Yesterday when I was out, Wally and his parents knew something was wrong with Wally Ben when he sat on his grandpa’s lap for about 10 minutes and fell asleep out of the blue. He is normally so busy that lap sitting is limited to one minute max. So when they looked over and saw him snoring, it was clear he wasn’t feeling so hot. Sure enough, temp 102.3.

Tylenol brought the temp down enough that he whined his way til bedtime, although just before bedtime Wally 4 was sitting cross legged on the ground and WV, out of the blue, plopped himself down on the floor face down, and laid his head on his dad’s ankle. That was our cue that bedtime was clearly at hand.

He went to sleep fine at 7 and lasted until 2AM, though it was a pretty restless sleep. Then I woke up to him crying, and checked the monitor. Normally tears are accompanied by standing and collapsing in turn, but the poor guy was just laying still like back in the newborn days, so I knew I should go in.

He was on fire! I stripped him down, gave him another dose of Tylenol, and woke his dad up to help me out getting a temperature reading and for moral support. I could tell this one was going to take a team (especially because our thermometer was the lamest one in existence and took a good 5 minutes to get an under arm reading, which is about 4 minutes and 50 seconds too long when he has enough strength to fight you—I promptly bought a knew one today that gets it from the forehead in one swipe). Anyhow, our little guy was a pathetic lump and couldn’t fight me much. We put him in a bath, which he hated, and wiped him down with a wet rag to cool him more.

I called the doc in case our thermometer was wrong and it was possible he was actually hotter. It was the kind of moment where you felt helpless to do anything good, unsure of what was best, and you wanted a professional’s reassurance that you were doing the right thing. She said to wait another 20 minutes to see if his temp drops at all, and if not we should head into the ER.

Wally and I waited, watched Wally Ben listlessly stare at us and whimper, and then took his temp with our stupid thermometer. This time he had a little strength to fight us, which was a good sign. It was down to 101.7. We took that as the all clear to put him to bed again.

He couldn’t sleep very well—woke up every 20 minutes crying—so I tried rocking him in the glider. He snuggled me—the one bonus of having a sick little guy who is usually so busy. Laying on me, he slept soundly for 40 minute stretches, woke up to shift positions, and drifted off again.

I spent the time possibly dozing here and there, but mostly thinking about how wonderfully confusing it is to be a mother, all the responsibility and uncertainty mixed up with the certainty of love. I also prayed for Wally Ben some, and shifted his blanket off and on depending on how hot he felt, and thought about how grateful I am that I don’t have to wake up with him every night anymore.

Until last night, he still hadn’t really identified us by name with clarity. While he was sleeping, at one point, though, he shifted his head and said “mom,” before drifting back to sleep. Then, as if to clear up any doubt what he meant, when he woke up around 6:30, he sat up, looked me in the eye and said, again, “Mom.” I didn’t say, this time, what I usually do, because I was pretty sure he knew it: “That’s right, Wally Ben, I’m your mommy. That’s me.”

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