A number of weeks ago, Ella came down with a cold—the first cold of her life. It was endearing in so many ways. She had a cute little cough, teeny tiny eye boogers and a small drip running from her nose. Her sneezes were as soft as her cheeks, and when you tried to wipe the remnants away she'd wiggle like a bobblehead. And, throughout it all, she never once stopped smiling.
Then early one morning, after letting her sleep on my chest, I woke up and noticed her entire face was covered in snot. Worse yet, so was mine. And like any logical, well-educated dad would do, I handed her off to her mother and tried to keep the calm by uttering this combination of words:
"Oh my God, what's wrong with her? Infection? Pneumonia? It's West Nile, isn't it!?!"
"Calm down," said my wife. "It's just the congestion escaping from her… What are you doing?"
"Seven, Six, two … Wait, what's our doctor's number again?"
Brittany gracefully took the phone out of my hands and shoved the receiver where receivers shouldn't be shoved. And it hurt. She then calmly explained why the doctor wouldn't appreciate a call at 5:30 in the morning over the sniffles. If it got worse, she said, we'd call and schedule an appointment during business hours. Until then, we'll try all the home remedies that we know.
I hate it when she makes sense.
So we tried each home remedy to help our suffering babe feel better. We sat her in the bathroom with the hot shower running. We laid her in an upright position when she napped. We even put on back-to-back-to-back reruns of "Saved by the Bell" (always made me feel better when I was sick). Unfortunately none of those seemed to work, so we scheduled an appointment with the doc.
Turned out she not only had a cold, but was also suffering from a double ear infection, which I'm told is about as painful as an angry wife on Valentine's Day. To get Ella back on the healthy horse, the doctor prescribed medicine, rest and more "Saved by the Bell" (who knew?). He also told us that it's very common for children under the age of one to get colds and earaches throughout the winter, and we should be thankful our kid takes it in stride with a grin. And we are thankful.
Meeting with the doctor helped calm my nerves a bit. I still plan to overreact to all future sicknesses, but I plan to overreact in smaller doses. It's just what parents do. I've forgiven my folks. You've probably forgiven yours. Hopefully Ella will be able to forgive me as she grows up. If she's like her father, she certainly will.
But if she's like her mother, I'm going to have to remove all phones from the house.
The Life of Dad is updated every other Friday (barring the call of family duties). Thanks for stopping by and following my attempts to be a good dad, husband and co-ed softball player. I hope you visit again. -- Brian