AKA - "Got any gum?"
I’m being shaken.
“Wake up! Honey! Wake up!”
Zsuzsa is standing above me. I’m confused. It’s dark and I glance at the clock. It’s 01:36. Why has my wife woken me up at this ungodly hour? There are only two possible explanations that I can think of. Either something is wrong or she’s horny.
Who am I kidding? Something’s wrong.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Mila’s really hot. Can you come and have a look?”
Zsuzsa and Mila are currently sleeping in the nursery. Up until a few days ago Mila had slept in our room alongside us. We’re trying to now transition her in to her own room and Zsuzsa’s sleeping in the spare bed in the nursery to help everything go smoothly. This is amazing news for me! After just one night alone I have de-aged about four years! I’m like Benjamin Button! At this rate I'm going to hit puberty in reverse in just over a weeks time. I'm not thrilled about the idea of my balls retracting back up in to my body, but anyway. Back to the story.
We’re now in the nursery. I’m still half asleep.
“Touch her honey. She’s so, so, so hot!” says a concerned Zsuzsa.
I put my hand on Mila’s head and I instantly know why Zsuzsa felt the need to wake me from my precious beauty sleep. Mila is hot. Very hot. If I balanced a hard boiled egg on her forehead, within seconds it would be too hard for soldiers.
“Have you checked her temperature?” I ask.
“I tried, but I’m not sure if the thermometer is working. It says she’s only 35! That can’t be right! She’s hotter than the sun!”
This does indeed sound suspect. I see the thermometer resting on the bedside table, decide to stress test it and pop it in to my mouth.
Zsuzsa is stroking the back of our groggy, semi-conscious little baby girl.
“Do you think I should call the doctor?” asks Zsuzsa.
“Yes.” I say out of the corner of my mouth.
Zsuzsa looks up at me. A look of surprise appears on her face.
“What are you doing!?” she says.
“Seeing if the thermometer’s working.” I reply, still feeling sleepy.
“Honey! That’s an anal thermometer!”
My eyes widen as the words sink in and I’m suddenly more awake than I’ve ever previously been. I spit the thermometer out.
“Nooooooooo!” I whisper-scream.
“What the fuck honey!?” says Zsuzsa, whilst positioning Mila on to all fours.
Mila stirs and looks up at me with her flushed, chubby cheeks glowing in the darkness. She looks confused as our eyes meet. She is no doubt wondering why my eyes are full of both regret and horror.
“I’m just going to give her this suppository.” says Zsuzsa.
Mila and I are still staring into each others eyes as the suppository is inserted. Now it’s Mila’s turn for her eyes to widen. She turns around to look at her Mummy, a 'WTF' look on her little baby face.
(As an aside, what is it with Hungarians and their obsession of administering things anally? What's wrong with the good old mouth?)
Zsuzsa puts Mila's nappy back on and hands her to me.
“I’m going to call the doctor.” she says.
Zsuzsa gets up to leave the room. I follow her with Mila in my arms.
“Where are you going?” asks Zsuzsa.
“To clean my teeth.” I say.
“Honey! Don’t take her out of the room. She’ll be wide awake!”
I sit down in the dark with Mila. Mila is struggling to stay awake. I think she is also trying to stay as far away as possible from my breath. In the other room I hear Zsuzsa on the phone, whispering in Hungarian.
A few minutes later and she returns. She looks furious.
“What did the doc say?” I ask.
“She told me that all good mothers should keep three forms of medicine with them at all times to control their babies temperature!”
Usually I’d be angry at this, but it’s funny how putting a thermometer in your mouth that had only moments before been up a babies anus can give you a new perspective on things.
“Did she say if we should be worried?” I ask.
“No. Says it’s normal and probably because she’s teething. Told me not to worry.”
I touch Mila’s forehead. The suppository seems to be doing the trick as she now feels much cooler.
Comforted by this news I bid my ladies goodnight, point myself in the direction of the mouthwash, and leave the room. In the morning I will order one of those thermometers that you point at foreheads.