This past week we survived a whopping case of walking pneumonia and a 103-degree cabin fever with flying colors and very few tears. Otto became sick last week with what appeared to be a mild cold and low, yet relentless fever. Super Dad Dave had a weird feeling and didn’t like the sound emanating from Otto’s chest cavity, a sound I could not hear to do my addiction to earplugs, background NPR noise and rock.
Side note: When you have front row seats to The Who Rocks America tour in 1982 at The Cow Palace and Pete Townsend looks at you, waves his hands and gives you a thumbs up and then, you try to shimmy up the twenty foot mountain of speakers to hug his tapered pant leg, it does not occur to you that you may become as hearing impaired as Helen Keller’s dog. You just accept that the ringing in your ears may never stop. And despite your new found deafness you can still get back to your life of weekend quarters and going to third base with cute yet emotionally unattainable ninth grade surfer dudes. The upside? You can't hear the phone when they never call. The downside? You are fucking deaf.
So, with Dave’s witchy powers on full and a last minute appointment, I took Otto to the doctor thinking the worst it could be was a mild influenza or a slight case of Dengue Fever. But the moment Dr. I Am So Much Younger and More Accomplished Than You listened with her cute, red stethoscope, her eyes became poker chips and she dropped the “p” word. Yes, of course I burst into tears and beat the shit out of myself for not hearing or even suspecting something serious was going on in his gorgeous little lungs. How could I? I am partially deaf and I blame it all Baba O’Reilly. And who the hell can really spell pneumonia without spell check?
The rest of the week was all $200 electric vaporizing, medicine drinking, TV watching, fever dreaming and bed-wetting. Because of the amount of liquids we were giving Otto, as well as the size of his ever-active bladder, he peed through his nighttime diapers more than usual leaving his sheets as damp as a misty mountain top. To be fair, he has been partly potty trained for some time now and is known to enjoy a good sit down winkle and chat. But, the nighttime toss and turn is still a game of dodge the yellow snowball, even without his excessive fluid intake.
A few months ago we wrapped him in two #6 diapers hoping the excess would overflow into the second. But his legs are pure muscle, not an ounce of baby fat on the All- American, gold medal winning, Master’s green jacket wearing, jock strap. No matter what we did his pee would dribble past the elastic and land on his blankets and stuffed best friends that littered his toddler bed. This, of course, made his pals stinky and me crazy, knowing that I once again, had to strip the sheets off and wash, washes wash that man right out of everything.
For those who do not have small likeness of themselves who excrete large amount of fluids from every orifice until their eighteenth birthday, when their college roommate then has to deal with the mess, diapers are made for fat babies and their cheese log legs. That is not my child. He is fatless, lithe and closer to a Roman marble statue than a pudgy flying cherub. He is more Jamaican sprinter than Hungarian shot putter. He is McLean. They are Big Mac. And yes, I am bragging because his is Olympic and I am intramural. On any given day I look like a rumpled hollow-fill quilt left out in the morning dew while he looks camera ready and good to go, doing laps and backbends while I strive to simply walk down the front steps without tripping on my Glamour Don’t ensemble.
After a week of a fever and a bubbling brook of urine we came up with a winning combo platter of fluffy absorbent goodness. We now put a #6 diaper inside and a #5 special nighttime diaper outside, which is, for the record, a phenomenal piece of cotton hardware that makes any small boy feel like he is wearing a Maxi-Pad with a couch cushion lining. With a tighter leg hole and a smaller surface area, the smaller outside diaper seems to do the trick. Thanks Huggie's for ruining the environment, one crotch cloud at a time. It’s that or suspend all diapers use and start him on a high dose of Toviac, a new fangled bladder control medication I saw advertised while watching Golden Girls reruns on Lifetime. It’s specially formulated for those dribble-prone people who can’t stop the sprinkle of their tinkle.
I am open to new things and hey, you never know. It may just do the trick for Otto, the human Trevi fountain of youthful urinating And I thought not recognizing that your child has a respiratory disease that killed off half of Jane Austen’s heroines was good parenting. I just hope he lets me snake some pee-pee pills from his stash. I am a lot closer to reading Yellow River by I.P Freely than he may realize.