There is nothing like a sick toddler to redirect your focus. Last night my son felt a bit warm but I didn’t think too much of it. When his father came to pick him up for visitation he was lethargic and looked pale. By bedtime he had a raging fever and that barking cough that can only be Croup. He’s had it before. In fact, just two months ago we ran to the emergency room in the middle of the night because his throat closed up and he was choking so hard he burst blood vessels all over his face. This time around I was calmer when his sweaty little head turned to me on the couch and said “Mama, I don’t feel so good today.”
I managed to get him to take some children’s Motrin by bribing him with Doritos. Of course, he couldn’t actually eat any chips but he felt he had won a major victory against Mom and clutched the bag to his chest for the rest of the evening. He went to bed coughing and sputtering. In a psychosomatic display of solidarity, I went to bed with no appetite and a headache. This worked in Jenny Craig’s favor because I could barely eat all the meals for the day. And there was no way I was going near a salad.
Somewhere around 5am, Noah started to cough and moan. I grabbed some Triaminic Nighttime medicine and more Motrin and went into his room. I dare you to find anything more heartbreaking than a child or puppy that is ill. They look so sad! Actually kids kind of take on that sick puppy look. Poor Noah was lying half out of his bed with heavy lidded eyes and sweating profusely. Before I even touched his forehead I could feel the heat radiating from him. He didn’t move but his eyes followed me across the room. “Mama, I don’t feel so good today.”
We sat in the bathroom with the shower running until the whole bathroom was full of steam. We went outside and breathed in the foggy air. We went back in the bathroom. This happened a few more times until his coughing and crying quieted. I actually persuaded him to drink the medicine I brought him and we lay down together in his bed. Within minutes he was asleep again and I was wide awake. Nothing stresses me out like a sick Noah. I went back into my room and tried to read but found myself panicked by the silent monitor and crept into his room not once but twice to check his breathing. I felt like a total dork. I am just barely dragging through my day and, no, I still don’t feel much like eating!