Sunday, February 04, 2024

How it's going

By yesterday Benjamin was feeling poorly—though testing negatively—so we left all the big kids at home to either recuperate or do homework, depending on whether they were sick or whether they are teenagers, and headed to the park for some carefree, unmasked, fresh air time:

The teenagers are not sick. 

But yesterday Zoë was definitely sick and Benjamin was definitely sick and Phoebe was wilting by the afternoon (and after a terrible night tested positive this morning). 

When Zoë heard that Phoebe had tested positive she called out from her sickbed in the entertainment room, "Phoebe tested positive for COVID?!!! Yippee!! Can we be couch buddies??? I mean…oh, that’s too bad…"

She has been so lonely in her little isolation chamber (Benjamin, on the other hand, has the Switch with him and has made no complaints). So Phoebe ended up on the couch with Zoë for a while:

I was glad to have a bit of a break from her because she's clingy and fussy and I'm afraid that all her clinging and fussing isn't helping with my viral load. I even slept with my mask on once she climbed into bed with me. I know that sleeping in a mask isn't entirely recommended but...I really didn't want her breathing in my face all night. I'm a little bit frightened about all the germs she's been liberally sharing with me.

A few things Phoebe has shared with us about her experience are:

"Phoebe's hot!"

"Phoebe hurts!"

(Excellent descriptors of fever + aches)

"Please me nursing! Please! Please nursing! Please! Just a little bit nursing. Just a little... One minute! Mom—one minute nursing. Please!"

(We cut our bedtime feed back in December, but she was so miserable last night that I let her nurse to sleep. It took more than one minute. Tonight when I was putting her to bed (the second time) she instead said, "Read to me little bit," so she must be feeling better already).

"Shadow scared me last night."

(This might not have anything to do with COVID, but it did inspire a two-hour middle-of-the-night party. I tried to convince her that the shadow scared her this night, but she was pretty sure it was last night she was scared, not this very night that she woke up frightened.)

"Popsicles? YAY!"

(Andrew ran to the store to get muffins, cheese wheels (BabyBel), and apples, since those are the only things Phoebe wants to eat. "And if you want to be a real hero, you could pick up some popsicles," I told him. So he did. Because we already went through the box Grandpa and his, uh, fiancée brought over (more on that later)).

She's actually often in pretty good spirits. Here she is walking on the wall during our lunch (which we took outside (we've all been eating in shifts, and mostly in solitude, which is weird for us because mealtime togetherness is kind of a big deal over here)):

And here's Zoë climbing a tree during our lunch break (break from what? Watching Bluey mostly; we're sick, okay?):

When she's not coughing she's feeling great, so we plan on testing her in the next day or two to see if she's still positive (and shedding virus) or whether she just has a lingering cough. I imagine Benjamin and Phoebe will be sick for a few days more. Alexander has no symptoms, but his temperature did register at 99°F at a couple of checks we'll see what the morning (or middle of the night) brings us. 

Anyway, all this is to say that to keep herself from getting too bored, Zoë has been calling various people. She called my sister Kelline yesterday. Maybe Uncle Patrick as well (I can't remember). 

Today she called Auntie Josie and talked to her, telling her that "all the kids except Alex were sick" and had to check in with me about it because apparently Zoë doesn't consider Rachel and Miriam kids.

Andrew thought this was terribly funny is. 

But, uh, I distinctly remember thinking my sisters Abra and Kelline were 100% grown up when...they were clearly not. Like, when Abra would have friends over for game nights or movie nights (Kelli never had friends over like that because of long story reasons), I legitimately thought the house was filled with grown ups. 

It wasn't. It was filled with teenagers. 

I simply couldn't tell the difference between teenagers and grown ups. 

I'm not sure there is a big difference between teenagers and grown ups. I mean, I know there's that whole prefrontal cortex thing (but that developmental process isn't typically complete until age 25...the age I was when I was married and had a college degree and a couple of that can't be the line defining adolescents versus adults). Puberty typically ends between 15 and 17 (when kids are still solidly considered adolescents here), so physically teens often do look just like grown ups. The legal definition in various cultures "fluctuates between 16 and 25 years" (just take a look at legal driving ageslegal drinking ages, and voting ages around the world).

All I'm saying is...I completely understand Zoë's confusion over whether her sisters qualify as "kids" or not. 

To me, to Auntie Josie, to Andrew, to many others, Rachel and Miriam are very clearly still kids. 

To Zoë's a little less clear. 

And that's okay.

Anyway, Andrew, Rachel, Miriam, and I were able to get the latest booster, so we're hoping we'll be well protected against whatever strain the children are battling. We were unable to find a place that had/would administer the booster to children under age 14, so they've done without it so far (which has made me a little nervous for...this very reason...and now here we are living the dream nightmare). 

At least it seems to be going much more gently on us this time around (says me, who hasn't had it, from the kids' behaviour, I think they're feeling less terrible than last time, though who am I to say, really, I was one of the first to catch it last time and was so very sick that I hardly did anything with the kids for days and days; Andrew would bring Phoebe into me for feedings, but other than that it was mostly just him taking care of everybody...but, like, it seems like this time is milder for us).


  1. I am glad it is going better (milder sickness) this time around.

  2. Congratulations to Reid! Hope you all get well soon!

  3. Congrats to Grandpa! I mean, Reid! :) I'm glad COVID hasn't been as bad this time for your kids. Hope they are feeling much better now!