Yesterday, JD woke up from his nap with a 102.3 fever.
He was crying and unhappy when he woke up. He took an exceptionally long nap - over 4 hours. He's a good sleeper, but that was long even for him. Sometimes when he wakes up and it's dark, he cries; I thought it was no different.
But when I picked him up, I could tell he was warm. He clung to me and I sat down in the glider next to his crib and rocked for a few minutes. Then he heard his mother in the next room and asked to be put down. After running to our room and jumping into bed with her, he snuggled up close and said, "Yo Gabba Gabba." He spent the next 30 minutes snuggled and silent.
The rest of the night went well. While they watched Gabba, I got some water and some Children's Tylenol (I didn't need a thermometer to tell me he had a fever.) He willingly took his medicine.
Then I went back and heated up a big bowl of chicken soup I'd made the other day. It had tomatoes, corn, garbanzo beans, mirepoix, egg noodles, and shredded soup chicken. When I brought it up, JD said, "Soup, please." How coould I resist? He ate broth, I ate 'stuff'. He was thrilled and kept eating and eating so we were thrilled.
He then came to the kitchen with me and ate two bags of dried apple chips, some animal crackers, and a glass of milk. There we were, JD and I, sitting on the floor in the kitchen. He had a small plastic bowl with animal crackers in his hands, his mouth stuffed. I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. His milk was in a small translucent red plasic glass, while I had milk in a rocks glass. It was a nice, comfortable silence.
He was as happy as I've ever seen him and he was burning up. It was quite the paradox.
When bedtime came, we went to his room and I read Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type for the fifteenth night in a row. Then I turned the light off and he turned toward me so that I would pick him up and set him face down on me. I reclined in the glider and there we were, sitting in the dark. He was laying on me with his arms around my shoulders, his chin nuzzled into my neck. Occasionally, as he has been doing lately, he would pick up his head and lean into my face like he's trying to make out with me, just to turn into my cheek so he can rub his soft cheek against the stubble on mine.
These are the moments when we forget about the discipline, the car throwing, the food flinging, the diaper-changing tantrums. These are the moments when I could care less about missing a hockey game; going out with the boys and drinking doesn't sound like fun. These times are the big bonus paychecks.
It's when I fall in love with being a Dad all over again.