An Open Apology to My Babies

In our two years, eight months, and 14 days of active parenthood, we have somehow flown under the radar of the fever bugs.  I was not however fully aware of this until last night.

I have heard some Moms say that they rarely use a thermometer. They simply know with a quick kiss on the forehead or touch to the feet. I could never seem to trust this myself, and being the obsessive worry-wart that I am, at any sign of illness I put the thermometer to use.


Unfortunately, the most accurate method for checking the temperature of a baby is also the most rude.  Zachary had the unfortunate luck of being my first, and therefore had more of these obnoxious assaults than Isabelle. But, she has certainly had her fair share.

At 2:00 this morning, I awoke to a weak and faint call for Mommy, rushed to Isabelle’s room and quickly joined the ranks of Mothers who say “they just know”.

I had barely placed my hands on her before I felt the rising heat off her skin. She folded herself into me, her belly and back like cement on a blazing August day.  THIS is when to use the thermometer. No question.

Temp of 104.

Thankfully, Tylenol and a luke warm bath brought it down and we’ve been administering these things for the past 20 hours as it rises and falls.

I feel for all parents who have seen these frightening temperatures in your children often. It’s terrifying. Especially when you are not accustomed to it.

And, I would like to formally apologize to my babies for the SEVERAL (and that choice of words is conservative) times you have been unnecessarily violated.  I promise to use more discretion in the future.

P. S.
It seems as though, in addition to the two teddy bears we received as a consolation prize from our experience at St. Barnabas Hospital last Thursday, we also received a cozy little virus.

How kind.


14 responses to “An Open Apology to My Babies

  1. Hey there, nice to visit again. Yes a serious fever is often obvious by the touch of the skin. Sorry your babes are not feeling well. But they will recover… and you’ll have many more fevers to deal with down the road. Its never fun to see your kids sick but something tells me, as a parent, you’ll do fine! 🙂

  2. Heather Vincent Larkin

    Aw, feel better baby girl…and as for you, Em, they will NEVER remember the ‘violations’ you speak of…the only thing they will remember is how their loving momma cares oh-so-much!

  3. John Perricone

    Sorry to be such a downer but I have never recovered from my PSTV– post traumatic thermometer violation. I tried suing my parents at 4 but they hired a better lawyer. With a lot of therapy I hope to one day make my peace with mercury once and for all. It’s a long road home…

  4. I hope Isabelle is feeling better now. High fevers make me nervous. At 8 months old, my oldest had a fever (of 105) which triggered a febrile seizure on my very first Mother’s Day. Then, my second oldest had an asymptomatic high fever (of 103) at about 3 weeks old. She was admitted to the hospital, had a spinal tap (which luckily dad was brave enough to witness so I didn’t have to), and was released a few days later with no explanation as to what was the cause of the fever. After those experiences, I was pretty good at spotting fevers – even predicting thermometer readings.
    As long as you refrain from telling stories about how happy you were to take their temperatures when they were young, you should be good. 😉

    • Oh my Gosh, Rita! That is absolutely terrifying! I cannot imagine. You are one tough cookie. Seizure? That is one of my worst nightmares and I was scared of that the other night. Not having experience with fevers, I really wasn’t sure how high it had to get before going to the ER. And the spinal tap on the 3 week old is my other nightmare. Wow. And look at all 5 of your gorgeous kids now. They are resilient. They take after their mamma 😉

      • Thankfully, each instance turned out to be nothing serious. I feel we have been extremely blessed and fortunate in terms of our children’s health. Even with those two anomalies. Sometime maybe I’ll get the chance to share about our surprise home birth, too. I think I am starting to realize why a whole decade of my life feels like a big blur to me…

      • Um….do share! if you’re comfortable. I must hear more! And thank goodness all is ok. But, MOST importantly, my blog is set to have to only moderate comments from new visitors, and yet, yours need my approval every time. why, wordpress, why?

      • I sent it to you in an e-mail. Hope you find it as entertaining as we do.

      • I can’t wait to read it!

  5. Isn’t it amazing how you can just tell a fever with one touch– even if it’s not 104? I remember one of the girls in my dressing room thought she had a fever. I beckoned her over, kissed her forehead to test, then went, “Nope, you’re fine”. They howled! 😉
    (You might like this post of mine, where thermometers make an appearance: )

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