The sickest winter of Elliott's young life continues. Daycare called me Monday to let me know he had a fever of 102 and rising. I took Elliott to the doctor Tuesday, his fever still blazing. An ear infection was identified as the illness of the week. Of Elliott's recent ailments, this has been unquestionably the toughest to deal with, at least from my vantage point. When he has been sick previously, most times it was difficult to tell outside of a thermometer reading or his breakfast hurling across the couch. His discomfort was masked by a resiliency that minimized even our pain. But this time is different.
Monday night, about an hour before his normal bath time, Elliott looked at me with red, watery eyes and said "Elliott ready for night night." My heart hadn't felt such a sudden dismantling since I caught Katie crying during a Hallmark commercial (an incident she continues to blame on an emotionally charged mixture of hormones and pregnancy). Oh, how I long for one of those masks now.
Elliott continues to struggle today with the fever and other unpleasant symptoms of sickness. Katie contacted the doctor and he thinks it may be another visit from the stomach virus he hosted at Christmas, just a different strain. Nice of the whole family to stop by. Luckily, the Nuthouse daycare is versatile. It serves as daycare for one child, Ian, and as an infirmary for the other, brother Elliott. Of course, the center is only as versatile as its owners; God bless grandma and grandpa. Grandma downplays their efforts and in turn gives much credit to the King of Casual - Ian. "You hardly know he is here unless he is laughing at the fan or Elliott," she says.
There are noticeable differences between Elliott and Ian at this young age. Elliott has never been easy-going. I think the nature of his birth dictated that. He came into this world fighting for his life, and while the nature of his battles has softened, he continues to plow through life with that same sense of urgency. It's like he came into the world unequipped with brakes and has since decided he doesn't want any.
Ian on the other hand, he just idles. Mind you, he idles fast. There is no other explanation for his constant need for mom to "add fuel". But Ian came into this world about as quietly and normally as a child can. The date, the time, the means, they were all planned ahead of time, and almost to the minute, that's the way it happened. Ian kicks back and whistles while the rest of us scurry about taking care of each other; taking care of him. He smiles often. Maybe appreciation for our efforts, maybe he's thinking "that looks fun and all, but if you don't mind, I think I'll catch up with you later." Something tells me he will.
Neither pace is better or worst - at least not at this young age. But someday the two will collide. Ian, the slow moving freight train, and Elliott, the Volkswagen bug with a jet engine. They will probably collide more than once. I have no idea what to expect, but I'll love watching it. Who knows, maybe Elliott will decide he'd rather be a train. Maybe Ian will unleash a burst of speed he'd previously kept hidden. Other than the entertainment value, it doesn't much matter. We'll love them both all the while.