Friday, April 29, 2005

Ears Looking at You

I've been very busy the last couple of days taking care of the Monkey. Wednesday night she was up all night crying and fussing. By all night, I do mean ALL NIGHT. She'd fall asleep for 15 or 20 minutes and then wake up again crying. The only thing we could get out of her was that her ears hurt. I was up with her the whole time. She had a fever. Nothing made her feel better.

Now some parents of young children will read this and know what the problem was immediately. Unfortunately, I am not one of those parents. I am quite aware of the symptoms of various tropical illnesses - malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis... The doctor and I both ruled out meningitis right away due to the mobility of her head and neck. But an ear infection? Sorry, I'm lost. You see, the Monkey is never sick (I will get no sympathy for that statement, I know). She's had one sick visit to the doctor and she'll be three in two weeks. So, when she said her ears hurt, I believed her, but wasn't sure where to go from there. I tried to make her comfortable and gave her some tylenol for pain and fever. Where was my old copy of "Where There Is No Doctor"? Big Daddy took over around 5 a.m. and sent me to bed. He called his office and told them he'd be in later in the day. Big Daddy is a good man.

By yesterday late morning she had a fever of 103 and stuff draining out of her ears. I called the doctor - our new doctor, who I haven't even met yet, as her first annual visit isn't scheduled until the end of next month. Like I said, she's never sick. They took her right away. It was a simple diagnosis of a particularly nasty ear infection and after her first two doses of antibiotics, she's doing quite well. Well enough to climb up on the kitchen counters to look for candy in the cabinets. And finding no candy, turned to the powdered sugar.

We are taking it easy today. Her fever was gone this morning. We had to stop by her future preschool and give them some forms and all my money. Monkey felt fine enough to request a stop by the bakery. I indulged her then we came home.


There is a little bakery that we like to visit in Black Mountain. We go at least once a week after Kindermusik class. It is nothing fancy. We are quite used to fancy. Chef Boots, our dear friend and Big Daddy's college roommate, left his international banking career to study pastries and bread at the Cordon Bleu. We await his visits with bated breath and are never disappointed with his wonderful breads and magic sweet surprises that he seems to be able to create out of the most ordinary of our kitchen reserves. Another long-time friend works for a little French boulangerie/patisserie in Kansas City. They over-indulged me by making my wedding cake of delicate layers of sponge cake sandwiched between liqueur-soaked strawberries and buttercream after they said "We don't do wedding cakes." I miss that place! Sorry, now I'm rambling.

What I like about the Black Mountain Bakery is it's simplicity. Simple, yet good, loaves of bread, cookies and pastries. There is coffee. It has very little in common with the laptop-filled coffee house down the road with it's latte-swilling, over-priced muffin-eating crowd. The bakery serves good roasts of coffee at a decent price. It offers two varieties of regular and decaf each day. It's a mixed crowd and it is kid friendly*. Monkey calls her personal favorite the Cinnamon Mountain. It is an apt description of the cinnamon rolls that sometimes surpass the size of her head. I was pleasantly surprised by the croissants today. I've only seen them there once before, and like I said, I'm spoiled and would rather do without than do with mediocre. Today I felt like trying one and ended up buying a few more to bring home.


*I haven't ever worried about "kid-friendly" too much. I've always figured that Monkey would do better if she knew from the beginning how to behave in public places. Her first restaurant experience was our favorite French bistro while still in her baby carrier. I think my mantra has worked. When we do go for our rare fast food feast at Chik-Fil-A, she enters the restaurant muttering, "Restaurants are for eating, not for playing" and sails right past the play area. However, what I've noticed in this area is that some places, such as the coffee shop in Black Mountain and a few restaurants around Asheville do not like children, even well-behaved Monkey. The coffee shop went so far as to send a letter to Kindermusik parents (the class is next door at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts) to inform them of how children were to behave (granted, I've seen some pretty ill-behaved children in there). We visited a few restaurants that didn't have high chairs or booster seats when we first arrived here. We don't go to them any more. I'm not talking high end restaurants either. Most of those treat Monkey with a grace equaling her self-imposed royal status. The well-intentioned attention to my child will guarantee our return and a very good tip. So when I say kid-friendly what I really mean is kid-welcoming. With a little early conditioning, attentive service, and the promise of creme brulee even the most feisty of monkeys can be a charming dinner companion. We've just learned to order Monkey's dessert when our meal comes. Instant peace and time to finish the wine.

And now I realize I've written quite more than normal and Monkey is napping, so I think I'll go outside and work in the garden. My carrots need weeding.

1 comment:

  1. We usually request to be seated away from children in restaurants, because the s.o. has oversensitive sound-engineer ears and can't stand to be around anyone (adults very much included) who is not using their Indoor Voice. But there are children and then there are children. You have done a really awesome thing by teaching Monkey about public places early on. We would sit next to your restaurant booth anytime. :-)