Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fluke Puke? (and Other Developments)

What a day. It started and ended like most every other, but somewhere in-between, I found myself having to google the phrase "how to clean vomit out of carpet."

Tom took care of breakfast, as usual, and I joined the gang downstairs while Tom set to work up in the living room. Abby was her usual self- though, in retrospect- perhaps slightly less boisterous than usual. At some point, Michael went down for a nap, and an hour or so later, the rest of the family got together again for lunch.

Abby hardly touched hers, which I found odd, and a little suspicious. Though she does have many days in which she's not particularly interested in food, she generally at least nibbles on what we give her, or at the very least, plays with it. Today, however, she took a couple of bites from her bowl and gave it no more notice. She did mooch a quarter of an english muffin half off of me, but she didn't even finish that.

However, she began to do something that amazed me, and all other previous thoughts were forgotten. She started reading the letters off of her shirt (which, by the way, says "Being so cute gets me out of trouble!").

She's been doing this here and there for the last couple of days, identifying what she sees on book covers and various other objects with writing on them. I was surprised to see it, because on the rare occasions that I'd taken the time to go over letters with Abby, she only attempted a few of them, and often got them mixed up. I don't know whether she's benefited from the passage of time, exposure through story time and independent browsing of her books, the use of a toy that she owns that has a setting to drill letters, or whether something just suddenly "clicked" in her head. Suddenly, however, she has a wealth of knowledge that wasn't there before.

What really struck me about today, though, was that she was reading the letters upside-down.

I had to chuckle when she read the exclamation point as an "I," but you've got to give her credit. She has no idea what an exclamation point is, but she sure knows what a lowercase "i" looks like.

From the shape of her lips, I'd say that she's pointing at the "U" in this picture. Given that it's the lowercase version, and she's reading it upside-down, I'm really surprised that she didn't think it was an "N." Perhaps she can't identify "n" just yet... Perhaps, she's just a baby genius. ;)

She went down for her nap without a struggle, and Michael woke shortly afterwards. I had my hands full with him, as he soon began to experience some pretty hard-core teething discomfort. I offered him a great variety of toys to chew on, and tried sitting on the floor with him, to no avail. So, I brought him into the chair with me, and held him tight while he cried. As he chewed vigorously on his hands, he began to wail, "Dadadadadada! Yayayayayaya!"

And there was the proof. He can say "dada," after all.

At some point, I could hear Abby over the monitor, so I had to put Michael down to go retrieve her. However, I grabbed a binky for him on my trip upstairs, ran back down to pop it in his mouth, and was amazed to see that it seemed to be just the thing to soothe him. Shame on me for not trying it before. Oh well...

In any case, he was thankfully calm and quiet for the few moments that I had to leave him by himself to bring Abby downstairs. She was still behaving normally, and I had completely forgotten, by this time, about my uneasiness at lunch.

When Tom returned home from a quick Wegmans trip, he had a treat for her- a croissant. Though it was getting a little close to dinnertime, he figured that she might be hungry, since she'd pretty much skipped lunch. She received it eagerly, and began to munch on it as I ran upstairs to get some shoes and socks on. I'd gotten a text from a neighbor about her plans to go to the local park with her daughter, and I'd agreed to meet her there with Abby.

From the living room, where my sneakers were, I could hear Tom and Abby chatting. Then I heard some coughing, and Tom asking, in a voice dripping with honest concern, "Oh, Abby! Are you okay?" My heart sank. I was pretty sure I knew what had just transpired, but as I descended the stairs to the basement, I asked anyway, "What happened?"

"She just threw up the whole croissant," Tom said. "The whole thing?" I asked, incredulously. The one hope I'd been clinging to was that it had just been a tiny bit- the product of an overfull mouth or a sloppy chewing job. Somehow, some way, we've made it 25 months with no real vomit. There was that one time, at perhaps 13 months, that Abby brought up about a tablespoon of something, but it was an isolated, random incident, and more akin to a spit-up (albeit one containing solid food/bile) than a full-out puke.

This was a full-out puke. I could see it splattered across the book that lay on the floor at her feet. And then, as I tried to process what had just occurred, it happened again. Unfortunately, the second bout was all carpet. Abby was nonplussed. She seemed to have no idea what had just happened. Tom and I weren't really sure, either, but we sprung into action out of necessity.

Being a bit of an emetophobe, I was trying to keep my growing panic at bay by thinking as logically as possible. The first step was to get Abby away from carpet, so Tom brought her into the nearby bathroom. Since he was in there with her, I approached the mess, and quickly realized that it was more than I could handle. I made a quick attempt to salvage The Very Hungry Caterpillar* before being overcome.

As a result, Tom and I switched places. However, the bathroom was not much better. Abby had a smell to her, which was not alleviated by removing her soiled shirt, and it quickly filled the small room. However, I already felt bad about my mission failure, and knew that I had the easier job, so I did my best to tough it out. Michael, thankfully, allowed himself to be placed in the jumperoo after the chaos began, and did not complain throughout all of the commotion, probably because it was pretty interesting to watch Mommy and Daddy running around like lost little children.

Once the carpet had been given a once-over, I gingerly brushed Abby's teeth, and Tom took her into the shower. As we placed our freshly-clean little girl on a towel that we had laid out on the sofa (with an empty plastic container strategically placed nearby), and set her up with YouTube videos to watch, Tom and I expressed our amazement that we were now entering such a "big kid" stage of life. Abby was having her very first "sick day-" hanging out in PJs with some extra TLC from Mom and Dad, who stuck around to keep her company.

At first, she did seem to be a bit "off." She sat there a little too compliantly, not even making her usual attempts to stand and climb on the sofa. This was a blessing, because Tom had dinner to attend to, and I was starting to feel pretty ill, myself. I wasn't sure if it was paranoia about coming down with whatever it was Abby had, a side effect of my frayed nerves, or an actual illness coming on, but all I could do was sit as still as possible, and wait. Thankfully, it must have been one of the former scenarios, because within 90 minutes or so, I was feeling much better.

Abby was, too. She must have really started to feel hungry, because she began asking for lunch, over and over. And it was no wonder. Since he did the clean-up, Tom was able to assess that she had jettisoned both her breakfast and her snack (there was no lunch to be found, since she basically skipped it apart from a sippy of milk).

She went to town on the bread, crackers, and applesauce that I offered her. I was a little nervous watching her consume so much food, but I figured that a healthy appetite was a good sign, after all. And in the end, despite the jumping and running around that she managed to procure the energy for after dinner, she kept it all down.

And so, I am hoping that it might not be too optimistic to expect an uneventful night. A puke can sometimes be a fluke, right?

*Sadly, we ultimately decided to call the book a loss, and so it has joined its brother, a Sesame Street  bedtime story compilation (which bore the brunt of the attack), in that Great Recycling Bin in the sky.