The Zyrtec Chronicles

Oct 21, 2011 by


Below you will find an actual email to me from my wife.  Pay close attention to “thing” number two.

Two Things

Caroline Ankerson

Sent: Wed 10/19/2011 12:46

To: Matt Ankerson


1)      We need to leave here no later than 1:35.  I parked out front

2)      You drugged our daughter.  They have children’s Zyrtec.  We need to stop at the store to pick it up.

Caroline Ankerson  


Have you ever been playing a sport and as the clock ticks, you find yourself or your team, ahead with an insurmountable lead with the victory all but sealed?  Suddenly the other team orchestrates a run, beginning a nail biting comeback only to see the clock run out with your win preserved?  You feel satisfied you won, but are kicking yourself for letting it become a little closer than it should.

This is what I experienced this week, however it wasn’t a game; it was watching my daughter while my wife was out of town.  I was on it for the first day.  House cleaned.  Check.  School snack packed.  Check.  Daughter fed, teeth brushed, to bed on time.  Check, check, and check.  It was like tossing a no-hitter through 7 innings.

The second day, I had to take her to her pediatrician because she was itching like mad and had some sort of rash on her legs and back.  Again, I was on it.  The doctor thought it was nothing serious, but recommended an over the counter drug, Zyrtec, to help reduce the irritation and itching.  I headed to CVS and picked up a bottle of “adult” Zyrtec.   The piece of paper from the pediatrician just had the word Zyrtec scribbled and nothing else.  There were rows and rows of bottles of Zyrtec, so that is what I purchased.

I felt like I was through the 8th…three more outs to go….or six more hours before Caroline returned home from her trip.

I picked my daughter up after work, she had another great day.  Early poll results showed me holding a slight lead in the “Father of the Year” voting.  Confidence on day two was extremely high.  Three more outs I told myself, as I was walked out the mound.

Then things started to unravel slightly.  It began when I ordered the Chinese food.  I picked up the phone, told the man my order, read off the credit card numbers, he thanked me and said 45 minutes.  Perfect, we will eat by 7:30, which gives me plenty of time for a bath, two books, and then bed.  Then the champagne shower for my no-hitter.

The clock read 7:45, I muttered “what the fuck, it’s a Tuesday, no one orders Chinese on a Tuesday.”  I waited on the porch; “my plan is deteriorating”, I thought to myself, “time get these last three outs”, which I knew would be the toughest.

By 8:00 the Chinese man, and his beat up car, came racing down my street.  I had to give him props; he did sprint up to the porch.  I signed the receipt and ran to the kitchen.  My daughter and I scarffed down sodium filled noodles and veggies in 15 minutes.  I made the audible, no bath….shower instead.

Clothes stripped off, shower head spraying water, and I picked up the little one and placed her in the shower.  At 8:20, I gave up a double in the gap.  I knew I threw the wrong pitch as it released through my fingers.   In hurry, and not thinking straight, I grabbed the soap and tipped the bottle, squirting the liquid in her hands.  I instructed her to wash her stomach and legs, in retrospect; I should have done this myself.  Instead of listening to my crystal clear directions, she decided to call her own audible and begin washing her “area”.

Burning and crying.

More burning and crying.

The look on her face killed me.


I was like a farmer watching his barn burn down to the ground, waiting for the fire department to arrive.  All I could do was douse her with water in the location of her internal fire.  There were moments of relief, but those were short-lived.  I rinsed her off, took her out of the shower, and wrapped this small child in a towel as she cried.  We got to her room, as all I could do was hold her till the burning subsided.  We had the following dialogue:

Me: “Um….How’s your um………vagina?”

Her:  “Still hurts daddy.”

Me:  “It will pass, I promise.”

Her: “Where’s mommy?”

Me: “She will be home soon.”

Me:  “How’s your vagina?”

Her: “Daddy, it’s better…”

Me:  “Really?”

Her: “Yes, Daddy.”

Top of the 9th, man on second, and I manage a flyball out.  Runner advances to third, but one man down.   Two more outs, I am sweating profusely.

I successfully managed to dress her in pajamas and brushed her teeth.  Called third strike!  Two down, one to go.

Concentrate now, time to take the Zyrtec.  Caroline and I agreed that half the 10 mg pill would suffice.  I broke the pill and then taught a three year old how to swallow it.  At the time, this didn’t seem strange or out of place.  I mimicked how to swallow, and had her wash it down with a Sippy cup of milk.

I gave up a single allowing the run to score, but still had the lead.  No-hitter was lost, the shutout was a thing of the past, but I could still get the win.  I could hear the bullpen phone ringing; I could see the relief pitchers beginning to warm-up out of the corner of my eye.  I knew this was my last batter.

After two books read, a rather subdued three-year old drifts off to sleep.

It was harder than it should have been, but this one ended with a W.

Game over.



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  1. I’m so glad I have a boy…

  2. jan ankerson

    I am your mother and every thing you do is perfect to me…however, this was the best. I shall share it with many. Cora will have such fun reading these when she is a teenager. You’re the best!!

  3. Wendy Mairle

    You are father of the year!! As I sit here writing… I have tears in my eyes and really need to pee but, this is more important! Everything was done with perfection according to daddyland. No one was injured (well maybe scarred for life – her pour little vajj), no emergency trip (my girls have had many, in fact we have a frequent vistor’s card that gets stamped when we arrive) and many memories. This will make Tom’s day and I guess a chuckle or two from him regarding those younger years. Very precious

  4. Tricia Gaydon

    Hey look on the bright side: Cora was clean, her tummy was full and she slept really well. I call this a win-win! Also, I’m with Alan…so glad I have a boy. LOL


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