Long Drives and Non-horse Diseases

I have found that it’s when I have the most material to blog about that I don’t get around to blogging.  I’ve got all sorts of good stuff built up now, so I’ll see if I can’t catch up with my life.

What with the baby and trying to get some small measure of writing time, I don’t travel too much these days. I try to keep it to no more than two book events a month, maybe three if they’re all in town.

During the second week in April, I was scheduled to speak at a library in Montgomery on Tuesday, then was headed to Tupelo for a booksigning on Thursday. It’s a two-hour drive from here to the far side of Montgomery–no fun for baby, even though his grandma lives there. He was going to stay here. Then he got a fever on Monday, which meant he couldn’t go to his little school on Tuesday.

So there was a moral conundrum–force a sick baby to a) stay with someone other than me when he was sick, b) force a sick baby to make a long car trip, or c) cancel an event at the last minute, particularly an event arranged by a very good friend who’d put a lot of effort into planning the whole thing. Guilt involved no matter what.

We ultimately decided the baby would be happier with me in the  car than home with anyone else, so I loaded him into the car at 7:30 a.m., thinking I had plenty of time to get to my event by 10 a.m.

Sick baby, early morning traffic, big cup of coffee. I got about an hour on the road and hit a standstill. So we sat there, unmoving, for half an hour, then found out they’d closed the interstate. (If I weren’t concerned about stereotypes of Alabama, I’d say that the last time I was rerouted for a closed interstate, there was a secondary wreck on the alternate highway when a chicken truck overturned and let loose chickens pell-mell all over the asphalt.)

Got to the event half an hour late. Baby feeling worse. Finished the event and soon found out he had hand foot and mouth disease, which is not, as my husband suspected, a horse disease. 

It’s spread by fluids, and, since I frequently have a slobbery little baby fist shoved in my mouth, I got a fever two days later in Tupelo. Very short-lived. The baby felt fine by then, and, in fact, slept so well in the hotel that even the fire alarm didn’t wake him. (No fire.)

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