Hermine and the Banshee



Shaft the Cat snarfs the bottom of my chin and curls onto my chest as I finally obey his wish to have me sit on the couch with my laptop.


Pet me now, the nudge says. You haven’t paid any attention to me all day.  Instead you carried the banshee around or had her in your lap.  That’s MY lap.

And with a cry, the five minute mark passes and the banshee wails from her room.


The pattern of the day appears to continue into the night, setting a scary precedent for what will follow when CG and I hope to sleep.

Nudge.  Why are you typing and not petting me?

The cries quiet as CG goes into the room to soothe her in hopes that THIS time.. THIS time she will finally get some much needed rest.

You see, The Diva Monster is sick.

Last night, nearly every hour like clockwork, her cries pierced the night and roused CG and I from our sleep. One of us, mostly CG, climbed out of bed in hopes of getting her back to sleep. Sometimes it took 10 seconds. Once, poor CG was up for 45 minutes.

This pattern persisted until 6:30 AM, when she finally slept for 2 hours straight.

This morning when I picked her up, I knew instantly what was wrong.

A fever.

I took her temperature and confirmed my diagnoses. I gave her Tylenol.  I canceled my gym plans.

At first, she was only a little extra cranky. I chalked it up to teething, as she’s cutting 3 teeth.  But as the morning wore on, and the cranky level ratcheted, it became clear that she was no longer my lovable Lil Diva.

She was the Feverish Banshee.

I finally succeeded in getting her to sleep around noon. The Tackler and I rushed to make brownies for CG’s birthday today. Then, as we placed the pan in the oven, not 10 minutes later….

The Banshee woke up… very VERY pissed off.

And then I knew…. it wasn’t JUST teething. Something more nefarious was afoot.

I scheduled a doctors visit for that afternoon and informed CG of my plans.  I expressed my wish to have him join me if possible (as today was also The Day of The Monsoon aka Tropical Storm Hermine – and juggling two kids, one who has hardly slept and feverish and one due for their nap, are circumstances best avoided in nice weather).

I spent most of this time carrying Banshee around the house.  Occasionally I set her down – to make The Tackler lunch for 90 seconds, or take the brownies out of the oven.  Any time she was set down, she screamed like I had just stabbed her with a needle, yanked her favorite toy away, and teased her with her favorite foods but denied them to her – all at once.

Ironically, one of the happiest segments of time today for her was the doctor’s visit, thanks to it falling right in the middle of her second Tylenol dose.  Her fever was barely there, and bits of the old Lil Diva peeked through the Banshee veneer.

She smiled. She gave the doctor a, “I have no idea who the hell you are, but I don’t feel like an oven right now so I will allow you to look into my various orifices and tell Mommy what she already knew.

“I see a blister in her mouth, so it’s most likely a virus,” the doctor told me.

“So what you’re telling me, she’s sick, but you think it’s a virus, but really you don’t have a clue, and because it’s a virus, there is basically absolutely nothing I can do for my poor suffering baby girl except dose her with Tylenol and Motrin until she stops running a fever and push fluids on her.”

The doctor re-paraphrased most of my run on sentence. We chatted a while (after all, I should get more than 5 minutes of their time for what they charge, even if insurance dues pay all but the copay).  The doctor left.

I sighed at the colossal waste of time.  The only thing my visit had bought was assurance that there was NOTHING I could do but wait it out. I’d been hoping for something treatable, like an ear infection caused by teething.  Something that would improve for sure after 24 hours and some antibiotics.  It was truly the only reason I took her to the doctor with such non-specific symptoms.

We met up with The Tackler and CG, who ran to the grocery store next door to pick up few things (particularly milk and motrin).  I drove home with the kids and managed to hit a pocket of rain that would’ve surprised Noah.

Lil Diva passed out. Finally.

Upon reaching our home 15 minutes later, I did what I always do when she falls asleep in the car seat: I took her out to lay her in bed.

I chose poorly.

As soon as she was upright, the wailing began anew. And nothing I did, short of taking her outside to watch the downpour, quieted her cries.

We spent a lot of time on our porch today.

I managed to get The Tackler down for a nap but the Banshee would have none of it.

So we hung out. We cuddled. She screamed. We cuddled some more. We danced. We read books. We watched TV. She screamed.

Sometimes, she dozed in my lap. If I dared lay her down, she always woke up within five minutes, if not instantly.

So I just held her.

Her fever spiked again. 103. Scary.

Then the ibuprofen/motrin kicked in.  Signs of Lil Diva were spotted as the Banshee faded a bit.

We had dinner. We ate brownies. The Tackler proudly showed  off the card he’d created for CG this morning.

Although he was even more excited about helping Daddy blow out the candles and eat the brownies.

Lil Diva smiled. She danced with Daddy. I finally got a shower in.She went to bed after some happy book time.

And you already know what happened then.

In the interim, I had to oust Shaft (much to his annoyance) and put The Tackler to bed (usually Daddy’s job) while CG was still busy attempting to Banshee back to sleep for more than 2 minutes.

I had to re-tuck in The Tackler at least four times.  Because he was thirsty. And sick (he wasn’t). And doesn’t like the lightning. Or the thunder. But “I DO like the rain,” which at the current rate makes the earlier rain look a slight mist and would induce feelings of inadequacy in most hurricanes.

NUDGE. Shaft returns to my lap.  I’m not petting him enough, evidently.

Wait. There’s The Tackler again.

Make that five times. This time he wished to look out the window and “see all the rain coming down.”  It’s so loud that even with his music playing in his room, you’d think Niagra Falls was outside his window.

For those that know Texas weather, this is HIGHLY unusual, particularly this time of year.  It has been raining almost constantly, often times heavy since 7 AM (at the least). For the last 2-3 hours, the heaviest rain bands have been over Austin.  If this keeps up, we’ll have at least 10 inches of rain before it’s done.

Tomorrow isn’t going to be pretty, in more ways than one.  We’ll be sleep deprived, but at least we live on semi-high ground.

CG meanwhile spent the last two hours attempting to keep Banshee asleep, with only moderate success. Her fever is spiking again. We’re just biding our time until we can dose her again.

And Thank God, it’s time.

It’s going to be a very very long night.

Shaft glares at me for getting up so many times during HIS cuddle time.  Sorry buddy.

It’s been One of Those Days.

Happy birthday, honey.

** I found a photo of the amount of rainfall we had at the top of this blog entry.. We’re in the white part in the middle of the dark dark purples.. And although it says over 48 hours, all but maybe .1 inches was within a 14 hour time frame in our area.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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2 Responses to Hermine and the Banshee

  1. G-Ma says:

    Thanks for your advice & call.

  2. Pingback: The Difference of a Year | Dances with Chaos

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