b Papa Dog's Blog: Doctor’s Orders

Papa Dog's Blog

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Doctor’s Orders

Okay, that was an error. Baby Dog’s symptoms didn’t match up with what the doctor predicted if she had the dreaded gastro bug, so we got a bit lax in the area of following advice. We gave her some Pedialyte as directed, and she liked that okay, but when supper rolled around, it was very difficult to tell that she’d ever been sick. She bounced to her feet and scurried kitchenward, yelling “Suppertime for Baby Dog!” which is what she’s been doing these days. Actually, sometimes she says “Breakfast time for Baby Dog!” or “Lunch time for Baby Dog!” Matching the rallying cry to the actual meal is pretty hit and miss.

She was clearly eager to eat, and Mama Dog had prepared some bland and cautious dishes for her. A bit of rice, a bit of tofu, water, and Pedialyte. She gobbled that up with such gusto that we got lulled. When she saw what we were having – leftover pesto pasta – she reached out and yelled “Want some!” Pesto pasta is one of her absolute favourites. She eats garlic like she fears a vampire invasion. We let her have some pasta. That kind of understates it. It was all we could do to restrain her from leaping out of her highchair and grabbing the pasta while we waited for it to cool down.

Shortly after I posted last night, Baby Dog woke up crying. I went in and lulled her back to a state of calm which proved temporary. When Baby Dog cried again, Mama Dog took a shift. Baby Dog proved inconsolable. I went in and tried again, rocking her on my lap and singing The Whistling Gypsy. In a heart-rending mixture of enthusiasm and misery, she sang along while sobbing. Somewhere in the third verse, she made an ominous burping noise, and then next thing I knew we both had partially digested pesto pasta all over our laps. She heaved thrice, handily coating the sleep sack with pine nuts, garlic, and bile. I called out to Mama Dog, who hurried in with the little pink tub that was Baby Dog’s first bedroom. Baby Dog obligingly popped a couple more bits of corkscrew pasta into the bucket, and was done.

“I have no idea what to do now,” I observed with full candour. We agreed that whatever happened next would be best handled in the bathtub. I stood up, holding Baby Dog in such a way that the contents of her lap wouldn’t spill, and duckwalked into the bathroom. Miraculously, not a drop of her dinner had landed on the floor, and really only a tiny portion had landed on me. The vast majority of it had been caught by the sleep sack, which I stripped off her in the tub.

We were also fortunate in that it wasn’t a very liquid bit of barfing, all in all. With the sack and her jammies off, we found that Baby Dog really only needed her face and neck cleaned off. She continued to cry through the cleaning process, but afterwards we wrapped her in fresh pyjamas and a clean sleep sack and I rocked her some more, cooing about how much better it feels to have thrown up than to have to throw up. She seemed to agree, and was calm again before too long. Once she seemed relatively content (considering), I put her back in her crib, kissed her good night, and went back to my Thursday night chores, which seemed likely to never end. They did end, though, and eventually I lay in bed, vacillating between the urgent need to get some sleep and the urgent need to hear Baby Dog’s every little sound and movement in the next room. I was of course terrified that she was going to barf again in her sleep, which my imagination painted as at best filthy and at worst a Jimi Hendrix experience. It’s counterintuitive, but there are times – and these are one of them – when the sound of your child making a miserably mewling cry is an incredible relief. Eventually, I dropped off to sleep and we were all still whole and sound in the morning.

Baby Dog stayed home today, minded by Halmonie. We all agreed that strict adherence to doctor’s orders would be the plan for the day.


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