Emry, before the hives
The title of this post is ironic.
Over the past week, I feel as if I am being engulfed in fuss. Elan tends toward fuss naturally. Although his pre-K teacher and others who see him in a school context have a hard time believing it, the kid melts down faster than a popsicle left on a blacktop parking lot. In Palm Springs. In the summer. When it's 112 degrees.
Emry is usually more even-keel, and is much more the type of kid whose cries tell you something. He's got his hot-tempered cry. Translation = I'm mad. He's got his yowling cry. Translation = I hurt myself. He's got his frowny cry that ends with thumb in mouth. Translation = I'm frustrated/overwhelmed/hungry/tired/can't deal.
But Emry's been having an off week, the kind of week that ends with me taking him to the doctor "just in case" and finding out what I already knew: he's teething (the forever process), and he's got what's probably the start of a little cold. I'm always glad, however, after I've taken him in for one of these "is this really necessary?" checks, because there was that one time that he never quite seemed sick, just fussy, and when I finally took him in, he had an ear infection that had probably been hanging around for 2 months.
Anyway, there's the back story to me, getting in the car with 2 kids on a quiet, still-foggy Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. Heading off for donuts whilst letting my beloved sleep in. It should have been quite bucolic and enjoyable, kids in their PJs, me with my hair unbrushed, all relaxed Sunday-like.
Except for the screaming.
This time it was Emry. But he had been fussy all week, and so it wasn't that surprising. I gave him Motrin for his teeth, changed his diaper, and shortly after, he started yelling "Owie." Well, "owie" has been the soundtrack to my days lately, so I wasn't paying too much attention. But, 15 minutes later, as we pulled up in front of the donut shop, Emry was hysterical in his carseat. I found myself getting that kind of shortness with Elan that indicates that I'm stressed out, and I realized I wasn't really breathing much. I whipped out my cell phone, called my pediatrician father (yes, I realize how lucky I am) and said that I was really worried about Emry. As I said this, I pulled him out of his carseat. He was grabbing at his ankles, shouting "Owie" so I laid him down on the passenger seat, unzipped his sleeper, and found his ankles covered in what looked like giant white hives, the skin red and inflamed around them. "Holy $%#&!" I yelled, just as a turbaned man passed me on the empty Oakland street.
Yeah. It was that kind of morning.
I put Emry back into his carseat, his sleeper half off, as he screamed a little less when the cool air hit his inflamed legs, yelled at Elan when he started to complain about not getting donuts, and drove home as fast as I could while leaving a trying-not-to-sound-too-panicky message for my local pediatrician.
Now it's 1 p.m. and the hives, or whatever they were, after flaring up badly on his knees and a little bit on his arms and butt, were nearly gone when he went down for his nap. After a dose of allergy medication and Tylenol, he was a giggling happy menace, grabbing the remote and spilling Cheerios all over the floor as I attempted to unwind in front of the Sound of Music.
Julie Andrews probably would not have cursed on the street today, as I have. Twice.
The second time I found myself cursing on the street was when Elan decided to have a 40-minute scream-a-thon while Emry was napping and while I was trying my darnest to take a nap myself, feeling fairly catatonic after the stress of the morning. Mikhail was trying to get Elan out of the house, a process that frequently starts to resemble attempting to feed a hungry tiger without getting your arm taken off. Finally, I gave up on my nap, stumbled downstairs, found Elan screaming in the stroller parked in the carport while Mikhail tried to wash dishes, and wheeled my howling offspring out to the sidewalk. Then I cursed. Then I walked away.
I'd say there's nowhere to go but up.