Day 32

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ari loves babies.  When he sees a stroller or a car seat, he always exclaims, "baby!" and then goes to look at the little person.  He has a baby doll he loves to hold, squeeze, and kiss (umm...and only one time did I find it in the garbage can but I choose to believe that is not foreshadowing of events to come).  And when he puts his head on my belly, he lights up with delight, even though I don't think he understands there is really a baby in there. 

At the hospital, there are lots of babies.  Most are real (unfortunately) but some are fake. In the playroom, there are plastic, anatomically correct babies so the kids can hold and rock them, diaper them, and play doctor using them.  Here are a few baby girls Ari favors:

(The one on the far left has some sort of infection.  Look closely.  That must be why she is here.  And the other two?  Hmm if they're on our floor, one has cancer and the other has sickle cell anemia.  I'm not stereotyping; your guess is as good as mine.)

But since we've been here, Ari has been a bit confused.  He called our 3 year-old roommate a baby, even though he was talking in full sentences.  He called the 10 year-old boy next door "baby" as he was slurping ramen noodles out of a bowl.  And today he called a teenage boy (who did not seem amused) "baby" when he saw him watching a movie.  I finally figured out what these 3 kids have in common (other than the big C).  They're all bald.  Ugh.  Ari thinks babies have no hair.  I'm sure as Ari gets older and wiser, he will come to understand that bald = beautiful and not necessarily a very young kid.

Until then, I hope Ari doesn't offend any of our hall mates.  Because when someone gives Ari a hard time, he cries.  He's still my baby.   
Daily update:

Ari is just so freakin' happy.  He smiled and laughed all day long.  He has learned all of the nurses names and charms them with funny songs and the chicken dance.  He still wants to "go" and gets frustrated when we have to wait for medication before we take him outside, but I can tell he's feeling great and has adapted well to his new home.  Only a young kid could find this place fun and not foreign.  He enjoys the visits by the nurses to get his vital signs every few hours.  He loves the room service food, the elevators, and all the different devices with sounds and buttons.  And he is amused by ambulances and can watch them coming and going for hours (and he does).

It is tough to process the reality that he is sick.  He looks healthy and he acts happy.  4 weeks ago, he could barely breathe and he had no energy.  The chemo saved his life.  But in the next week or so, he will inevitably start a new round of chemo which will make him sick and sleepy again.  I know this is what we need to do, but I wish I could just take this happy boy home. 

Ari's blood counts did rise last night but I know they go up and down like a yo-yo.  Just gotta keep waiting (and hoping and praying) til the next bone marrow biopsy. 

Have a great weekend.  If I don't post weekend updates, please don't be alarmed.  I'm expecting a very uneventful few days!


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