One of the most important parenting lessons I’ve learned is: You have to let go of expectations. It’s good to make plans and try to stick to routines but it’s crucial to be flexible and not be attached to perfect outcomes. I was reminded of this important lesson on Father’s Day. We had plans to make pancakes for breakfast, make Daniel his homemade card as he slept in, go for a walk as a family, and order Daniel’s favorite Indian take-out. What we ended up doing was a lot more disappointing.
I usually wake up around six to the sound of James jumping in his crib over the monitor. The familiar “bounce, bounce, bounce” sound of the springs are what welcome me to the day and even if I’m tired, James is so happy in the morning that I can’t help but be in a good mood. Sometimes he says, “Mama where are youuuu?” and it’s precious. But on Father’s Day I woke up to the sound of the saddest, most despair-filled cries, much earlier than usual. As soon as I picked him up, I could feel that he was burning up. I set him down to change him and take his temperature and he vomited bile. His temperature was over 103 and he wouldn’t eat or drink anything. He was inconsolable, lethargic, and pretty out of it. So I woke up Daniel to start Father’s Day early.
Our pediatrician opened at 9 and we were able to bring James in to see a doctor. Only one person was allowed in so Daniel got to spend some quality alone time with James in the pediatrician’s office. They ruled out an ear infection and strep throat first. The doctor told us it was likely a virus, possibly COVID, or potentially something else. We could get him tested for COVID the next day (at a nearby hospital) if we wanted, but it wasn’t imperative since the treatment for any virus would be the same (basically monitor his fever, give him Tylenol for comfort, and fluids to avoid dehydration).
We spent the rest of the day trading off holding him while he dozed on and off and watched Cocomelon nursery rhymes on Youtube. Luckily he started to drink some water and ate some french fries and vanilla soft serve after we tried every single other food. We got through the afternoon and then gave him a long tubby and some Tylenol before bed. He went to sleep in Daniel’s arms and stayed asleep when he was set down in his crib.
Every hour or so throughout the day, I’d tell Daniel to go take a break, do something he enjoys and every time, he’d tell me that he was doing what he enjoys. There was no time for pancakes in the morning, or to make a card, there was no family walk, but we did get some Indian food later that night, and still at the end of the day when I told him I felt bad that the day wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be, he assured me that the only thing he wanted to do was spend time with James and me. He really is the best. And so, while it wasn’t a great day (especially for our little guy), it was just another day where Daniel showed James and me what a loving father he is.