Friday, March 16, 2012

The Infirmary

Shortly after our move our oldest daughter Renee, then in second grade, brought home an unexpected surprise - Chicken Pox.  I was thrilled - to say the least.  Renee had a total of sixteen spots on her entire body.  She never felt bad and was hard to keep in bed.  Two weeks later Eddie came down with them.  Two weeks later Lynlie came down with them.  Two weeks later Elizabeth came down with them.  Spots, to this day, give me shivers.

Eddie and Lynlie had lots more spots than Renee, but poor baby Elizabeth had a hundred times more than all three of them combined.  To make it even worse, she was cutting teeth at the same time.  She wanted to be held all the time and if she fell asleep and I laid her down, she screamed like a banshee.  I cooked with her in my arms.  I cleaned with her in my arms.  I dressed the other children with her in my arms.  I even slept in a rocking chair with her in my arms.

Back in those days they had long sleeved undershirts for babies and you could fold the sleeves over their tiny little hands so they couldn't scratch themselves.  Scratching chicken pox tends to leave scars and I didn't want that.  She was so cute when she rubbed her little sleepy eyes with her mittened hands.  She was not so cute when she banshee screamed when I laid her down.  So we rocked and she slept.  We rocked and she cooed.  We rocked and she pooed.  We rocked and I changed diapers.  We rocked and she ate.  We rocked for two solid weeks before the spots were gone, the teeth were through, and she was content to sleep in her own bed. 

Just about the time things settled down and we were free of the chicken pox and I thought my nursing days were over for awhile, guess who came down with a cold.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't lay down.  I couldn't stand up without getting dizzy.  So for the next two weeks I rocked and I rocked. 

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