February 2013

This little girl is 15 months old today.

The peach fuzz is getting longer, but even dressed like this at Schabarum Park last weekend, some older lady asked my mom whether Allie’s a boy or girl. My mom was SO offended. I guess unless a baby has long hair, people will think she’s a boy.

Allie’s main source of recreation these days are walks or trips to the park. When I took her myself last weekend, I was surprised how many people knew her (“Is that Allie? Oh, I didn’t recognize you in that hat!”) and how well she played with other kids. She even knew what sand toys were as she picked up some other kid’s rake and started clawing lines into the sand, then put the spade in the kid’s bucket a few times, imitating the sand-scooping action (she doesn’t have the coordination for actual sand transfer down, yet). I was also pleased how well the kids at the park shared their toys and played together.

She loves kids, and when she sees anyone under the age of 13, she’d point and say, “Baby!” This offends the age-sensitive 6-year-olds, but I thought it was funny when another toddler at Costco pointed at Allie and did the same thing. Allie looked a little stunned. Allie will walk up to any kid and make serious eye contact, and try to touch the kid’s hand, cheek, or sometimes foot if the other kid’s sitting in a stroller. It’s very sweet how she doesn’t have any inkling of possible rejection, or any insecurity about walking into a bad situation. At the park, she’ll just go. She doesn’t turn to see if we’re following. And as much as she now loves to play with the sand, she still loves the swing. She’ll slide if she’s sitting on one of our laps.

Still only has 15 teeth, still missing the lower right molar. But that’s okay, she eats raw apple slices (skinned and cored) by crunching the pieces between her front teeth or her left side. Allie still isn’t what I’d call picky with food, but she’s starting to see the entertainment value of food now, much to our chagrin. When the edge of hunger is relieved, she’ll start pulling food out of her mouth to examine it, test its texture by squishing it between her fingers and smearing it on her tray. Sometimes she’d flick it and it’d go flying. If it lands anywhere on her tray, she will pick it up again and eat it, but it does slow down the whole meal process quite significantly. Stuff like oranges also gets very, very messy. With edamame, she likes to put it on the tray, push her index finger down on it until the bean comes out of the skin. Then she’ll eat the skin, then separate the two halves of the bean, then push them around on her tray like little cars. And then when the bean’s nice and cold and dirty, she’ll offer it to me. Sometimes I let her feed me some because she finds it so gratifying. Since she’s napping, I made her a big pot of pasta to freeze for future servings. It’s chopped organic veggies (broccoli stalks, carrots, kale, fennel) with a quinoa/corn pasta spiral in roasted tomato and red pepper bisque (low sodium, of course). I thought about how my dream for this kid is to have her one day say, “Ooh! Kale and fennel! Yummy!” instead of what I’d seen other kids do: “What is THAT? *sniffing suspiciously* It smells disgusting. *poking with a fork* Ew.” Okay, maybe the first scenario isn’t entirely realistic, but if the second one happens, I’d kick her ass.

Allie imitates sounds but doesn’t seem to have added many words to her spoken vocabulary lately. But she’ll hum, sing “la la la” and snap her fingers when she hears music or someone else singing.

Her focus, as it seems to have always been, is still on motor skills. Earlier this week, Mr. W left Allie in the living room (which has basically been turned into her fenced-off playroom) for a moment and when he returned, she was sitting on the couch. Tall babies. *sigh* This makes me very nervous about her crib situation.

Her one mid-day nap is going pretty well. Her latency period is shorter these days, probably because she’s more tired by the time she goes to bed. Now she’ll fall asleep in 10-15 minutes (sometimes less) instead of 45. Her noon naps are still approximately 2 hours, longer with me, sometimes shorter with Jayne.

