Thursday, February 22, 2007

Three-Hour Naps

Z. is home today--a frequent occurrence. This time she has either a sty or a small, infected scratch in the corner of her eye. (She did actually scratch the corner of her eye the night before last.) So I called for a same-day appointment. What I love about our pediatrician is that he took an interest in which it was, but having no more luck than I did in figuring it out, he prescribed hot compresses for either situation. Hot compresses! Don't you think people have been using hot compresses as long as there have been people?

We had the traditional post-doctor trip to the toy store. I was going to skip it because this was such a non-traumatic visit, but then thought no, if she catches on that she only gets to go if there's a tantrum there will be a tantrum every time. Mission accomplished, we returned to base. She is sleeping curled around a new Uglydoll mini, and I have another couple of hours to read. At the beginning of the year I had told myself that I would pay myself for reading, since reading huge volumes of print is actually necessary to doing my job, yet I feel guilty doing it. Well, the year has not yet been so bountiful that I can pay myself to do anything, but I am striving not to feel guilty about carving out time to read, even when other things demand attention. The staffer who was out on parental leave is now back, too, which eases the schedule a bit.

I just started The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion's account of her grief in the wake of her husband's sudden death while her daughter was hospitalized in an induced coma. Her daughter recovers, collapses, and eventually dies. This is a book I could not have read when it first came out in the fall of 2005--Z. had been hospitalized after her birth and it was much, much too fresh. Now I'm finding it both elegantly written and like an encounter with someone else who has traveled to the same land I've visited, only Didion has spent much, much more time there.

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