b Papa Dog's Blog: I Would Have Worked in a Reference to the Kids in the Hall Sketch About the Aliens Doing Anal Probes, but Most of You Probably Haven't Seen That One

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Would Have Worked in a Reference to the Kids in the Hall Sketch About the Aliens Doing Anal Probes, but Most of You Probably Haven't Seen That One

In this day and age, you’d think there would be a more pleasant way to take a baby’s temperature than rectally, but until they’re old enough to do it orally it’s still the most accurate gauge. It’s very counter-intuitive. When a baby is cranky from feeling unwell, the impulse on the part of the parent is to soothe. When the basic diagnostic tool gets inserted up the hind chute, don’t expect much soothing to take place.

Tuesday, when we got home after appointments and errands, we were greeted with a frantic phone call from the daycare telling us that Baby Dog had a fever of 102. She’d been listless and off her feed, so they’d checked her temperature. We dropped everything, collected her directly, and brought her home to find…that nothing seemed to be the matter with her. She was her normal happy, playful self. She had a slight runny nose but wasn’t particularly warm to the touch, and was toddling about, prattling and looking at her books just like any other day. We gave her lunch and she gobbled it all down. We had planned to take her to the doctor, but we figured we should check her temperature first. Mama Dog got the thermometer and after much screaming and thrashing we finally had an unhappy baby, but one with a temperature of only 98.8.

Even after that, she recovered a perfectly good mood and went down for a nap normally. Unfortunately, a miscommunication with Halmonie led to her being over-bundled. Baby Dog woke up crying after an hour, and we found she was drenched in sweat. Even more unfortunately, we could not now be certain whether the drenching had been caused by the overbundling or by the phantom fever, which meant…yes, right…in through the out door once again. Baby Dog’s temperature was a tiny bit higher than before, but still nowhere near high enough to justify sending her home from daycare. But now she was cranky beyond reckoning. Interrupted sleep, soggy pyjamas, intrusive device up the bum…did we leave any baby-displeasing gambits unaccounted for? I suppose if we wanted to be thorough, we should have taken away a toy too. Oh well, maybe next time. I sat Baby Dog on my lap and she howled while I did everything I could think of to calm her down. Finally, I just picked up Dr. Seuss’ ABC and started reading it. She kept howling, but she was following what I was saying. If I stopped reading, she’d scream a barely distinguishable “Finish it!” Gradually, the howls got quieter, and by the time I got to “big S little S, what begins with S,” she was able to sort of laugh while still crying at the antics of Silly Sammy Slick. When ABC was done, the cries had subsided to sniffles, and I sang her a song or two. Finally calmed, she went back to sleep for another forty minutes or so. Still less of a nap than she really needs, but better than nothing. She was cranky when she woke up the second time, too. Way to go, rectal thermometer. Better safe than sorry, I know, but it really felt like we gave our girl a crappy day for nothing.


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