98.6 Degrees Fahrenheit

By Keerthana Venkatesh

Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds

Four days of raging fever, over a dozen doses of paracetamol, needle pricks on a thin arm, and a wailing, puking, burning child… It has been a trying week. Our little girl is fighting against an infection that the blood tests are yet to reveal, and the battle is raging like a fire.


I’ve always encouraged the body to heal itself with minimal support of antibiotics. Though this time around, paracetamol in all its forms, colours and flavours won over my rational mind, forcing my worried creased forehead dunk these syrups down my girl’s throat.


It finally took the thermometer to show me a number -104 degrees Fahrenheit and a tummy made gassy by multiple doses of Mefenamic Acid Suspensions to kick my senses into place. I went back to the regular paracetamol dosage and topped it with a generous all-night back up of continuous sponging. Finally, I won the war. The thermometer beeped to the normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and my little girl enjoyed a good night’s sleep after a long time.


Well, parenting is a challenge. I’ve realized that in more ways than one. This is something no one tells you when they mow you down with “Have a kid. It’s fun” statements and encourages the baby bump in all glory. But yes, they also never tell you that you become a go-getter with a never say die attitude in more ways than you ever imagined.


Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine sitting up all night to spend with a sponge cloth. Never in my craziest moments did I believe I would conjure up the weirdest stories that would amuse my daughter (and shock my brains for creating them) enough to get her to open her mouth for the next spoon of dinner. Never in my most overwhelming moments did I believe I would cry out of joy just to see my little girl finish up a meal all by herself, perform on stage, paint brilliant art, conjure interesting stories out of clouds, help me tidy up and speak with a level of maturity that at times even adults don’t tend to show.


Indeed, parenting is no easy task. After all, parenting is a board exam that happens every day since that little swimmer meets the egg. It’s tough, it’s pleasant, it’s bitter-sweet, but yes, every time you bring it under the ambit of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s an unbound joy that envelopes the being.


About Keerthana Venkatesh


Ms. Keerthana Venkatesh

Keerthana Venkatesh is a passionate writer with a penchant for positivism via thoughts, actions and alternative therapies.


She has worked on the editorial of some of India’s biggest media houses and as content management and marketing head in various corporates.


An avid traveler and a doting mother, she finds inspiration and the energy of positivism through places, people and her daughter which she showcases in her blog titled "This Short Story"!!!


Featured image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/thermometer-on-medical-pills-139398/

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