    | December 20, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  2. Karen Sugarpants said,

    My boys are 12 and 6 and I STILL freak out at fevers. Probably because the 12 year old’s first fever turned out to be Kawasaki’s Disease which resulted in heart disease. My mom instinct worked then, and I think it’s just on high alert all the time!

    | December 20, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  3. muskrat said,

    I would’ve been upset, too.
    And I also like Neil and Karen! I’ll have to “meet” Joey now.
    muskrat´s last blog post ..a lesson

    | December 21, 2010 @ 3:01 am

  4. Sarah said,

    My twins are prone to high fevers (105-106) but I freak out every time. The one time we trekked to the ER with a 6 month old who had a temp of 105, it was down to 101 when I got there, and everyone was asking me what the big deal was. Glad she is better.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..The Gingerbread House

    | December 21, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  5. Kir said,

    I try not to freak out, but when they get fevers (and it’s rare) I do get a little squirrely, (ok, it’s more than a little but whatever) and I call my mom, the Dr, I talk it over and over until I can reasonably say that I am squirrely…and then I calm down.

    We’re moms, it’s never going to be CALM when our little ones are sick, it’s the only time I allow myself the “CRAZY” 😉
    Kir´s last blog post ..Perfect Moment Monday- Plan B

    | December 21, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  6. mouna a. said,

    I totally still freak out. and she’s 2. can’t imagine a day just yet when i don’t. you are not alone. impressed that you stayed calm so long. i need to work on that big time

    | December 21, 2010 @ 10:57 pm

  7. Joey Fortman said,

    Wow, Thanks Stefanie!
    I’ve been a fan of yours for quite some time. You are a true inspiration! And when I saw your call to action-I wanted to do what I could. Thank you for the opportunity to ‘give a little’ this holiday.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Joey Fortman
    Joey Fortman´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – Fortman Holiday

    | December 22, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  8. Laura Cardaropoli said,

    Hey lady….

    I was just trying to catch up on some reading and was laughing with you 🙂 about the fever. Of course reading this, brought up the 200 times I’ve done this myself. Not always fever, but being “that” mom.

    Hope you’re holidays went off without a hitch!

    Laura Cardaropoli´s last blog post ..Dirty jobs…

    | December 29, 2010 @ 5:08 am

  9. Tracey - JustAnotherMommyBlog said,

    I don’t freak out until I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Something about my adrenaline makes me super bossy and In Charge and everyone must obey me to get the emergency taken care of. But then? Once the ambulance lights fade away and the patient is no longer at “death’s door”? Then I bawl and shake and play every scenario back a thousand times, just thinking about what “might have been.”
    Tracey – JustAnotherMommyBlog´s last blog post ..The Loyalty of a Child

    | January 5, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

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