Today started out very well. After breakfast, we got to talk to Ryan (successfully this time.) It actually worked better on the phone than on the computer because we could move around.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the chaotic just as we were about to leave for school. Sam got another nosebleed. Having just talked to the advice nurse about what to do in the event of a nosebleed, I hustled the boys upstairs and put on a Cat in the Hat to try to keep Sam happy while I pinched his nose. The nurse told me that I should do this for about 15 minutes. Sam wouldn’t let me do it for more than 15 seconds. Fortunately, the bleeding stopped after just a few minutes.
Nathan was very helpful. He turned on the TV for us, and started to get a Muppet Show in before Sam insisted on a Cat in the Hat. Then he got his doctor kit out and gave Sam a shot. Once he was washed, Sam picked up the toy syringe and ran around giving shots to everything else in sight – Baby Tiger, his playhouse, the wall, etc.
By the time that Cat in the Hat was over and I had the blood cleaned off Sam and I and my bathroom floor (but not yet off my bedsheets. I didn’t get those into the laundry until the afternoon.) Nathan was half an hour late to preschool.
Sam and I then went home so I could get supplies together for his doctor appointment. Because the appointment was at 11:30, I packed a lunch since a hungry Sam is an unhappy Sam. I tried to pack leftover hotdog, cheese, and apricots, but Sam ate all the apricots as I cut them up, so I packed plums instead.
As we were getting into the car, we ran into Hannah and Jonathan on their way out on a bike ride, so we had to play with them for a few minutes. Then the rest of the morning, both before and after his appointment, Sam kept asking, “Where’s Jonathan? Where did Hannah go?”
Sam really liked the doctor’s waiting room because it had fish and a huge silly thing with spinning parts and different faces on each side. It reminded me of Nathan’s first birthday cake. I think Sam thought I had just brought him there to play so he was a bit put out when we had to go in to actually see the doctor.
He was not at all happy about the poor nurse trying to take his temperature and weigh him and measure his height. I think he was worried that he was in for a repeat of when he had croup earlier this year. Once we got into the actual exam room, though, we had a few minutes to ourselves to have some lunch, which calmed him right down. So the doctor examined him while he ate cheese and hot dog.
It took her about three minutes to decide that he was fine. She looked in his nose, determined there was nothing in there, looked in his ears, listened to his heart and told me that he had probably scraped the inside of his nose while picking it and then broke the scab a few times. She recommended that I put a little vaseline on the inside of his nose and maybe put a humidifier in his room and sent us on our way.
The theory that he scraped the inside of his nose is especially plausible as this morning (before his nose started bleeding) he asked me to cut a fingernail that was rough and a little torn. Then he even sat still voluntarily while I cut all the rest of his fingernails. (Nathan said, “Don’t do mine.”) Ryan, knowing that I couldn’t even cut the guinea pigs’ fingernails without freaking out, will appreciate how nerve-wracking this was for me. To make things worse, every time I made a cut, Sam said, “Ow!” He didn’t yell it and he didn’t jump; he was really quite calm. I think he was responding to the noise of the clippers, since he clearly wasn’t in pain, didn’t move, and held out the next finger for me to do.
On the way home, as we drove past Mountain View City Hall, Sam exclaimed with great joy and astonishment, “Look! A castle!” I suspect that this is the most enthusiastic response Mountain View City Hall has ever generated.
When we got home from the doctor, it was almost naptime, but Sam asked very sweetly for his helmet so he could ride his scooter, so we took a little scooter walk down the block. We found a big cache of ants. To Sam’s delight, one crawled onto his hand. Since ants are quick little buggers, he kept losing track of it and saying, “Where’s the ant?” then he would turn his arm over, find it again, and exclaim, “Oooh!” in delight. When he accidentally smushed that ant, he held out his hand to the numerous remaining ants saying, “Ant! Ant! Climb on my finger?” Eventually another intrepid ant took Sam up on his offer. After he lost track of that ant, he kept asking, “Where’s the ant?” I offered him innumerable other ants, but apparently he could tell the difference and really wanted that particular ant. We failed to locate him. To no one’s surprise, I wound up carrying both Sam and the scooter home.
After Sam’s nap, as we were about to go pick up Nathan (I had promised to try to come get him a little early.) he sprang another nosebleed. He was marginally more cooperative about me pinching his nose this time and he enjoyed watching another Cat in the Hat. Again, the nosebleed stopped relatively quickly, but I may need to restock on tissues.
After we got Nathan, we stopped at Whole Foods because Nathan needed lettuce to make “leaf soup” for Baby Tiger, another item on our list of fun things to do with Auntie. When we got home, the boys immediately devoured all the cantaloupe we bought then we went outside to gather leaves, bark, and sticks for Baby Tiger’s soup.
After dinner (which neither boy ate much of because they were full of cantaloupe), Nathan did some excellent coloring in a coloring book he talked me into at Whole Foods. I have very mixed feelings about this coloring book. On the one hand, it has everything Nathan loves in it – trucks, work machines, dinosaurs, dragons, trains, pirates, airplanes, etc. On the way home he was flipping through it and exclaimed with wonder at almost every page. On the other hand, it’s clearly meant to be gender-specific according to the worst stereotypes. The pink “girl” version was covered with princesses and ponies. And that’s even leaving aside my profoundly ambivalent feelings about coloring books in general.
At bedtime, I discovered that the frog humidifier doesn’t work, so I’ve already failed to carry out half of the doctor’s advice. I’ll go get a new humidifier tomorrow. I did manage to stick a Q-tip with vaseline on it up Sam’s nose, however. Oddly, it was surprisingly easy. I think he was just so curious about what the heck I was doing that he let me do it just to find out what was going on. I hope it helps. I could really live happily the rest of my life without mopping up blood from Sam’s sweet little face any more, but I’m not sure that’s in the cards. Fortunately the nose bleeds don’t seem to hurt him, but he does seem a bit distressed by it and I can’t say that I blame him.