My toddler got sick the night of election
s and could not be consoled, even with my “I voted” sticker. All night she was fever
ish, heavy lidded, moist looking around the eyes. I would hold her and she would moan or mumble in her sleep, heart pounding under her t-shit. She struggled with her clothing, had to be coaxed to sip water with Echinacea
in it, and would not take food. She wanted milk, but I wouldn't give it to her because of the fever. Her curls were matted in the back but she wouldn't let me brush them. She wanted a bath
, then screamed that she hates baths. She would cry
, a high whiney noise that pierced the air and made my heart beat way to fast. I could not do anything for her but hold her when she asked, wipe her nose (when she wasn't wiping it on my shirt, the blanket, the couch…) She would not stay asleep at night so I was on constant call. I tried to remain patient. We built a huge house of Lego
blocks. I read her Walter the Lazy Mouse
twice in a row. She wheezed in my arms and will not let me lay her down. The baby
wanted my attention as well, as he needs to nurse, but on the whole he was very mellow and didn't seem to mind spending much of the day in the Exersaucer
, or on his Papa’s lap.
We watched the election results, disappointed. Like Katie’s’ fever the election would swing one way, then the other. I stayed up until two in the half light of the television as Sam Donelson, Peter Jennings, George Stephanopoulus and Cokie Roberts pointed to a map and tried to come up with something more to say about the numbers on the screen. I switched to Dan Rather and basked in his bizarre metaphors, “Melting away like ice-cream in a microwave” and others witch escape me now but really made me laugh at the time.
Outside the wind was whisking the trees, whipping leaves around and breaking off minor branches. New boxes, showing tornado watches and warnings joined the television screen. I tried to keep the mood light; to be the rock of my household, aware of how tired I will be as soon as I am allowed to indulge myself with sleep.