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Finals Week with Sick Children

Hello mathematicians! After pulling myself through the last stretch of classes, the semester is finally over and grades are in. Now, it’s time to… well not relax, but rather deal with some sick children. Read on to see the tumultuous end of the semester dealing with a pair of sick children.

Finals Week

In case you missed our posts Park, Baby and Sleep Deprivation and Welcome Home Teddy!, we do have a 6 week old baby in the house. As such, the past 6 weeks have been crazy as we’re try to adjust to having another child. Added into the end of the semester, I have been pushing through classes with very little energy.

As classes finished up Friday the 6th and finals week approached, I had hoped the absence of teaching would give me some time to recover before the final push to grade exams. The weekend came, and it was wonderful. I was indeed able to sleep a little bit and I started to feel better. I got nothing done, but I was ready to take on the week.

Monday came around and we dropped Arthur off at pre-school. Paula, Teddy and I had a nice morning together as Arthur played with his friends, and I got my grade book updated so that it was ready to go when finals were done. When Arthur came home, we had a relaxing evening watching Cars and Toy Story. It was a really wonderful day.


That night, however, I woke up to the sounds of coughing. I went to see what was happening. Then, I saw Arthur was the one having the trouble. I checked on him just to see that his nose was running and he was burning up.

I laid next to him, wiping his nose and holding him to comfort him. You could tell he was in pain, but, as I laid next to him, he seemed to feel a little better. Finally he fell back to sleep, and I followed suit.

The following morning, things hadn’t improved for him. In fact, his temperature had gone up and his congestion was making him cough more. I gave him some medicine and tried to make him as comfortable as I could, and this continued through the day. By night time, he had shown no signs of improvement and I had clearly caught what he had as well.


On Wednesday, you can actually see how I was doing since I did a live-stream review session on YouTube for my Calculus students. While things hadn’t gotten that bad, they had become more difficult. It wasn’t until later that day that things really got rough.

“Cough, cough, cough.” This time it wasn’t me or Arthur. It was Teddy.

Rest of the week

Now a sick two year old is difficult enough. However, I can at least give Arthur some children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen. With Teddy, all we could do was be there for him.

Between the two crying children, Paula and I weren’t able to get any sleep Wednesday night. We were each holding one of the children so that both could be tended to at all times. Because Teddy is so young, Paula had the thermometer out and checked his temperature every few minutes.

“I’m worried, should we take him to the emergency room?!” She asked me.

“I don’t think his temperature is quite high enough to warrant that.”

“Well, I think it may be.” She would retort. As this exchange kept repeating itself, we decided we needed an third party opinion.


In these cases, there are really two options. One is that we can call the kid’s pediatrician and ask their advice, the other, much more used option is that we’ll call my mom since she is a nurse. At this point, it was the early hours of the morning, so the pediatrician would be closed. While you may think that it would be impolite to wake my mother up, she never seems to sleep, so we decided to call her.

As a side note, you need to rest more mom! Get some sleep and stay healthy. Okay, back to the story.

We called my mom, the phone rang and… it went to voicemail. I sent her a text and we waited. And waited. As we waited, Paula continued to get more worried and continued taking Teddy’s temperature. It fluctuated a bit, but stayed between 99.1 and 99.7, never quite getting up high enough to quite prompt Paula to go the emergency room.

As the night dragged on, I finally remembered, “Oh yeah, my mom’s in Punta Cana with her sisters celebrating her birthday.” Happy birthday by the way mom. Therefore, our normal arbiter was completely out of contact.

When I finally remembered this and told Paula, she got really worked up. She got even more worried, but she refrained from driving to the emergency with the idea that she’d call the pediatrician as soon as the office opened.

Thursday Morning

As 6:30 AM rolled around, Paula, Arthur and Teddy were all asleep. I got out of bed, because I had to go give a final exam. As I headed out for the morning, I tried to be as quite as possible, because they all needed to rest so they could get better. I also needed rest, but it was off to work for me.

As the exam started, it gave me plenty of time to sit and think. The whole three hour period, I was left wondering what was happening at home. I sat and stared at my students. As they worked, I waited. When the exam was finally over, I called Paula to see what had happened.

It turns out that, we just needed to keep watching Teddy. If his fever got above 100.3, we should bring him in. Otherwise, we should just keep doing what we were doing. I don’t really think this made Paula feel any better, but it did calm me down some.

Rest of the Week

The rest of the day, we continued our routine of trying to help Arthur and Teddy the best we could. We got what little sleep we could, but neither of us got enough to feel better.

On Friday, I had another exam to give, but there wasn’t any improvement in anyone’s health. As Saturday came around, we started to see some improvement, but, instead of trying being able to rest, I spent the day grading exams.

On Sunday I was able to finish up inputting my grades, so I am now officially on winter break! Yes, I am extremely happy about this. However, I still haven’t gotten any rest.


Even as I write this, Arthur is sitting on my lap wanting to be cuddled. Every couple minutes, he needs me to wipe off his nose. The fever’s have calmed down, and it doesn’t appear we’ll have to go to the hospital, but we still have a ways to go before everyone is better. Hopefully your winter break gets off to a better start to ours. I’ll continue to keep you posted if things change, but we will likely just slowly get better.

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