6.00 pm: 101.5 F. Rectal. Yes, I went for it - and no, he didn't seem to mind. I wrestle briefly with my conscience, then call the pediatrician's office. They tell me: Tylenol every 4 hours if he needs it, and watch for a change in behavior, and/or 103 F.
[We rarely give Tylenol around here, on the theory that if the fever isn't bothersome or a risk for dehydration, then we might as well let the body run with it. I've seen a kid who 'needed it,' and this ain't it. He's hot but comfortable.]
7.40pm: the older child, napless, suddenly dissolves into tears. To my surprise, his baby brother decides to wail in concert, if not so much harmony. Tears from my fiery first son are to be expected - the shriek from his mellower little brother is not. Hmm.
8.10 pm: I'm like a junkie with the thermometer, craving my next fix. But the baby is sleeping, and making a silly snoring sound. Better to leave him be.
9.10pm: 99.4F, says my partner. I stare at him until he admits that he took the temp under the baby's arm. I mutter rudely under my breath and stick the thermometer up the kid's butt. 101.8 F. Right, then.
10.50pm: Going to bed. Will not check on the baby, who seems to be sleeping happily. He will continue breathing without my presence in the room. I will now repeat this ten times or until I believe it - whichever comes first.
11.45: en route to bed, I check on the baby, who is sleeping happily in his car seat. He is hot, hot, hot. I debate waking him for another temp, but instead realize that I've woken his older brother, who wails the righteous wail of the interrupted sleeper. (No, mamas do not get to produce this wail, as we're boichemically engineered to be awakened, umpteen times per night. Yo! Intelligent Designer? You out there? 'Cause I want a word.) I beat a hasty retreat, and am hopefully not noticed by my partner, who comes to soothe the young lad. I crawl into bed, debating taking another temperature on the baby. Maybe I've done enough damage for one night.
12.18: I break, and take the temp. He wakes up when I poke the thermometer in his butt (is there a version of KY for babies?). 103.1 F. Jeepers. But he looks relaxed, if pink of cheek. I call the ped, get a sensible after-hours nurse who tells me that babies with this high of a fever can be seen immediately, in cases where the parents are anxious, or after a couple of days, when the parents and baby remain calm. I decide to play the role of cool, calm and collected Mama, and go to bed. With the baby, as my mantra seems a leetle shaky just now.
[We give Tylenol.]
2.03 am: the baby is cooler, sleeping soundly. I decide to join him.
4.50 am: Our older son wakes up and decides to sing, 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm.' Somewhere in the middle of an 'eeyi, eeyi, yo,' he starts vomiting.
and the universe giggles....