Big Bear has a boo-boo.

Here we go again. Another hospital, another night where Mama Bear doesn’t come home to the Bear house. But this time we’ve got a different Bear in the hospital. Big Bear.

Apartment living is kind of the worst, especially when you are a renter. An avid online shopper, I am constantly sending packages to the Bear house. Packages from Amazon, Gap, and H&M to name a few. Money is constantly going out of my wallet and into my computer screen.

It only took me one lost package by USPS (which showed up unannounced with no note a month later) for me to stop sending packages to my apartment. “Send the packages here!” Mama Bear said without the slightest hesitation. Packages are always coming and going out of the bear house and no one seems to mind that a package or two (or three or four) show up for the nanny. I am grateful for the UPS delivery guy who always talks like Donald Duck when I greet him while holding LB.

Saturday afternoon, after spending the morning shopping with my sister, we stopped by the Bear House to pick up a package that I had been waiting for (because I clearly couldn’t wait until Monday to get it).

When I got in the house BB was lying on the couch under his favorite Thomas The Train blanket and Grandma Bear was reading his new favorite library book. Little Bear was holding onto the edge of the coffee table and walking circles around it. Mama Bear told me that BB was sick.

He had been running a fever all day, she said, and he just wanted to lay on the couch- something this child never wants to do. But the second he saw me and his other girlfriend (my sister) he climbed off the couch and came over to me. He let me give him a big bear hug then retreated back to the couch. After a few minutes of talking, my sister and I went back to our apartment, large package in hand, and left the Bear Bros with their family.

Sunday I got a text from Mama Bear telling me that she took BB to the doctor that morning. BB has strep throat. Not something that the nanny wants to hear the last few hours of her weekend. I braced myself for what I assumed would be a long Monday. Surprisingly, it wasn’t. Well, at least for me.

It became apparent less than five minutes after I walked in the door Monday morning that BB had more than strep throat. Mama Bear took BB to the doctor again and the results came back quickly. Salmonella poisoning. Off to Miami Children’s Hospital we go!

How does a kid who doesn’t eat anything get salmonella poisoning? That’s the million-dollar question. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in direct contact with food, but by someone not washing their hands after handling raw food or not washing their hands properly after using the bathroom. I started to have flashbacks to family dinner Friday night at Benihana, which both my sister and I attended, and remember Jack trying to run out the door after using the bathroom and me trying to grab him and hold his hands under the water. My mom was right. Once you have kids, nothing grosses you out. I can vouch for this firsthand.

With mom, dad, grandma, and BB at the hospital, this left LB and me to our devices. Since we never get to go to Monday’s Gymboree class, because it conflicts with picking BB up from camp, we went and made new friends. After telling all the new moms, “No, no I’m the nanny. No, not the babysitter, I’m the nanny. No, I’m from Miami, born and raised,” we enjoyed the class and celebrated with a late afternoon snack: iced coffee unsweetened for me, a formula for LB.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to keep order in a house that is not new to chaos. Tuesday morning was the same (Gymboree and iced coffee) and Wednesday slightly different (no iced coffee this time). LB is taking an afternoon nap and I’m taking a break between folding laundry and picking up toys. Mama Bear came home a few hours ago and is back in her office. Being a career woman never stops, not even when your 3 ½-year-old son is down the street at the children’s hospital (under the supervision of dad and grandma).

Now for the good news! After numerous tests and samples from his stool (ew) the salmonella is only in the colon, which will work itself out of his system on his own. At this point we’re waiting for the last bit of blood work, antibiotics from the pharmacy, my medical degree, and BB and company will be on their way home!

All this happened and it’s only Wednesday. Monday is July 4th and a much-needed break. Is it Friday yet?

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