The Joy of Parenthood

If you've ever driven past a couple of frantic parents on the side of a country road, scurrying about a half-naked scamp whose vomit is as voluminous and regular as Old Faithful, you probably had a chuckle and wondered how they were feeling. I'm here to tell you, the emotion is nothing much more than calamitous fear.

Nothing big, mind you. Just stark raving terror that a little sucker could hold that much inside of her.

We went to Georgia for the McGladrey Classic. It was a wonderful golf tournament--top notch on every level. I've never been hit with so many "ya'lls" in my life, and folks were very kind. I was eating a Southern Soul pulled-pork sandwich and watching the Bulldogs on the jumbotron when when of the tournament directors spotted me out and came to my table.

"How's the barbecue?" he asked, only it came out, "Haws tha bah-be-cyuh?"

"Good," I said, some red sauce slopping onto my shirt.

The tournament was awesome, and Lyla enjoyed it for a few hours before needing her nap. Jeanne took her to the motel, bless their hearts, and I stayed and watched Arjun Atwal's third round. Dude has serious game...

Anyway, we hit Brogan's for beer and Burgers after the tournament and then took a stroll on the pier and got milkshakes. We had Lyla down for bed for her usual 8:00 p.m. night-night and she slept through without an issue.

Breakfast was uneventful. We were on our way to Fort Frederica to appropriately dork out over local history when she started to barf like barf was gold and the price of gold had skyrocketed due to a bad economy, and all the barf in the world was scarce, so the more barf the better and she was trying to turn the Powells into some modern group of Flaglers or something.

That's not the best simile, but there was a lot of barf. Stinky, tart, acidic barf...

We cleaned her up and quieted her down (think of how that must feel for her--to have no idea what is happening or why!) and tried to move on down the road, but she got sick again. And again. Soon, Jeanne was sitting in back with her. She fell asleep and we drove home and got her a bath and some quiet time. Still more puke. She made it through last night okay, but her temperature has been sky high all day.

I cancelled classes and stayed home with that sweet girl. We had a good day, taking care of each other. She hates the old way of taking temperatures, so we plopped thirty clams down for a special ear-hole model. She hates that way too.

If she's still got a fever tomorrow, Jeanne will be home with her.

Sheesh. I know it's nothing more than a bug (still--two trips to Georgia, two illness episodes), but these little experiences just get under the skin. One wants a child to be healthy, and to see them in pain--even in such trivial circumstances--can be unsettling.

And on top of this, it turns out that I need to stop scaring her. All the Halloween decorations (and the zombie guy in today's metro section of the Florida Times-Union--it's National Zombie Day!!) have really scared her. No more luring her into rooms and jumping out, which is a shame, because she used to really dig it.

Ah, well. We're learning...

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