Each cough or sneeze from a sick child is like unleashing an army of evil bacteria who fly around your home taunting you by infecting everything in sight with mucus, germs, and phlegm directly from your child’s mouth. After repeated direct sneeze to face contact, I decided to look up what happens to your body when those bacteria have the freedom to infect. Well, leave it to NPR to make getting a cold sound so pleasant and simplistic.
As you carry your sick child around, every cough, sneeze, and runny nose drip seems to find its way into your face, on your counters, and throughout your entire home turning it into a petrie dish of germs battling it out for supremacy.
And yet all along, all you want to do is help them feel better. Sticking your face right next to theirs to comfort them, hugging them tight, and wiping away their faucet of a nose with your bare hands. So…you’re welcome hand sanitizer makers, we’re keeping you in business right now. All the while watching our hands crack with dryness, as we rush to try and disinfect after we touch even the slightest of object that may be contaminated. Releasing a grenade of disinfectant inside our home seems like a plausible and quite realistic idea right about now. There would be way more satisfaction then there should be upon seeing that white cloud of smoke go “poof.”
It’s a mystery how exactly our little one came down with a cold. Out of nowhere it bloomed into a full blown cough, with congestion, and runny nose. We still can’t figure out where he got it. He was healthy one day, and boom, the next morning the poor little man is feeling crummy and can’t sleep for longer than about an hour and a half at a time.
New parents, when your child gets their first cold brace yourselves. A newborn provides some unique sleep challenges, a sick 5 month old takes it to a whole new level! We were up every hour or so trying to settle him down which was about as successful as Team USA beating Canada in Olympic hockey. No matter how hard we tried; pacifiers, rocking, feeding, changing, more rocking, his congestion won out every time. Waking him up almost immediately after we would get him settled down…or so it seemed, between the hours of 12-4am. For a week stretch we slept about 4 hours a night, stitched together like a used, worn, old blanket full of holes. I now know what it’s like to be a member of “The Walking Dead.” Pretty sure I even looked about as fantastic as they do too, just without all the hours in the makeup chair. I’ve got my audition next week.
We think we’re seeing a small light at the end of the tunnel. We’re also praying it’s not the train coming to plow us over. But no matter how little he sleeps, he always wakes up with a smile on his face, a giggle upon seeing us, and squeals of delight as we come to get him. Little does he know, mom and dad have hardly slept a wink. And that’s the joy of parenthood, no matter how tired you are, how badly you catch their cold, how many home remedies fail to make them feel better, they always look at you with a smile on their face saying without words, “thank you.”