We’re not potty training, exactly, but since my parents bought her a Disney princess potty for Christmas (my mom thinks I should’ve potty trained her before she turned a year), we pulled it out and put it in her bathroom when we noticed that if she ran around with her diaper off before her bath, she will always stand by the side of the bathtub and pee on the floor. She must then have some control/awareness of it, right? Allie was at first scared of the chair with the big hole in the middle she could fall in, but now we let her sit on it and make the magical flushing sound with the plastic gemstone handle, and altho she hasn’t peed in it, yet, and I don’t know how to tell her it’s for peeing, she now enjoys sitting on her “throne” during bathroom time. We placed it across from the adult toilet so that I’ll sit on the toilet to show her what it’s for (pretending), and she’ll turn her back to her little toilet, put her hands on my knees, slowly back up and keep checking to see the toilet by bending and looking between her legs, then lower herself onto the toilet by steadying herself with her hands on my knees. Then she’d sit there looking up at me with a big smile, as if to say, “This is fun! I’m sitting down, too!”

Re bathroom time, I can’t get her to clamp her teeth and open her lips so that I could brush the front of her teeth. She’ll do the “aaah” thing and let me brush her tongue, but I can’t get the toothbrush to the front surfaces without her pushing away. Something to work on.

Meanwhile, the days march on with lots of laughter and discovery.

Judge: Any big plans this weekend?
Me: There’s no such thing anymore.
Judge: Little plans for little people.
Me: Exactly. Altho we might try to go to Disneyland Sunday morning.
Judge: Do you have passes?
Me: Yeah, we just got passes.
Judge: They’re kind of pricey, aren’t they? That’s what I heard.
Me: It was like $350 for the lower-level pass.
Judge: Holy toledo! You used to be able to get a good car for that price.
Me: …when?!
Judge: Back in the day, kiddo. Back in the day.

* Can anyone identify the source?

Yesterday, I found herself where I’d never expected to be: on Team Meddling Moms in a public place trying to protect a strange toddler from an even stranger mom intent on creating a traumatic memory for the little terrified girl.

Mr. W and I took Allie to a large chain retail store to buy baby wipes and sand toys (bucket, spade, etc). While there, we heard a kid wail. That’s nothing new, and we moved on. The wailing continued. I turned, and saw a little toddler girl at the end of our aisle turning slowly in a circle, looking around, crying. Other women had paused and were looking at her, talking to each other. I thought that surely, with her crying that loudly, the mom would find her little girl. She was way too young to be far from her mom. Other moms watching must’ve been thinking the same thing, because people just kind of stood around, keeping an eye on the girl, and waited. Mr. W started pushing Allie away in the shopping cart, and I started to follow, both of us looking back toward the girl, still wandering, still sobbing. “Go take care of that,” he shooed me.

I walked up to the girl, knelt down, and said, “Are you looking for your mommy?” She nodded, crying so hard she couldn’t talk. I decided to take her to the front so I could ask a cashier or the customer service people to make an announcement on the intercom. She looked so bewildered that I just picked her up. She quieted down, although she was still sobbing quietly. “What’s your mommy’s name?” I asked her. She didn’t answer. I asked again, wondering if she didn’t understand English, although I didn’t know enough Spanish to try that. One of the other women who had stopped asked me what I was going to do. I said I was bringing her to the front to have her mom paged on intercom.

Halfway down that section, a woman approached me and said, “Oh, she’s just –” and waved her hand dismissively.
I looked at her without understanding. “I’m sorry?”
“She’s just –” She gestured again, kind of rolling her eyes, as if to say the girl was acting up for no reason.
“Is this your daughter?” I asked.
“Yes.” The woman made no attempt to take the girl from me, and I looked at the girl dubiously, who also made no attempt to reach for the woman. Unsure of what to do, I put the girl down, and she was quiet now, and followed the woman, so I walked away. I noticed when I returned to my aisle that the women who had been watching were STILL watching, and heard the girl start wailing again. Since I had turned into my aisle and couldn’t see what was happening, the older woman who’d asked me what I was planning to do with the girl said to me, “She’s just telling her, ‘Go, go away, I don’t want you with me.’ She’s waving the girl off.”
I frowned. “What? Why would she do that?” The wailing was sounding hysterical again.
“She’s still doing it,” the woman said, watching something out of my view. “She’s saying, ‘Go away, go.'” The woman imitated the gesture of lifting her arm forward and making a shooing motion with her wrist, pointing away from herself. “She keeps walking away from the little girl.” I looked, and the little girl was once again walking by herself, turning in circles, looking bewildered, wailing. The older woman beelined for the mom. “I’m going to say something to her. This is really making me mad.” I couldn’t see the confrontation, but I watched other women still standing as spectators and gawking. The older woman eventually came back, found me, and said that the mom put the girl in her shopping cart now. “She didn’t want to do it, but she did.” Everything was quiet now.
“Why would she want to do this to her daughter here? The girl’s, what, three?”
“I wouldn’t say she’s even that old. Two, maybe.” Geez.
“I’m glad you said something,” I told her.

