Yesterday made seven weeks in the hospital for Avery and it’s looking more and more like this will be the last. She’s off the antibiotics and turned a huge corner by eating more yesterday than all the days of the previous week combined. When I arrived at Avery’s room yesterday, my mother in-law said that Avery finished two bottles and 22 puffs yesterday. “Really?” I said, turning to Avery. She looked away, but probably not in shame.
Avery slept at 8 PM last night and that allowed me two things: peace and the opportunity to watch AJ Styles’ match on Smackdown Live. This utopia could not and did not last, however. Avery woke at 9:30. I toted her around the room, rocked her in the chair, and sang to her. None of these things seemed to work much. I was grateful, though, that she was only whining rather than resorting to her now patented “Help-Me-I’m-Being-Murdered-But-Also-Possibly-Placed-In-A-Bed” scream of primal rage. Maybe she’s hungry. I thought. “Are you hungry?” I asked her. She intensified her whining and threw her head back dramatically while raising both hands to her ears. This is Avery’s signal of distress. “You want some puffs?” I said. Her body stiffened and the whining stopped for a few moments. I walked over to the counter and picked up the container of puffs. I shook it. Avery became Pavlov’s dog and I had just rung the bell.
Before she left for the night, Lynnette told me that puffs would be the way to Avery’s heart. It seemed simple enough, but still. Shouldn’t my love for Avery be enough to halt her complaints? Shouldn’t she feel safe and secure in the arms of her father/roommate? Doesn’t she love me?
Well, the answers to the first two are obviously “yes”. We’re still looking into the third question, but I suppose it doesn’t matter. Avery and I got along much better once I started transferring puffs into her mouth. She sat and chewed, and if I lost track of time looking at my phone or staring off into space, she reminded me very quickly to make with the puffs already.
She’s doing this thing now where she doesn’t even bother taking the puff from my hand. If I hold out a piece in front of her, she grabs my hand and pulls it closer to her while simultaneously leaning forward. As a fan of efficiency I’m impressed, but as a father I’m like GEEEZ! I’m going to chalk it up to Avery’s fine motor skill simply not being back to what they once were. She better not come back home as an even more spoiled version of Madison. Or Lynnette.
So. It looks like the earliest we’ll be discharged is Friday. I know I wrote that I would likely hold off on updates until then, but I can’t help it. She’s the Avery of old again. Her big round dark eyes find me when I shout “Gravy!” We look at each other for a moment before I ask her about her day. She turns away. It is what it is. It is what it was. But it looks like I’m going to get the chance to find out what it else it can be. My heart is full.