*a lot of the time. Maybe most.
Last night I pull Bella from her high chair where she’s covered from head to toe in mashed potatoes and pulled pork. Although she’s heading straight to bath, I wipe her down to get the excess food off. Because picking it off her changing table mat? Is nasty.
And honestly, does any kid not act like you are beating them savagely as you wipe their face and hands?
As I struggle to get her clothes off, I suddenly notice she’s pink on her cheeks. Only, at a closer look, she’s really red. Like – burning up with a fever red. But she’s not hot.
I stand there thinking about how her nose has been all runny the past few days, and maybe she was coming down with something. Then?
I see her hands. Bright red. Blotchy. Both sides. And up her arms.
Now I look carefully at her cheeks. Blotchy red too. Red splotches all over her face – nose, chin. Panicked, I call to Sam, “Bella’s got this weird rash – come look!”
“Whoa,” he says looking at her face. “What did she have for dinner?”
Allergies. And here I’ve kinda been lax about it lately since I figured we were past most of that. I mentally run down a list of everything she’s eaten in the past two days and can’t come up with anything. Bella sits patiently and looks at us as we poke and prod her. I feel guiltier as I think about how I could have put the peanut butter knife in the jelly and then given her toast with jelly later on.
“What could it be? What is it?” I’m upset and almost hysterical at this point, even though it appears to be going away I’m convinced it will come back when she’s sleeping and I don’t know it. What if I fed her something that caused her to break out in massive hives? What if she started swelling up? What if her throat closed? Why wasn’t I paying more attention? She trusts me to provide her with things that won’t kill her off. What if…
“Honey,” Sam says, peering at her closely, “Did you wipe her down with a washcloth a little harder than normal to get the food off?”
Well, it could have been a horrible food allergy. And then I would have been right.