I later saw the mom pushing her shopping cart with the now calm toddler in the basket. There was an older girl also there, teen or just pre-teen. I feel like maybe the mom felt like she was punishing the toddler, who maybe didn’t to follow or didn’t want to hold her hand or something, so the mom was doing the overly-dramatic, “Fine then, if you don’t want to be by me, then go away.” She probably thinks she’s teaching the girl a lesson, or she’s immaturely retaliating against the girl’s uncooperation, but I don’t believe this kind of parenting is effective. At this age, the girl’s just terrified and unsure of what to do with her mother, her perceived lifeline, rejecting her and withholding love and security from her. The toddler followed because she didn’t know what else to do, was afraid to approach too closely because she was being continuously rejected, and cried because she was and felt lost. Flashback to me following my mom doing the exact same thing, crying, at one point on my knees begging for forgiveness and even kowtowing and swearing I loved her as my mom either turned her back or looked way coldly, and my sick fear of abandonment. Many times I’ve chased after her as she told me to go away, begging her to take me with her. I must’ve been between ages 4-6, way older than this girl. I wonder if the little girl at the store will remember this, too.

When I returned to Allie, she was quiet and had been observing, wide-eyed. She had seen the crying girl first, before the girl had gotten that hysterical, and had pointed the girl out to me, saying, “Baby.” I kissed my little girl on her fuzzy head, and hoped that she would always be this happy and secure.

Yesterday was a court holiday for me. Thank you, Mr. Lincoln! Mr. W took a personal day off from his work so that we could hang out and celebrate Valentine’s Day early. We still had Jayne come at her regular time (which is getting later and later :/ ) to take care of Allie.

The first thing we did was hit the gym. It’s been too long and too sporadic for me. I felt really good working out and was happy doing it, like I did the last time I worked out before that, and thought once again about how I really should regularly return to the gym. I’ve just gotta figure out when/how. We used to gym during lunchtime on weekdays, but Mr. W isn’t so much into it anymore. He’d rather use that as “lunch date” time since with Allie we can’t go on regular evening dates or outings. I’m considering doing Insanity on my own at work during lunch, but Mr. W isn’t happy to lose his lunch dates.

After the gym, Mr. W found a hotel restaurant that makes sustainable food dishes, so off we went to try out 6ix. He had the breakfast buffet which I thought was just standard continental breakfast hotel stuff, and I had corned beef hash which had 2 poached eggs. I wasn’t sure if corned beef hash was something I’d like, and altho I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s not overly salty like I’d expected, it wasn’t anything to write home about. The smoked salmon and lox from the buffet bar that Mr. W got, however, was excellent, and also not overly salted/smoked.

And then we went to the “pièce de résistance” of our day: Disneyland. We now know our upcoming vacation dates for the year, and were considering a “stay-cation,” as he put it, instead of a trip somewhere far. Mr. W thought it may be fun to take Allie to Disneyland/California Adventure for a few days in the mornings when the crowds aren’t bad, and have her back in time for her noon nap. And then for a few more days, we can say in San Diego for the San Diego Zoo. Of course this means annual passes would be needed. So after years of not having annual passes, Mr. W and I got a lower-level annual pass for each of us yesterday. The price had almost tripled since our last pass-holding about 5 years ago. Over $350 per person! Good Goofy and Oh My Mickey! We opted not to add on more money for included parking, so we just parked in the area for Downtown Disney and ordered a drink each at the Uva Bar for the parking validation. The two drinks cost $30, so actually, we may has well have paid for parking that day and saved ourselves the calories. =P

