(Spoiler: the surprise ending is probably the goddamned German measles.)
Charlie and I just returned from the Theatre Communications Group annual conference in San Diego.
This was the first year that the conference had billed itself as “family-friendly,” and since my mother-in-law lives in Orange County (less than two hours away), I decided the time was right for Baby’s First Conference. Charlie is 11 months old now, and still nursing on the regular, so I don’t yet feel great about the idea of leaving him home long enough for me to attend a three-day affair with a full day of travel on either side. Plus, my father-in-law was overdue for a vacation. Further plus, this conference was important to me. So, I got the baby on an airplane and off we went.
The one hitch: After a month of sleep training, Charlie was FINALLY sleeping in the crib, by himself, laying down (as opposed to standing up like a horse or sitting and rocking back and forth all night), for the majority of the evening. I don’t know why this had been an epic struggle; he slept just fine, exactly where he was supposed to sleep, until he was 7 months old. Then not so much. He’d been back on track for two whole nights when we got on our airplane.
California: Land of movie stars, palm trees, and five out of six of Charlie’s grandmas. He saw them all. He knows one grandma pretty well, was meeting another grandma for the first time, and the other three were somewhere in the middle. (“I know you from somewhere. Were you at the AFL-CIO delegates conference in Tampa?”) With all the new faces and places, Charlie became very clingy. And that’s as compared to his usual clingy self. He’s at an age where it’s completely appropriate for him to want his mom there to assure him that a new situation is safe. Good on him for not trusting his own judgment on where to be or who to hang out with. But it did mean that the lovely crib the San Diego Bayfront Hilton set up for us got slightly less than two seconds of use, because he was very much in my bed, holding onto me for dear life.
WAIT: Late-breaking update. My thesis was going to be that taking him to this conference with me ruined his ability to sleep alone forever. We’ve had three rough nights back at home. But it looks like the real culprit is the GODDAMNED GERMAN MEASLES. We’re waiting to hear back from the nurse’s line, but I don’t believe he gets that vaccination until next month’s checkup. According to the Internet, there’s a very small window between when he loses the resistance from the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine I got as a pregnant lady and when he’s old enough to get his own MMR vaccination. We’re in that window right now. My baby is a fussy, rashy mess. Just putting it out there: This is probably happening because someone believed it was in their child’s best interest not to vaccinate them against one of these super-contagious, largely eradicated childhood viral diseases. I’m assuming it’s rubella that he’s got, because that’s what it most closely matches on babycenter.com’s rash gallery. If so, it’s not really a big deal except for fetuses. But maybe it’s regular measles, in which case I will be pretty upset. Right now, I’m just irritated. Vaccinate your children as recommended by their pediatrician, please and thank you.
(For your enjoyment, a photo of Andy trying to get a good under-arm temperature read with the fancy baby thermometer and attachment he picked up at last night’s emergency CVS run. It keeps saying Charlie’s temperature is like 93, so this device was not a good use of $16.)