Shaking off The Flu
Oh gosh. The Flu got us. And it got us BAD!! Eli started showing signs just as we were boarding the plane from Johannesburg to Beijing. I could have bought him some medicine inside the airport if he had just started sneezing and coughing a mere thirty minutes earlier. Unfortunately, he started just as we were lining up to board. What awful timing. I gave him some Benadryl on the plane, thinking that the sneezing was caused by some sort of allergy — This was, possibly, the worst decision I could have made.
His cough got so made, so rough and harsh, that each time he coughed, he would wake up crying. I could hear how hoarse his throat was, and the air on the plane was only making it worse. The Benadryl made him drowsy – which normally would have meant good sleep – but the violent coughing and sneezing kept waking up. This poor child was dazing, confusing, in pain…. and getting more and more upset. Thankfully, we had a whole row of seats to ourselves, so we were able to lie down, but still, there was a three hour stretch were he screamed uncontrollably. Each time he calmed down, he would couch or sneeze and begin crying again. I am grateful that no one around us groaned, or even looked at us – a silver lining, I guess…
A Tough Week
Our journey home wasn’t bad, despite Eli’s sickness, but the return to China was the worst, EVER! In fact, it was so draining that even days after, I was completely exhausted. To make matters worse, I then caught Eli’s flu. We were both sick for days.
PLUS, we aren’t quite sure why but suddenly Eli is petrified of being alone when he sleeps. It would be easy to assume that this is because we shared a room in Cape Town, so he didn’t sleep alone for 5 weeks. But we have traveled A LOT in his life, and he adapts really quickly. I know that he is now older and more aware, but his habits over the last week have been very very out of character. Parents know their kids, and we know this isn’t normal for Eli.
Basically, we are tired. We have been ill. We have missed each other, but there is no time for each other. Justin has been up with screaming Eli at night. When he gets home from work, and I fall asleep (sick) shortly after. The last week was NOTHING like we had hoped our reunion would be. And to be honest, this transition/ phase has’t ended. Last night Eli was up again, screaming, crying, and not wanting to be in his room. Tonight, in hopes that this is just a phase, we will sleep in his room. Perhaps he just needs some time, and us around, to adjust to being home.
Shaking Off The Flu
In an attempt to finally get out of the house TOGETHER, and put some smiles on our faces, we decided to have a family date last night. I had a maternity shoot downtown, so Justin and Eli played in a park nearby while I worked. After the shoot we took a taxi to DejaVu and sat there for hours. We relaxed. We smiled. We laughed. We bonded.
It was JUST what we needed!
Eli just recently learned what a thumbs up (and down) mean. A firefighter at the Grafizzi brother Circus showed him the thumbs up, and made him do it for a photo. Later Eli saw it on my phone while I was looking up an emoji. He made a fist, then lifted his thumb, and looked back at the emoji — the look on his face was priceless.
At the Beijing Airport, he saw a sign with a man holding out a thumbs up, so again, he imitated it. All the while, I kept telling him what it mean. Thumbs up is good, and thumbs down is bad. He now does it all the time… and for a rather non-verbal child, he finds it highly useful to now know this. He has also started staring “Goot” when he does the thumbs up, which is adorable!
Dinner consisted of quesadillas, a salad and “chippies”.
I’m sure that you can guess who ate what!
After dinner, Eli moved over to the bar, where the waitresses dotted over him. These are the same girls that were working while we had Eli’s third birthday party at DejaVu, in June. When we walked in they both let out a delightful sigh, and a sweet “nihao”. They LOVE Eli – and while we were there they gave him a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and a peanut butter cookie, for free.
That boy gets free stuff all the time. It seems that his cuteness definitely works in his favor.
Eight days after getting back to Qingdao, Justin and I were FINALLY able to sit side-by-side, not coughing, sneezing, exhausted or crying! What a week it had been, and what a nasty flu we had overcome. Eli still sounds hoarse and is coughing – but overall, we are much better. We trust that this week will be much more pleasant that last week.
Now, if only we could figure out why he can’t sleep, or stay in his room…