Disneyland and California Adventure was fun. We only rode the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story’s Astro Blasters, and a new Little Mermaid “underwater” ride, since the lines were irresistibly short. The purpose of the trip was mainly a scouting mission to check out the new Cars Land (meh) in California Adventure and to see where we would take Allie so our future trips with her would be efficient.
I’ve never noticed how many babies were at Disneyland before. Or maybe there are more babies there now than there used to be (they’re free until age 2). I watched a mom buy a Mickey-head-shaped ice cream sandwich and feed it to her baby in the stroller. The kid couldn’t have been more than 7-8 months old, and it wasn’t like the mom was eating the ice cream herself. She seemed to have bought it solely for the baby, who didn’t even seem particularly interested. She opened her mouth, but didn’t know how to bite down on the sandwich, so she closed her mouth again, and when the mom kept trying and the baby got some ice cream, she kind of pulled away from the coldness and made a face. Mom kept trying to feed it to her. I don’t know what the point is. Isn’t it good to keep the junk food away from the baby when the baby isn’t even asking for it, yet? When we left the area, the baby had taken a few bites the mom was still trying to get more in the baby’s mouth. It was at Disneyland that I had first seen baby bottles filled with Coke, too.

After Disneyland, we got home early to snatch up a crabby Allie (she only napped an hour, even tho she normally naps less with Jayne than with us for whatever reason) and a yowling Dodo and had a family trip to the vet. It was a long-overdue visit so the vet could teach us how to administer shots to Dodo to help with his severe anemia. Thankfully, Mr. W said he could do the shots. I didn’t think I’d heard right when he first said it, and I made him confirm it. He thinks shots are easier than administering liquid meds into Dodo’s mouth which Mr. W has always refused to do. Granted, the shots are a once-a-day, every-other-day thing for a 2-week course, so it’s only 6 shots, and the meds are twice a day, every day, 5 oral syringes’ worth daily. But I still have the heebie jeebies about stabbing living things with needles. The vet demonstrated for Mr. W with a saline shot into the skin of Dodo’s upper back, Mr. W did a practice shot with the saline, and then he did a “real” shot with the medication. Dodo was great and very tolerant, but I did see him flinch when Mr. W stabbed him. 🙁 My poor baby boy.

Once in awhile, when the stepkidlet actually has time to spend at home on her own without having to rush off to classes, internships, church, or social obligations with her boyfriend/friends, Allie would hear music coming from the stepkidlet’s bedroom, stop and do a little wiggle-wiggle dance while snapping her fingers, then run down the hall and knock on the stepkidlet’s door. When the stepkidlet opens the door and sees Allie by herself in the hallway, I’d hear a big dramatic gasp and a “HIIIIII, baby! Come IN!” I leave them to do their own entertaining in there and would do whatever I needed to in the kitchen, cleaning up Allie’s bowls after a meal or prepping her next meal or whatever. And I would hear a “Show mom! Show mom!” Then Allie would come walking carefully down the hall and appear in the kitchen with a pretty scarf around her neck, a trendy hat on her head, or fashionista sunglasses on her face. After she shows me, she’d run back to the stepkidlet’s room. This is a normal occurrence.

Yesterday, when I heard the “show mom,” I turned and looked down to see Allie walk in with a long-handled makeup brush in her fist held behind her head, like she was brushing her hair with it. The stepkidlet came in behind her and gave a cue. “What do we do with that? Show mom what we do with that.”
Allie suddenly pointed the makeup brush toward her chin, wiggled her hips back and forth rhythmically, and said while wiggling, “Yah yah YAH yah yaaaah!”
“What are you doing?” I asked. “What is that?”
“It’s a MICROPHONE!” the stepkidlet said gleefully as Allie turned and ran back down the hall toward the stepkidlet’s room. I think someone’s being groomed to be a performer.

“Hey mommy.”
“Yes, Allie?”
“Do you know what today is?”
“It’s Saturday.”
“More than that, it’s Lunar New Year’s Eve! It’s almost the Year of the Snake!”
“Oh, is that why you made me wear this today?”
“Yes, mommy, it sure is. Now let’s wish your blog readers a Happy New Year!”

