Monday, October 15, 2007

If all fails, use Murphy's law?

Last week my baby got some bug. He would throw up for no apparent reason and had diarrhea. In all other ways he was absolutely fine. This lasted for about three or four days. Then it stopped, but for the next 2 days he refused to eat and drank very little. At some point I noticed that his diapers were kind of dry. Then my folks took the kids for about half a day. When we picked them up, I asked when their diapers were changed, and mom mentioned that the baby didn't really need a diaper change for more than 6 hours. His diaper was completely dry. I got a bit worried. That day he started drinking normally, drank 2 bottles of chocolate milk and a bottle of juice. And still, his diapers were dry, for two consecutive days ... Of course I went on the Internet and found out that all of his symptoms pointed to UTI (urinary tract infection), which in kids could present with unusual symptoms, such as fever, little urination (as opposed to peeing every five minutes in adults), throwing up, refusal to eat, squirming and diarrhea. My guy had all of the above, except he wasn't running a fever and not particularly irritable, though he wanted to be held all the time. Immediately I thought of calling my pediatrician. Then I remembered that I have a best friend who is going through pediatric residency, and called her instead.

She said to give the baby lots of fluids and see if anything happens. She suggested not calling the doctor since he seemed fine. The doctor would not be able to do anything any way until the morning. So I tried to bribe my son with chocolate milk, cola, anything he might want to drink, but he refused. And he wasn't peeing. Then he took off his pants, and I thought, oh good, I won't put PJ's on him. Maybe if it's cool in the apartment and he's without pants, he might get cold and pee. I waited fifteen minutes, he still didn't pee. I took off his shirt, leaving him wearing only his diaper, and felt like the worst mother in world, since it was cool in the apartment. Still, dry diaper after fifteen minutes.

And then I had a bright idea. Ingenious, really. I should make Murphy's law work for me. You see, every (literally, every) time we leave the baby without a diaper, no matter for how short a period of time, he pees somewhere. He is really fast that way. It was supposed to work like this - if he wouldn't pee in his diaper, the baby definitely would if I took it off, so it would be harder to clean him up. So I took off his diaper quite excited about the idea. Still, the baby didn't pee. I gave up. My idea didn't work and Murphy's law didn't work, and if Murphy's law didn't work, nothing would. My disappointment was huge... I thought I discovered an equivalent of electricity, or at least something just as useful in everyday life. I already saw myself giving seminars on "Making Murphy's Law work for YOU", writing books, and overall improving people's lives, one disaster at a time. And there, my own idea didn't work for me. I was also quite worried that the baby didn't pee at all the entire day. Resolved to take the next day off and take him to the doctor, I went to get his diaper. When I got back to the room fifteen seconds later (again, literally), my son turned our living room upside down. I saw clothes thrown all over the floor and every other surface of our living room, toys everywhere and lo and behold three puddles on my kitchen floor, only one of them urine. The other two were...well, did I mention the baby had diarrhea?

So the lesson learned - you cannot use Murphy's law to your advantage, otherwise, it wouldn't be Murphy's law. It will still get you when you don't expect it - in my case I had to give up on the idea before it worked. Ironic, right? I immediately called my friend (I HAD to call her, even before I cleaned, right?) to tell her that Murphy's law worked a little too well for me and said that the only thing missing in this story was my husband, somewhat of a neat freak, at least in comparison to me. It would be a complete Murphy's law if he walked in right now, in this mess, when the entire day our apartment was more or less neat. He always complains that he never can come home and see a neat house; if he walked in that minute he would see more than the usual suspects - toys and clothes - on the floor... He probably would go crazy. But G-d in his infinite kindness had mercy on both of us, and my husband walked in three seconds after I cleaned up the poop. After I told him what had happened, he was so happy that it wasn't him cleaning that stuff up, he only laughed and didn't say anything about trashed living room - phew.

I think the idea of making Murphy's law work for you needs a little tweaking here and there before being marketing to the public, right?

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