Both of my boys are sick.
Charlie's three-day fever lasted from last Monday night through my birthday through his birthday and ended on Thursday, the day my mom flew in. It got up to 104 on his birthday, a nice little gift from the universe, and after popsicles, Tylenol, and a bath, it went down and stayed there. I know that I sound rather casual about it all, but let me tell you that there is nothing like holding your baby and realizing how hot he is, a mini overheating radiator, while all through your mind thoughts of meningitis and cancer race. I make those leaps easily, and before you know it, I am close to tears. I am almost always able to breathe away those thoughts, push the crazy back into my brain's mess, and be a somewhat normal, somewhat functioning adult.
Charlie's fever broke, but he kept his major attitude, and we spent the majority of the weekend preparing for our birthday meal on Sunday night.
My time in the kitchen went something like this: Measure out half of ingredients for strawberry cake. Comfort crying baby. Measure out other half of ingredients. Change toddler's diaper. Mix ingredients. Throw dirty dishes in sink. Give insistent toddler a banana. Rescue banana from clean soapy water in kitchen sink, where he threw it once he was done. Comfort crying baby again. Put cake in oven. Strap crying baby onto my back. Peel whining toddler from legs. Remove cake from oven and let it sit for ten minutes. Remove it from pans and watch the entire cake fall to pieces as it comes out of the pan. Rinse and repeat process for the rest of the day.
We managed to pull off a most excellent birthday dinner with only a few mishaps: the strawberry cake that fell apart, setting one of our plastic cutting boards on fire, and filling the house with smoke while making the pizza. It was a good time and a ton of work.
That night, right as Charlie was put into his crib for bed, he started coughing. And not some wimpy cough, either. A cough that said, "Attention, Mom and Dad! Phlegm!"
Monday was supposed to be his two-year well check. I took him in and refused the shots. The doctor pronounced his throat irritated but couldn't see much else wrong with him. By the time we got home Simon was running a 101 degree fever. Last night Simon had his worst night ever, burning up for part of the night, waking up once an hour all night long. Charlie, meanwhile, woke up about six times. Today they both had fever. Charlie's got a runny nose and cough. Simon coughs from time to time but is mostly just cantankerous. I'm glad the illness has finally made an appearance because fever without some kind of sickness makes me incredibly anxious.
The dreams started last week. In the first one, I found out I was pregnant again, already 25 weeks. Roy and I were waiting to have an ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby, but we had to sit through a bunch of baptisms first. Then fast forward (you know how dreams go), and Roy and I just got home to find Charlie screaming and Simon lying on the floor pinned under a chair. The top of the back of the chair was right on Simon's neck and he looked like an old man instead of a baby, his eyes bugging out of his head. He was ... not alive. I can't even say the word for what he was, because even in a dream, it's just wrong.
The second dream involved me and a friend going to the mall with both Charlie and Simon. We were in a shoe store and I left both boys with my friend to go use the restroom. When I returned, Simon was sitting in the stroller but Charlie was nowhere to be found. We searched and searched but he was gone. I was frantic, scared out of my head. The last thing I remember was CPS getting involved.
Then this morning. Once it was light out, Roy took Simon, and I slept a little on my own. And dreamed of a vampire apocalypse. My brother's best friend (who looked like his old best friend) and I were going to the top floor of a house to escape the many vampires that were on their way. We were huddled up there when from a distance I saw Charlie with my mother-in-law walking across the bridge to get to the top floor (where we were). Charlie had no idea what was going on; he was just being his cute little self and running around aimlessly. He was wearing his Easter shirt and blue jeans, his blond hair was flopping around as he ran. He ran right off the edge of the bridge. I was horrorstruck.
Then later someone showed up with Simon and he was given to me. At that point the vampires had arrived and were coming up to where we were. By some miracle, Charlie had lived through falling off the bridge and had returned. He also was given to me, and I was holding both him and Simon so tight. We were surrounded by vampires. It was just like a damn action movie, stupid music playing and all, and we were almost done for. I found myself wishing for two Ergo baby carriers because I had no idea how I was going to hold onto both of them and fight for our lives.
It was at that point that Roy woke me up, and I felt otherworldly. I can't say "I dreamt of a vampire apocalypse" with a straight face but it all felt so real. These dreams are almost exhausting as all this sickness.
Roy has been sleeping in Charlie's room for the past week. I've woken up in the middle of the night to find them both asleep in the glider, or Roy asleep on the floor with Charlie in his crib, or both Roy and Charlie on the floor. Simon and I sleep on the futon cushion on the floor in the other bedroom. If we are lucky, Roy and I get to have a face-to-face conversation during the day. If we are really lucky, we get to have some cuddle time in our bed (which largely remains abandoned these days) before one or both of the boys wakes up. It's a very strange delirium of a time. I miss my husband. I'm worried about my boys. I'm feeling guilty because my mom's here and there's all this sickness and we can't go out and do much and I'm tired and crabby and not my best self and I hole up in the office to write these bitchy blog posts instead of spending time with her but I so need the time to myself.
I'm feeling the weight of these dreams and I just want them to stop. I'm drowning in these terrible possibilities. I'm becoming a little afraid of the dark and of what sleep has to offer me. But I need need need, oh how I need that sleep. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night; I'm becoming somewhat of a wreck.