“Gong xi fah tsai!”

Yesterday for Allie’s second Chinese New Year’s Eve (see her first here), we met up with my parents and grandma in Irvine for dim sum. Allie was at first a little pensive that her dim sum experience would be like last time.

But it wasn’t. We let her have some dim sum. Those molars came in handy. She didn’t seem bothered by the MSG, but I limited her food anyway, making sure she had a full breakfast before leaving so what she had was just a snack. She behaved pretty well at the restaurant, altho she kept freaking my grandma out because she’d lean back in her chair to look up at the ceiling decorations, and my grandma thought she would flip herself out of her high chair. Allie ate everything we placed in front of her — sticky rice, shrimp, egg tart, those long flat noodle things that they wrap shrimp in, steamed veggies and meatballs. After lunch, her grandpa told her shocking secrets about what was really in those mystery meatballs.

Then we all came back to our house. My grandma and parents had Allie distribute the red envelopes. “Give this to Dada.” “Give this to Mama.” “Give this to Po-Po.”

So Allie did; she brought envelopes to Tai-Po. She brought envelopes to Gong-Gong.

Here she is bringing me one.

It wasn’t until we checked our envelopes after everyone had left that we realized my grandma had lost her mind. She’s on a fixed income (collecting social security and a meager teacher’s retirement salary) and gave me, Mr. W and Allie an envelope each. I was already shocked at the amount in mine and Mr. W’s, and then the amount in Allie’s was more than triple ours. We put the cash aside in an envelope labeled “Money to Return to Grandma (Slowly).” Because if we try to just push it back at her, she’d be offended. So we’ll have to wait for special occasions for which she CAN’T return a red envelope, such as her bday, to give her this crazy amount of money back. We may have to split it up between several occasions, though, or it’d look suspicious. Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc. But she’d still know it’s the same money being pushed around. Such is the Chinese way. =P

It’s nice having just one nap a day so we have so much time to do stuff in. I think Allie still gets sleepy around her usual morning nap time, but we try to be out so she’s distracted and would stay stimulated. We go to Costco, play at the park, have brunch out. And then we give her an earlier lunch (around 11:30a) and then put her in her crib early (around noon). She now takes less than 10 minutes to fall asleep, where before her latency time was more like 30-45 minutes. I used to think there was a problem that she wasn’t immediately zonking out until I read that the average well-rested toddler plays in their crib for half an hour before putting him/herself to sleep.
With me, Allie would typically sleep 2.5-3 hours or more in total, but for some reason, with Jayne she’s getting 1.5 hours or so.
The only weird thing about this nap from my experience is that during her usual brief wake-ups between sleep cycles, when she’d roll and switch positions and go back to sleep every half hour or so, now she wakes up and WAILS. It doesn’t last long, and she’s usually back to sleep in a minute or two after she lays back down, but I don’t know why it’s such drama when she’s up in between her natural sleep cycles now. So it’s not uncommon for 2-3 stand-up-and-wail sessions for a couple of minutes each to happen during each nap from what I’ve experienced.
I haven’t seen this adversely affect her night sleep at all. She does drop to sleep at bedtime faster since she’s up for a longer period of time after her noon nap and has actually fallen asleep more than a few times nursing and was transferred into her crib asleep. She still may wake briefly to switch positions between sleep cycles, but it’s silent and she’s barely awake when she moves around and resettles. She’d usually be asleep close to 7p and wake up on her own a little after 6a. So it’s been really nice.
Some moms have told me, when Allie was months old, that “all” babies stop sleeping through the night at 9, 10 months and again at 14-18 months, but so far, so good. Those mommies that have told me this opted not sleep train their babies and they co-slept, so I’m not sure if that may have something to do with their experiences. I don’t know why co-sleeping babies would wake up during the night; I would’ve thought feeling mommy and daddy asleep next to them would lull them back to sleep. But we’ve never co-slept so I have no idea. I wouldn’t have been against co-sleeping, but I never considered it because Mr. W was adamantly against it from the beginning, and this is an issue you need both parents onboard for.

