Of Bug Bites and Blisters

Oh, it's always something, isn't it? 

I've taken a leap back in time recently.  A leap back to the days when Julia was a baby and didn't sleep through the night. 


Of course, there were the earliest nights, the expected sleepless nights, when she was a newborn, and she was nursing, and she'd wake up hungry, or interested in how the Sox were doing in October of 2004. 

And then there were the nights later…when she should and could have been sleeping through the night, only she didn't feel like it.  It was much more fun to be awake. 

Those nights lasted for years. 

And then, finally, she started sleeping all night long.  Oh, how we sang her praises, in a (pointless) attempt to reinforce this delightful behavior.

And now…well, she's not sleeping again.

I thought it was because maybe her mattress wasn't squishy enough.  (She said she liked being in our bed better "because it's so cozy and comfy!")  So I put a thick sleeping bag (unzipped) under the fitted sheet, to up the cozy and comfy factor.  That worked.  Briefly.

She also has a night light, because she decided the didn't like the dark.  Fine.  Sometimes she slept through the night with the light on, other times, no.

So I started shutting the night light off after she had fallen asleep, reasoning that if she half woke up and there was light in the room, she'd wake up more, but if it was dark, she's just go back to sleep.


Yeah, that was a nice thought.

Well, a couple of nights ago she woke up and instead of coming into our bedroom, she went downstairs to the living room, curled up on a chair, and started calling for me and crying.

Turned out her legs itched and hurt.  Okay, that's fair.  I brought her into the bathroom so I could see better, and there, on both thighs and one calf, were little clusters of what looked like bug bites.  Itchy, crazy-making bug bites.  It looked like a late-season mosquito or something got trapped under the covers and used Julia's little limbs for an episode of Bug vs. Domesticity.  (Bad joke.  You know, like Man vs. Wild?)


She'd itch at them and then they'd  not only itch; they'd hurt, too.  Poor baby.  So I put anti-itch stuff on the areas, and brought her downstairs to the couch with me and let her watch tv (the food channel – I have rules, you know) to distract her until the anti-itch factor kicked in.  She eventually fell asleep, on top of me, and when I couldn't take it any more (what was comfy when she was an infant isn't so comfy now that she's a 40-lb kindergartener), I woke her up and brought her to her bed. 

A couple hours later, she woke back up, itching and hurting again.  I put calamine on her this time, and crawled into bed with her until it was time to wake Bill up for work.

I've been a bit of a zombie lately.

I pulled everything off her bed – sheets, blankets, mattress pad, that sleeping bag – and washed them in hot water to get rid of any remaining wild biting bugs or spiders or who knows what.

But she woke up again.  She'd said her throat hurt, but she was still eating fine, so I let that slide.  But when she told me her hand hurt, and she showed me the painful little bumps on her hand…and one under her tongue…I had a feeling I knew what else was going on.

She has hoof & mouth.

Okay, that's not true.  She's got that hand, foot and mouth virus that kids get – the cocksackie virus.  And since she's still got these little blistery things today, I'm keeping her home today.  And probably tomorrow, because as long as she's got them blistery things, she's contagious.  Hooray.

On a good note, the little bites are clearing up, and she doesn't have new ones. 

So far, Alex hasn't shown any symptoms, so hopefully he's developed an immunity, since he's been through this before.

In the meantime, I'm having a tough time trying to write anything useful today.  Someone keeps interrupting me.  Funny, for a sick child, she's amazingly lively.

2 thoughts on “Of Bug Bites and Blisters

  1. Ciao ! I m’ sorry for your sleepless nights ! And about the virus but that is a quicky Carlo had and Anita didn’t. I hope you’ll both feel better soon !!

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