I had such grandiose plans for the evening’s dinner.
Finally, after days, I’d convinced my middle daughter, Hannah, to do her chores, and she’d done them well. The kitchen was clean, the dishes running in the dishwasher, even the pots and pans cleaned up and put in their proper places. It was amazing! I had decided, if she’d done it, I’d make homemade enchiladas for them all – something they all love. I was in a pretty good mood.
But then I walked into the living room and saw Noah.
Last night he’d gotten some sort of rash on his cheeks, the little bumps showing up. I put some hydrocortisone cream on them the night before, even gave him some Claritin hoping the allergy medicine might take care of it. It was a reaction to something. something. I just didn’t, for the life of me know what.
So last night I’m racking my brain . . . all the laundry detergents are dye and perfume-free (I hate the over-perfumed stuff, not because I’m a hypoallergenic nut). He’s had nothing horribly different in his diet . . . except the fact I got lazy and bought strawberry Uncrustables sandwiches. They’ve had the grape ones before, but not strawberry, not in a long time. He’s eaten strawberries before, but this looked like a strawberry allergy.
Tonight I went up to Noah and his cheeks had gotten worse. And then I felt his cheeks . . . and they were hot. Not a fever, his forehead, rest of his body, all of those were fine. His cheeks, though, those were not. I sighed, looked at my oldest daughter, asking if she’d looked at him and she said she hadn’t noticed anything. I looked at him, though, and his face looked like he’d gotten rug burn from being drug by his face across the carpet.
“I have to go to the store,” I told them all. “I’m getting some Benadryl.”
Here’s where having a brother, late wife, and father who are pharmacists kicks in. It’s like learning in osmosis. The rash, the symptoms, no nausea, no other problems . . . it was a classic food allergy look. I even called my folks who said the same thing.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes . . .normally I would have Benadryl in my cabinet. I hadn’t realize we were out.
So I picked up the Benadryl, gave it to Noah . . . who looked and asked “will this make me really tired?”
“Yeah, kiddo, sorry.”
Umm…Dad, can we put some stuff on my cheeks, this looks bad.
So I put some on his cheeks, rubbed his head, and went into the kitchen.
Needless to say, no enchiladas. Frozen Tombstone pizzas tonight. . . but the kids could have cared less. His oldest sister gave him a hug, told him she was sorry she hadn’t noticed his rash. We ate dinner together, not at the table, I let them rest in the living room.
Then as I read the last chapter of the last Harry Potter book, I noticed Noah had already drifted off to sleep, Sam watching him to make sure he was okay.
And I realized . . . as worried as I was, it was a pretty good night.