Allie was put in her crib earlier at noon, was asleep before 12:15, and 20 minutes in, she sat up and wailed a couple of times. Then she looked around, stunned, pulled her blanket up to herself and hugged it while it was all bunched up, then rolled to her side, and went back to sleep, all within 1 minute. It’s now been 54 total minutes of sleep time. If she wakes up by 2:30 or so, we should be able to visit with Rebecca at the coffee shop. 🙂

Allie and I took a couple of trips to playground parks this past weekend. Both days, it seemed to have been Daddy Day. I can only imagine that the dads were out with their kids because the moms were at home making Super Bowl food. *shrug*
I noticed while at the park with Allie that she’s past the “parallel play” point and is now fully interactive with other kids. She gets really excited when she sees kids and will go right up to them, try to hold their hand, wave and say “hi,” hand them her most precious asset (a leaf, rock or twig she’d found moments ago on the ground). She watched and followed and played along with a crowd of 5 kids crawling around a wooden playhouse boat over the weekend. She didn’t climb the counters and stuff like the older kids did, but she was inside the house and looking through the windows and touching the kids’ arms and exchanging leaves and twigs with them. A little girl who couldn’t have been more than 4 years old or so said to me, “What’s her name?”
“This is Allie.”
“Allie. You have a really cute baby.” I’m amazed because I have never been into babies, even as a kid, and it was most noticeable who the nurturing girlfriends were as teens because they’d coo and go right up to a kid and talk about how cute some kid was when I would hardly realize a kid were there. Now I’m thinking it’s a personality trait (to be nurturing and kid-oriented) from very, very young. That little girl would make a great big sister, how gentle she was with Allie. When Allie handed her a fallen leaf, she took it, held onto it for a few seconds, and when Allie reached again, she gave it back. She watched Allie carefully, moved slowly and attentively so she didn’t scare Allie or knock her over.

On the other side of the spectrum, when Allie was at a different park on Sunday morning, she was standing by a zebra rocker and a 3-4 year old girl with curly dark hair pushed between Allie and the zebra, wanting to get on the zebra. I pulled Allie back a bit as Allie watched, fascinated by the rocking motion. After Allie stared for awhile, I walked on and said to Allie, “Come on, baby, let’s leave her alone to play.” Allie still watched the other girl. “Come on, Allie, let’s go on the slide.” I reached out my hand, which Allie took, feet still firmly planted and unmoving. The little girl actually said to Allie, in an almost-whisper as if she thought I wouldn’t hear, “Go away! Go on, go away! Leave! Go!” How rude. That probably would’ve been me at that age. Someday she’d have to tolerate her mom telling her to have kids despite not liking kids because “It’ll be different when it’s YOUR kid.”

Actually, it IS different when it’s your kid, cuz when it’s your kid, you think the smallest thing is hilarious. Like when Allie was doing something funny over the weekend and I said to her, “You goofball.” She ran off and then ran back holding her big rubber ball out to me, saying, “Ball.” And when Mr. W was ticking off his grocery list to make almond-anise biscotti from scratch, he said, “Butter, sliced almonds, white flour –” and Allie interrupted with a loud “*SNIFF SNIFF*” “Haha, that’s a different kind of ‘flower,’ baby.” “*SNIFF SNIFF*”

Speaking of tolerating what moms say, my mom told me this weekend to have Allie watch TV. According to my mom, Allie isn’t talking because she has no TV to learn speech from. As if we don’t talk to her! As if she’s not talking! As if TV is good for her developing brain! I didn’t bother to go into that and dealt with it how I always deal with unsolicited advice from my mom — by biting my tongue.

Mr. W is coming out of his sickness. Since the end of last week, he’s been quarantined in his bedroom and ate very little for the first few days. To keep the spread of viruses to a minimum, he hasn’t touched Allie, has no part in preparation of food, touches as few surfaces as possible, and what he does touch, I wipe down with a Lysol wet-wipe (doorknobs, counters, keyboard, mouse, etc). It’s been a little hard on me to have 100% baby duty, but it’s worth it if Allie could escape the norovirus. I’ve been taking my vitamins, extra Vitamin C, had an organic kale salad with the juice of an entire lemon the first evening, chicken soup, anything to keep the immune system up. I’ve even been sleeping downstairs on the couch. Allie’s been getting a Mandarin orange with her lunch and dinner, which she loves so that’s great.

