Last night just past midnight, Helena woke up crying. It wasn't typical crying — not the cries of pain, sobs of loneliness or hunger. These were shrieks. Of terror.
We found her alert, on her knees, in one corner of her crib while pointing at the other. "Da bug, da bug, da bug." The bug. While I held her, I asked her about the bug, and she traced a path across her mattress and pillow and up the wall.
I held her while she watched, her body stiff and trembling with panic, as J-F threw back the bed covers, checked under the book, behind the bear, shook out her blankets and pillow.
No bug, but a pretty high fever.
We took her back to our bed where she was still asking us for clarification: "Da bug est parti?" (The bug is gone?)
She settled down soon enough but her eyes were wide open. Minutes go by. Then the scratching begins.
No, that has nothing to do with bugs actually. It's just that she's always had dry shins and ankles, and it itches, so she scratches.
So I applied cream, and she settled down, her eyes wide open, and many minutes later she's scratching again.
After about an hour of this annoying, but remarkably quiet, cycle, I took her off to the living room, where we curled up on the sofa and finally dozed off watching The Aristocats for the gazillionth time.
Poor baby. This, after a weekend of intense teething anguish of the back molars. At least this time 'round she has the language to be able to tell us what's going on. More or less. True, she's not always the most credible of sources (every day I ask her what she did at daycare, "did you play in traffic today?" — "Oui!" But then, who really knows what they do there all day...), but I tend to believe her, what with the red cheeks, the excessive drooling, the guiding of my finger into her mouth and chomping down hard.
J-F is sick with a cold, and I'm still crippled by the weight of work deadlines.
Yet, we had some productive shopping this weekend: running shoes Helena can't take off (yet), a skirt and sweater set, a new doll (not the prettiest of the bunch but the one at the shop Helena wouldn't be parted from, and at least it's not creepy like that other doll Helena's been lavishing atention on), and this lovely hat.