Somehow, the KingofHearts went to North Carolina last week, caught a stomach bug while he was there, recovered, then came home to give it to me. I know that doesn't really make much sense, but I like to be able to blame him for the misfortune in my life and this should be no different.

Oh sure, it sucks to be sick, and I feel for him being away from home, throwing up in a hotel room. But try it spending twenty-four hours going from the bathroom to the kitchen for 7-Up and back again with a two-foot tall dictator screaming incoherent ramblings at your ankles and desperately crawling after you to grab at your pant legs every time you switch rooms. Now try doing it with a screaming headache feeling like the whole thing might break off at the neck if you turn your head in just the right way. Now add to that, a conference call at work that you can't miss and you decide to be on the call from home so you have to act coherent. Being sick in North Carolina sound pretty peaceful now, doesn't it? I think I may just go to North Carolina next time I'm sick.

So yeah, that's been my week so far.

But I learned something through all this too. The Caterpillar is NOT The Dormouse.

I know, shocking, huh?

When The Dormouse gets sick, she spikes scary, run to the hospital at three am, put her in a tub full of ice cubes fevers. I'm afraid I suffer from desensitization in this realm and gotten so anything under dangerously high is no cause for concern in my mind. Consequently, I'm of no help when friends want to commiserate about their sick child. Your kid has a fever of 102 degrees? Ha ha, I scoff at your measly 102 degrees. I'll see your 102 and raise you a 106... on and off for two days!

So when The Caterpillar felt a bit warm the last couple of nights, I didn't think anything of it. And when she woke up four times each on two consecutive nights, I figured she was just being her plain old sleepless self. And when I picked her up out of her crib from a pool of sweat, I thought it was just excessively hot in the room or she'd been drooling.

Then I came down with a fever and chills and the proverbial Gestalt light bulb flashed on over my head.

Turns out she's running a low grade fever and probably has been for two days.

Mother of the year!

This whole being responsible for another human being kind of sucks, you know?

When The Dormouse was a week shy of being a year old, she kicked herself off the changing table and hit the floor before I could catch her. It wasn't that far; our house is carpeted; there's padding under the carpet. But when I picked her up she cried for a second, then her head waddled side to side and she put it down on my shoulder and was out. Scared the ever lovin' daylights out of me. We rushed her to the emergency room and by the time we got there, she was awake, talking, running around and seemed fine. The ER doc looked her over and said, "Well I don't see any evidence of a concussion but if you're uncomfortable I can run an MRI and an EKG and a JPV and a LMNOP."

Me: "What's your recommendation, doctor?"

He said -- and I'm not kidding about this: "I don't know. It's really up to you if you want to feel comfortable."

Honestly, I felt like he was a home security salesperson trying to up his bottom line for the month. Well, things might be okay now, but tomorrow a masked gunman wielding knives between his toes could break in and carve his initials into your back while stealing your stereo so it's up to you if you don't want that extra door monitor with the silent alarm button and monitoring by our professional team of security experts.

So now I've got a decision to make. Spend what could be thousands of dollars on and put my eleven-month-old through a battery of what would probably be needless tests or go home and possibly have my child die of a brain hemorrhage in her sleep. Oh, and decide without a medical opinion to guide you.

There's one good thing about the ridiculously long wait in the ER: we were there three hours before we got to see anyone so we had some time to monitor her and decide that she was probably going to be alright. If any horrible symptom was going to rear it's ugly head it probably would have shown up by the time the pre-pubescent doctor waltzed back in from lunch. Right? Right???

What I now know - because my pediatrician told me the next weekday when I scheduled a follow-up appointment - is that when babies go through a traumatic (to them, at least) experience, often their response is just to go to sleep to avoid it all. (Come to think of it, that's not such a bad idea. That'd save me an awful lot of worrying and emotional conflict.) It would have been nice to have been told that while at the hospital, but I guess then the likelihood of my helping to fund their fancy new 7D Ultrasound machine would have been decreased.

Making that decision was one of the hardest I've ever made in my life. While the way to go was pretty obvious given the objective facts, the 1% chance that something really was wrong still haunts me... because if the error was catastrophic, then I'd have given all the money in the world and all the uncomfortable tests to get it right.

Since then, we've made those on the spot parenting decisions more than I'd like to admit. Should we take her to the ER with this fever? Remember last time when we were there from 3:00 am to 7:00 am and they just gave her Motrin and charged us $300? Do we need to go through that again? Should we let them vaccinate her or not? At the schedule they suggest or break it up? Breastfeeding or bottle feeding? Glass bottles or plastic? Let them suck their thumb or use a pacifier? These are the kind of decisions for which I just don't want to be responsible.

But I am. It's what I signed up for when I decided to be a parent. Get used to it, I guess.