Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I Hate Croup

Surreal things happen when you're up with a sick kid at ungodly hours. N has a cold, and N's colds always mean postnasal drip, which always means lots and lots and lots of coughing. Last night was no exception. Poor baby was coughing so hard that he was vomitting. In his sleep. That's both pathetic and disgusting at the same time.

Anyway, at one point, I took him out of his bed and sat with him on the couch so that he could sleep and still be upright. That, along with Robitussin, worked for a while. Then the coughing and gagging started again, so I asked Baroy to bring him up to me. It was at that point--at around 4 am--that we noticed how croupy/barky N sounded. So I turned on the shower in our bathroom, let it steam up, and took him in there with me. That worked, for about ten minutes...until the hot water ran out. Damn that tiny-assed water heater of ours. So I handed him back to Baroy, along with another dose of Robitussin, which it was time for. N was coughing and mumbling and refusing to open his eyes and making grunty, refusing noises about the medicine. Finally, Baroy sort of forced the dropper into N's mouth, and I heard him swallow. And then, in a voice as clear and awake as any he ever has, he said, "I yike it, Mommy. I yike this medsin." And he put his head down on Baroy's chest and feel immediately asleep. Like I said, surreal.

Anyway, he was still sounding croupy, so I decided to try the 'cold night air' thing instead of the 'steamy bathroom without any steam' thing. I put on a pair of thermal underwear, a pair of flannel pants, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved flannel shirt and a sweatshirt, grabbed three quilts and wrapped N up, and went out onto the porch to sit and swing on our porch swing for a while. And as I stepped out the door, I just started to laugh. Because, my friends, I live in Southern California. And it's been warm lately. And if it was much below 60 degrees last night, I'd be surprised. So there I am, dressed for the Arctic, with a bundled-up almost-three-year-old baby sea lion (or at least that's what he sounded like), on a balmy 'winter' night, swinging on a porch swing and SWEATING under all those layers. It was just too strange. And, strangely, quite nice. Our neighborhood is so peaceful, and the air was clear if not cold, and there was enough of a moon to see down the mountain a bit (we live on some foothills), and I was holding my baby boy, and he was finally starting to breathe normally, and he smelled sweet and mediciney and warm. And I felt like a mom, like I was doing something good, helpful. Like I was making a difference. Like my baby had needed me, and I'd come through.

Of course I was more than happy to STOP being the mom at around 7 am, when Baroy came downstairs and found N and I on the couch together. N had woken up at 6:30, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, or as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you can be with a stuffy nose and a bad cough. I was trying valiantly to stay awake and respond to him as he played and watched TV, but was failing miserably. So Baroy took over, and I got to sleep for four whole hours, and I'm like a slightly used person today. (It would be asking too much for a new person, so I'll take what I got.)

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