Last night my girls came home sick. Yes, both of them. And I can feel my body screaming, "Me too, me too! I wanna piece of that action!"
Well forget it, bod. We're staying healthy until this long weekend coming up.
Friday is the celebrated holiday Children's Day. On this day, people like to drag their kids to Children's Grand Park (I've been there, and it really is quite grand when it's not packed with snotty whining brats) and buy them stuff. Until they hit middle school, at which time most of them are pretty much cut off.
On top of that, I am giving exams today and Wednesday, so I give my students their next class off. In other words, Thursday, Friday and Monday. Poor Friday students, they're forced to waste a perfectly good holiday.
So I've got myself a five day weekend coming up. And believe me, I will be resting lots in between grading exams.
But back to Maxine's cold. (Sorry, I'm tired enough to be very easily distracted). She wasn't sneezing or coughing any more than usual (less than I do), but she was running a fever of up to 38.6 C. Fortunately for me, last night while taking her temperature I didn't realize that that was over 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Horyon managed to sponge bath her down to less than 100, and they slept together on the living room floor. Apparently Maxine slept fitfully, requiring occasional basting, feeding and watering.
This morning she was much better. Her temperature was down to around 99 degrees, and she was in a better mood. Horyon had to go to school, because in Korea you don't stay home when your baby is sick. (I apologize if that sounds bitter or angry. Trust me, it's not as bitter or angry as I actually feel about it.) Thankfully, Horyon's parents came to our home early, and we went together to our pediatric hospital. The doctor read through Horyon's written account of the previous evening and night, reassured us that everything would be OK (a doctor's main job, don't you think?), wrote us out a prescription (because nothing reassures like medicine), and sent us on our way.
While mother- and father-in-law went to the pharmacy, I fed Maxine and she went to sleep in my arms.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here, but having Maxine go to sleep in my arms is one of those high points of being a father. It's a lot like having Horyon fall asleep in my arms, except that I can pick Maxine up without straining, and I'm less likely to bang her head on the door frame. I'm not sure exactly why it feels so good to have a baby fall asleep in your arms. I think that part of it is the trust issue: Maxine does not think, even for a second, that I might drop her, or draw a magic marker mustache on her while she's sleeping. Part of it is the transition she makes. One minute she looking around, trying to grab my beard/nose/glasses/hair/clothes, trying to escape, and whining a bit, the next minute she is drooling all over my shoulder and emitting cute little baby snores. While she's sleeping, her entire body is so relaxed. You can open and close her hand, position her arms and legs, draw a magic marker mustache on her. Whatever you want. Her hands are so soft and warm. She doesn't have the tough skin that we have from dealing with the world all day long for year after year. When she sleeps in my arms, I am at peace with the world. Test grading, grade distribution, traffic, and the lack of a good BBQ restaurant on this continent are all a million miles away.
So yeah, last night I could have used more sleep. It would have been nice to go to bed with my wife. It would have been wonderful if Maxine had been her usual healthy self. But I'll take it the way it is, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.