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Another First (Not The Good Kind)

Madeleine’s achieved another milestone –

Her first

I’m shamefacedly admitting that Madeleine is over a year
old and has never been sick. Not because it makes us bad parents or
anything, but because I know all you folks out there who have
experienced the trauma of a sick child don't want to hear any bragging
like that. We’re pretty happy with her health record- not looking
forward to vomiting and diarrhea and sleepless nights – and were hoping
to continue the streak a bit longer.

And we sort of can, but sort
of can’t.

See, Madeleine started drooping around a bit on Thursday, being a little
quiet and cuddly. I noticed she seemed warm and took her temperature.
102!!! Uh oh!!!

A call to the pediatrician revealed that we’d
have a couple days of fever, followed by whatever illness the fever
foretold. That was the bad news.

The good news? She’s old
enough to take infant Motrin.

Twenty minutes later, Maddie was
racing around the coffee table and singing to herself again. I swear,
that stuff is infant cocaine. Her fever was gone and she was happy as a

Friday the fever was very mild, and we dosed with Motrin
only as necessary. She never had any other side effects, and we thought
perhaps it was a fever bug and that would be it.

Then Saturday,
we saw spots. Yep, she seemed to have a rash, and we watched it spread
all Saturday. Fortunately, it appeared to bother her not at all, and
her fever was completely gone.

A flurry of phone calls and we
narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities; roseola, or a reaction to
a vaccine from her one-year visit. The roseola we pretty much ruled out
– it seems to be a different type of rash, a different spread pattern,
and a higher fever.

So we thought it was either the rubella
vaccine, which can cause fever and a rash, or the chicken pox vaccine,
which can cause fever and a mild case of, wait for it, chicken pox. The
doctor encouraged us to take her to the emergency room if it would make
us feel better but seemed unconcerned so we opted not to drag her
through that. Instead, we spent Saturday staring at her body and
watching to see if the spots would turn into the tell-tale liquid-filled
bumps signaling the pox.

Maddie, it should be added, had a grand
time running around naked and getting mommy and daddy’s undivided
attention all day, while Mommy and Daddy, keeping her quarantined just
in case, went a bit stir-crazy. How quickly we come to depend on the

Sunday saw a few more spots but no change in them. Her
little chubby legs and feet and hands and arms were covered with a rash,
but still no liquid. To be safe, still quarantined.

And then
Monday the rash began to dissipate. Her skin’s coming back to normal
and the spots are slowly retreating to from whence they came. I don’t
know that we’ll ever know which she had; the rubella or chicken pox
reaction. Either way, she was dotted and now is not (for the most

So she’s had her first illness, though we’re happy to
blame it on the vaccines and we’re aware of how lightly we got off;
aside from the fever in the beginning, she felt fine and didn’t seem
bothered at all. And if we had to do it all again, we’d still go with
the vaccine. I’d much rather have this incredibly mild whatever-it-was
than the full-blown pox with all its itching and scarring. Trust me,
this is better.

She’s back on track and we’re back out in the
neighborhood, thankfully. But I do confess, I’ll miss seeing her little
naked body all day. 


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