Monday, May 11, 2015

Parenthood: Week 100 – The Magic Dragon

As I carefully picked up Ollie out of his crib, I could feel a fever emanating from his body. He whimpered quietly as I picked him up and I lifted him high up on my chest so that he could snuggle into the side of my neck. It was clear us that Ollie was sick and as I headed off to work, leaving Ollie in Diana’s care I wished there was something I could do to make him feel better.

Diana took Ollie to the doctor, and while we were thankful that Ollie didn’t have any other symptoms besides a fever, we were frustrated. Ollie’s energy was low, and he wasn’t his normal silly and inquisitive self. He was irritable and cranky and all of the things that usually got him in a better mood were not working.

I got back home after work as soon as I could. When I got home Ollie wasn’t doing worse, but he wasn’t doing a lot better. He didn’t eat a lot for dinner but we managed to get some fluids in him. Diana had made some commitments that took her out of the house for the evening, and we both felt that Ollie wasn’t so bad that she had to stay home so I found myself alone with my little sick son.

Ollie didn’t want to do anything but cuddle, but every time I held him close he got restless and wanted to be released from my arms. As soon as he was down, he would ask again for me to hold him. So I turned on some Sesame Street and he lay down of my chest as I reclined on the couch. He seemed comfortable, but he still seemed unsettled.

I turned off the television, reached to my iPhone and played “Puff The Magic Dragon.” He gently said “Puff,” and settled back down on my chest and finally relaxed. As soon as the song was done, he sat up on my torso and said “more Puff,” and I played the song again. After the fourth time, I simply put the song on repeat and we lay there together for almost a half an hour hearing about the land of Honali.

I carried him upstairs for his bath. This usually relaxing activity was full of crying and screaming. The rest of the bedtime routine didn’t go very smoothly either.

In Ollie’s bedroom, I placed Ollie against my chest as I sat in the rocking chair and again played “Puff The Magic Dragon.” Every time we got to the end, he would pick his head up off my chest and say “more Puff. Each time we got to the end of the song his request would get quieter, barely a whisper, until one time at the end of the song, there was silence and Ollie was asleep.

We probably listened to “Puff The Magic Dragon,” for more than an hour that night and not once did I feel like I was getting sick of this song (I’ve written about this song in this blog post). There’s a special place that I hold Peter, Paul and Mary for creating such a wonderful song that along with my embrace could bring him peace.

Like all parents, I hate it when Ollie was sick, but there was special that I will never forget about cuddling him and listening to “Puff The Magic Dragon” as he fell asleep.

Ollie doesn’t need me to rock him to sleep anymore. And it’s nice to now that even though he’s older, there are still times that he needs me to cuddle with him and along with a little help from Puff, I can make my son feel better.

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