This morning I thought things were improving. He was perky when my neighbor came to join us for some exercise. He flirted with her, rolled his toys around, and played his piano. I took him to school, and he seemed happy.
At lunchtime, my cell phone rang. It was Erik's teacher. She reported that she couldn't really put her thoughts into words but wanted to let me know that Erik was just not himself. He filled his diaper (a first at school in itself) with a large amount of toxic waste (although she stated it much more politely) and kept repeating things like "NO" and "I DON'T WANT TO." I thanked her for the call and waited for the school bus to arrive.
As Erik got off the bus, he had the driver racked with giggles and was his usual, chipper self. When we stepped inside the house, however, he politely declined lunch and went off to play with his trucks. My parents arrived to pick him up for the afternoon, and when they asked him if he was ready to go, he said he didn't want to.
Not go to Boppa and Gua's house? Something is definitely wrong.
As my parents climbed into their car to leave without him, I told my mother I would take him to the doctor today. Erik sat in exhausted defiance on the grass next to his tricycle. I sat down next to him and quietly explained that his Boppa and Gua were going back to their house. He seemed to be okay with that -- until their engine roared to life. The boy snapped out of his trance, looked up at me with instant tears shining in his eyes, and cried, "No!" He stood up from his soft place in the grass and began to run toward the car. They opened the back door for him, and he climbed in.
Why is it that Erik seems so vulnerable to everything on this earth to me? My brain reminds me of the stomach bug going around town that reportedly takes this much time to pass. I'm even in the medical field and am quite aware of what to look for and when to take my child to see a physician. He is hydrated and rested. But things are difficult enough on a daily basis without this crap. Especially for Erik, whose GI system doesn't work all that well without medication twice a day to begin with. Somehow I think the universe should just provide a free pass for us regarding this kind of childhood illness, but it doesn't work that way. I soothe and care for the normal bugs, cuts, and scrapes without much of a second thought but am always aware that every injury and illness has a deeper, ominous flavor because of Erik's physical challenges, and I can never completely silence that voice deep inside of me that attempts to send me into a panic. It doesn't have the power to do that anymore. However, its whispers still haunt me and always will. I can't imagine that as Erik's poor little body ages that this will improve at all with time.
That scares the daylights out of me.