Philip’s sick day

“Philip got sent home from school.”

My stomach sank after Peter spoke these words. I wasn’t surprised to get his phone call at work. I debated over going to work this morning. Not only did I think that I should stay home, I wondered if Philip should too. In fact, I was thinking that I should take Philip to the pediatrician during the morning walk-in hours.

Just before midnight, Philip awoke in tears. Just a couple of hours earlier, I had been happy. For the second night in a row, I had been able to put Philip to bed before he was asleep. I was hoping that we may start a new pattern. On the first night that this happened, Philip awoke just before 2 am. But I let him be, we both fell back asleep.

Last night, however, I could tell that I couldn’t ignore Philip. Two weeks ago, Philip came down with a head cold. A week later, he seemed to have improved, but Peter got sick. Then, over the weekend, the congestion returned to Philip’s head along with an occasional cough. Since Philip didn’t have a fever, I figured that he just needed time to get over his cold.

Yesterday evening, I noticed that Philip was touching his ears more. Ear touching is one of his stereotypical behaviors, so I didn’t immediately think there was a problem. But when he awoke last night, I noticed that he was actually rubbing his ears, not just touching his ear lobes. And he just didn’t seem like he could get comfortable. Usually he likes to have his back rubbed, but he pushed my hand away. And then he wanted to be held. And then he didn’t want to be touched. He yawned and rubbed his eyes, obviously tired, but he just couldn’t get back to sleep. Thick phlegm had awakened him, making it hard to breathe, but something else seemed to be keeping him awake.

Philip hates being covered by a blanket, but I noticed that he seemed to be curling up to stay warm. I thought it was feeling rather chilly myself, so I got the heavy quilt, folded it up and laid it on top. He would tolerate this make-shift weighted blanket for a while, and then push it away.

After two hours of tossing and turning, I decided to see if the steam of a warm shower would help clear his head and relax Philip for sleep. Philip usually loves the sensation of the water on his body, but not last night. He cried the entire time. I chalked it up to fatigue, forgetting about how he rejected my touch earlier.

Fortunately, even though he did not enjoy the shower, it seemed to help his head. Once he was dried and redressed, he sat on the couch. I didn’t hear the mucus in his breathing. Unfortunately, the shower seemed to perk him up. But that was only temporarily. Some time around 3 am, Philip finally laid down and went into a fitful sleep.


On Saturday, when we vacuumed, I had picked up Philip’s body pillow off the living room floor and laid it on the couch. Philip hates the sound of the vacuum, so I laid him on his pillow on the couch when we had finished on that side of the room. Ever since, Philip has been putting his pillow on the couch. We’re thrilled, since we worry about the floor being cold.

Scared of yet curious about the sweeper.

Unfortunately, on nights like last night, if Philip is sleeping on the couch, there is no place for Mommy to lay down except the floor. We have two recliners, but the one belongs to Roscoe. The other one would be available, but I have always had trouble sleeping in chairs. So, I laid a blanket and pillow down on the floor and ended up sleeping just as fitfully as Philip. Not only did the floor seem cold, but the air in general felt chilly. Every time I awoke, I tried to make sure Philip was covered up and then I re-wrapped myself in the blankets.

Peter, still not recovered from his own cold, came downstairs after 6 am. With thanks to Nyquil, he had managed to sleep through Philip’s crying, shower and general wakefulness. He agreed that it felt cold in the house, so we checked the thermostat.

The furnace had stopped working over night.

I decided that this explained Philip’s discomfort last night. Sure, he was stuffed up, but he was also cold. When he awoke in the morning, he was fussy and obviously still tired. I didn’t see him rubbing his ears, though, and he had managed to get some sleep. I decided not to take him to the doctor, to take myself to work and send Philip to preschool. I was hoping that, once at school, he would perk up with the activities and then come home to take a good nap.

That’s not how it worked out.

Philip stayed fussy and clingy all morning. The staff noticed that he was touching his ears, and they thought he felt warm. So they called Peter to pick him up. The school director was holding Philip on her lap in the reception area when Peter arrived.

After the phone conversation with Peter, I called the pediatrician and got an appointment for that afternoon. I finished the project I had been in the middle of at work and headed home. I came home to find Philip asleep on the couch.

So, here are the things I learned today:

  • There is shut off valve on furnaces that sometimes get stuck. Your house gets cold when this happens.
  • Philip now weighs 34 pounds.
  • Showing Philip a stethoscope does not impress him or stop him from trying to wriggle away as the nurse or doctor listens to his chest.
  • Those pipe cleaners that he got on Monday remain a good source of entertainment while waiting on the pediatrician.
  • The pediatrician who saw Philip today also has a son with the middle name “Xavier.”
  • Philip has a sinus infection that is putting pressure on his ears and probably causing the discomfort when he sleeps.
  • The drive-through at the pharmacy is really busy, but Philip will sit like a gentleman on the chairs in the store’s waiting area while a prescription is being prepared. Even without the pipe cleaners.
  • Amoxicillin is sticky if it ends up on your hands, wrists, arms, shirt and face and not in your toddler’s mouth.
  • I was wrong when I insisted to Peter that there is no way that I could fall asleep in the recliner. I totally took a nap there this afternoon after returning from the doctor.

5 thoughts on “Philip’s sick day

  1. Don’t even get me started on furnaces….mine is so fussy that if I don’t change our filter every 3 weeks during the heating season….it stops working…:(


What do you have to say about that?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s