I'll admit it. Fevers have always sent me into some level of panic. I've heard all of the biological facts a million times: a fever in itself is nothing to worry about...it just means the body is fighting off infection...no need to administer a fever-reducer unless your child is uncomfortable...kids can tolerate very high fevers without any danger...
I know, I know.
But there's something about putting my hand to a burning-hot forehead and watching the digital display count higher and higher that can turn me into a crazy person.
On Thursday it climbed higher than I've ever seen in my half-decade of parenting. I watched the screen as 102 passed...then 103...then 104...(oh my WORD), then finally stop at 104.5. Temptation to panic? Massive. But instead? I took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, walked said sick child directly to the bathroom and stuck her in a lukewarm bath, began Tylenol in alternation with the ibuprofen already in her system, pushed fluids like a madwoman and checked in with the doctor's office, where the nurse confirmed the course of action. And all the while I imagined the calm voice of my mother-of-seven friend Karen in my head.
I wasn't completely without overreaction, of course. At one point that evening, Mark had to stop me from paging the doctor-on-call just to check in, when there was literally no rational reason to do so. And I did sneak into Maya's room once or twice in the night, feeling her forehead until a sleepy hand batted mine away in annoyance.
But all in all? Light years better than the way I've handled moments like this in the past.
Could it be that maybe, just maybe, five-and-a-half years into this parenting gig, I'm starting to figure a few things out?