Poor Caroline. As the page turns on another month of her life, she marks the anniversary with a terrible fever and cold. Yesterday and Monday were spent lying prostrate on the sofa, propped up with pillows, tucked in with heavy blankets and, ultimately, the digital thermometer reaching a high of 103.7.
Sick or not, though, there is wisdom in those tired eyes. At the advanced age of one and one-half years, she is right there, midway between babyhood and toddlerhood. She talks (Mommy!, Dad!, high five!, toast!, milk!, bottle!, please!, diaper!, night-night!, bye-bye!, NO!, yeah, et cetera, et cetera), but grunts and cries of displeasure are common too. She self feeds, but she holds her spoon upside down. She runs boldly, but her short legs fail her, and she falls. She is aware of what life has to offer, but is frustrated with her inability to do it all.
Today there it is, a brief smile. A tentative consumption of a slice to toast. No digital read-outs of body temperature have been sought, but I have become an expert at discerning the rise and fall of body temperature simply through visual cues and touch, and her fever is decreasing. She is well enough for a brief bath. And now, she naps once again, recharging for the near day when she will be able to embrace her eighteen-month-oldishness without the handicap of a nagging fever. Until then, I'll hold her close, give her a kiss and enjoy this brief respite from the cusp of toddlerhood when Caroline is, once again, all baby.