The joys of parenthood are often fraught with sickness and germs and all the things that you hate. This includes: sleepless nights, multiple medications, hot bodies clinging to you in pain and just plain exhaustion. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes, momma gets tired.
This past week, my munch has been home suffering from a respiratory infection. How does a six year old get a respiratory infection? Heck if I know. It started Sunday afternoon when I noticed that he was wheezing when he slept. I started back on the Xopenex because of the change in weather and added Benadryl back into the regimen (parenting an asthmatic child) to try to head off any sickness. Well, it was too late.
He woke me up at 2:22 am on Monday morning complaining he didn’t feel good and wanted to sleep with me. After being in the bed with me for 20 minutes tossing and turning, he started to cough. Said he was thirsty. I gave him more medications, took his temperature and gave him some juice to wash the taste down from the medications. He couldn’t go back to sleep. Every 30 minutes he was whining about not feeling good. I held him to my chest, took his temperature and just laid with him in his bed trying to provide comfort. The morning came quickly and 6 am reminded me that I had to get up and go to work. I got him up and began to dress him. When I gave him more medications he vomited all over the bed. EEWW! Did I mention I hate vomit and have a bad gag reflex? I had to catch myself. I cleaned him up, changed the sheets and called into the office. I would not be going in.
After getting him settled in I emailed his teacher and tried to get some rest. Nope. Munch was wired and whiny and wanting his mommy’s attention. So, I cuddled him. Read to him and gave him Popsicles. I fixed soup for lunch and gave him apple sauce and tried to get him down for a nap at 2 pm. He laid down and so did I, but 90 minutes later he was back up and I was too. I put on Netflix and planned dinner. I started washing clothes and checking work email. Before long, it was time to go to bed.
So, not having any sleep and mentally exhausted, I did what ever person does. I got on Facebook. It was on the PTSA school website that I learned about the Human Enterovirus affecting children. Yep, my baby was now a victim of this vicious virus is what I said. (Hey, my baby had swine flu, so I get to be a little paranoid okay?) I began my crazy baby watching while he slept to make sure that he wasn’t dying. Every breath sounded painful and the wheezing was breaking my heart. I kept watch over him like a hawk for two hours. Why?
Because he woke up. After only two hours of sleep, he was up at 11 pm and stayed awake until 7 am on Tuesday morning. I couldn’t take it. So, with 4 hours of sleep, I called out and called his pediatrician to see if I should bring him in. Their response? Yep, bring him in at 9 am. So with munch only having an hour and a half of sleep, I dragged him to the doctor’s office in his pajamas. After testing his pulse oxygen level, doing a rapid strep test and listening to his lungs, the diagnosis wasn’t Human Enterovirus, but a respiratory infection. I was relieved, but when she put the absence note for the full week of school, I paused.
Wow! I can’t take off for the entire week and I can’t work from home. So, while I was mentally preparing him to come to work with me and sleep in my office, his dad emailed and said he could take off and keep him. Whew! One less thing to worry about as I typed my email thanking him for this decision. I put munch in a hot steamy shower and began the nightly medicine ritual to get him healthy again. Once tucked into bed and resting I began my ritual of washing clothes, washing dishes and cleaning the house. He got out of bed at 9:15 pm excited that he had lost another tooth. “The tooth fairy is coming mommy. I get more coins and I am getting my grown up teeth.”
Simple joy from a wonderful boy reminded me that no matter how tired momma gets, she’s never too tired to be his mom. So, I smiled and said, “I’m so excited baby, but the tooth fairy won’t come if you’re still up. Let’s wash the tooth and put it in a baggie so she can find it.” We did and he was tucked back into bed. An hour later I went to check on him and he was sleeping in the middle of his bed not on his pillows to allow the tooth fairy to leave his coins. I smiled, kissed him and slipped the coins under the pillow knowing that I would miss the days when he grows up and knows this isn’t real, but you know what? I will cherish every moment until then, no matter how tired I am.