It’s funny and sad to watch Allie play Marco Polo with Mr. W. When we come back from our walks or during her meal or just at random times, Allie would get a playful gleam in her eye, smile, and then call out, “Dah-dah?”
“Allie?” would come a response from the bedroom.
“Allie?” When Allie hears the reply, she would smile all excitedly and then go back to whatever she was doing. For Mr. W, it’s not fun and games as much as painful. “She’s calling me and I can’t go to her or touch her.” He was so sad. I honestly don’t think Allie’s noticed that Mr. W hasn’t been touching her. When she wants cuddling, she still comes to me, sits in my lap, or raises her arms to me to be picked up. Mr. W is the “play” parent. I’m the “comfort” parent. Since I’ve been both the past few days, she’s been fine with Mr. W as just the “mystery voice” parent. I mean, she’s knows it’s him, when she hears a noise she’d point toward it and identify it to me with, “Dah-dah!” But then she moves on.

The Sydney norovirus is contagious for 3 days after symptoms have alleviated, so Mr. W would effectively have an entire week of not having anything to do. I wish he’d take over medicating Dodo since I have to do everything else, but he hates doing that, and instead has been so bored in the bedroom he’s watched a ton of movies on his iPad, jailbroke his iPad3, even cut his hair when he was still febrile. Over the weekend he even washed all the sheets on his bed, but since he was still sick, I consider the sheets re-contaminated and still haven’t slept upstairs.

It was exactly a year ago today that Allie caught the RSV bug from Mr. W, who’d been sick with it from work. Hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

Mr. W complained last night of stomachache, but he has an oddly sensitive digestive system, so I didn’t think it was anything unusual. By lunchtime when I called him, he sounded listless and thick-voiced.
“Were you napping?” I asked him.
“No, I’m sick. My body is achy, I feel weak, my stomach still hurts, and I have a headache.” Oh, crap. The current super-norovirus from Sydney, Australia has these symptoms, plus vomiting and/or diarrhea. It’s not the H3N1 flu that’s been ravaging the country, which our flu vaccine this year covers. I know that one of Mr. W’s coworkers had been out the first three days this week with norovirus symptoms and when it’d first started, he’d thought it was food poisoning (a common misidentification given the symptoms). He’s back to work now but still not feeling better. This Sydney norovirus remains contagious up to 3 days after the person has recovered, and is apparently so hardy that it withstands temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit and transmits itself to different victims through even cooked food. It’s running rampant in our county jail system, and sick inmates have been quarantined, court hearings have had to be continued when inmates couldn’t be transported to court due to all the quarantines and sickness. When you share a toilet in the open with fifty other men any given time, you tend to spread illness especially when diarrhea is a symptom. Makes me glad that we’re doing a civil trial and not a criminal trial with an in-custody defendant.
Mr. W said he may just take the afternoon off so that he could nap at work (he can’t leave early cuz we carpooled and I’m in trial). I said, “Okay, I’ll call you every 10 minutes to check up on you.”
“Don’t you DARE,” he said, sounding serious.
“Or what?” I challenged.
He thought for a few seconds and then said, “Or I’m going to play with Allie when we get home.”
Big loud suck of air from me as I gasped in disbelief. “Don’t you DARE!”
At least he laughed. But now I’m all paranoid that Allie’s gonna get norovirus after she’d just recovered from her cold. 🙁 It’s going to be tough having 100% Allie duty without help or the ability to hand her off while I do her dishes or prep her food, but I think it’s worth quarantining Mr. W to the bedroom if it means Allie can stay healthy. Diarrhea is more common in adults, vomiting in children. Both put the sick person in danger of dehydration and in children, malnutrition.
“If I catch this from you,” I told Mr. W, “I’m going to eat a bunch of cupcakes.” Even with that enticement, I’m still hoping what Mr. W has is not the super norovirus from Sydney.