"What all do you want for your baby shower?" Lisa asked me. Adam's business partner, who was just a fellow employee at the casino at the time, had planned a huge baby shower for all the pregnant staff at the restaurant. Since Adam was an employee, but not bulging from his midsection with twins, I got invited instead.
"A head scanning thermometer."
"A thermometer that I just have to put on the kids' heads. That's pretty much it," I told her.
"We can't just get you a stupid thermometer," she laughed, "What do you really want?"
"That's what I really want," I insisted.
"Why?" she asked in disbelief.
"Have you ever had to put a thermometer in a baby's butt?" I asked. "I've done it for over a decade, and I've had enough."
Lisa started to laugh. Really hard. "Alright, I'm getting you the dang thermometer."
Those words made me so incredibly happy. I can't tell you how much stress taking my kids temperature has caused me over the years. I know it sounds stupid, but it has. I feel helpless when little ones lay there looking like death, and knowing I have to make them even more uncomfortable, by probing them with a stupid thermometer, puts me over the edge.
The butt part isn't even the only thing I dislike. I hate fighting with the older kids to keep one under their tongue, and trying to get a 2 year old to keep one under their arm is impossible. The sheer thought of erasing all that uneasiness made my heart sing.
When I unwrapped my gift at the shower, I hugged and kissed it. Seriously. I think there may even be a picture of that wonderful occasion. After I got home, Adam and I took everyone's temperature. It was awesome!
Over the past few months, Head Scanning Thermometer has become my right hand man. No longer did I feel anxiety when my kids said they weren't feeling so good. As soon as a kid even looked a smidge pale, Head Scanning Thermometer was by my side. It sprung into action, taking a temperature in seconds without the fear of violation, tears of pain, or the saying, "keep it under your tongue, dang it, how many times do you want to do this?!"
Yes, things were roses.....until yesterday morning. Stone had caught a cold the day before. I didn't think anything of it, because Jovie and Jagger had the same thing, and they were both doing fine, but Stone didn't seem to be faring quite as well. He woke looking awful, and when I hoisted him from his crib, I could feel heat radiating from his body.
I smiled at him, "not feeling so good, huh? Let's get the thermometer." I carried him out to the hall, where we keep it. It wasn't there. My heart dropped, then I remembered, Oh yeah, It was on the couch last night when I went to bed. My eyes scanned over to the couch as we descended the stairs. Jovie and Jet were sitting there watching tv. No Head Scanning Thermometer. I put Stone down and ran to the couch.
"Where's the thermometer?" I demanded.
"I don't know?" Jet responded.
"It was right here last night." I pointed to the spot it had last been.
Jet looked at me like I was crazy and shrugged, "I haven't seen it."
My stomach was in knots. I turned to look at Stone, who looked back at me and let out a gurgling cough. With that, I fell to my knees and shoved my hands into every cereal filled crack on that couch. Nothing. I turned back to Stone. He stood, staring blankly with watery eyes and thick green boogers oozing out his nose. I collapsed to the floor, and groped desperately under the couch. Panic burned within me. In my head I repeated, I can't go back there, I can't go back there. I can't use that other thermometer. I just can't!
Coming up empty handed made me shiver with fear. I ripped up my house for the next hour in search of my beloved Head Scanning Thermometer, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. When Stone woke up from his nap and I could see his rapid breath in his neck, I called Adam to come home from work. He needed to go to the ER.
"What's his temperature?" Adam asked.
"I don't know. Warm."
"What did the thermometer say?"
Tears started to steam down my face, "I don't know! I can't find it!"
Lesson 144: being emotionally distraught over the loss of a thermometer = a white trash lady who needs to get her head examined
I'm sure most of you are saying, "why don't you just buy a new one?" BECAUSE IT COSTS $40 PEOPLE! FOR-TY! DOL-LARSSSSS! I understand it's not a lot to some of you, but $40 in this house is 2 big boxes of diapers, or 2 big cans of Target formula, or an Aldi's trip consisting of 1bag of chicken nugs, 2 cheese pizzas, 2 pkgs of hot dogs and buns, 2 loaves of bread, a cont. of jelly, a cont. of peanut butter, a lb. of american cheese slices, a big old tub of margarin, 5 boxes of cereal, a big vat of vanilla yogurt, a sack of apples, a bag of carrots, a brick of cheddar, and a candybar for my troubles.
Lesson 145: knowing exactly what to buy for $40 at Aldi's to feed your kids breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for 3 days = white trash
Yeah, I won't be buying a new one any time soon. :(
So, now all that's left to be said is.....Head Scanning Thermometer, you'll be missed my dear friend. You were taken from us too soon. You're in a better place now. You will no longer have to feel the heat of a fevered child, or be the bearer of bad news for a kid pretending to be sick to avoid school. I take solace knowing that you won't be alone. You'll now be with those that have gone before you; phone charger #1, phone charger #2, laptop power cord, remote control, full box of 24 AA batteries, and Ipod. Goodbye, and may you measure temperature in peace.