When Bubs is sick and Mama gets sicker 

Last week LA’s month-long sniffles turned into a terrible, hacking smoker’s cough. Now, I’m fairly certain that she hasn’t taken up a nasty smoking habit so instead of reprimanding her I finally decided to excuse ourselves from the day’s activities and took her to the Doctor after which we spent the day at home. That was on Thursday. Today is Tuesday, and we haven’t left the house since. 
Thursday was a day of woe. There is something about seeing a tiny little girl hacking away and sucking in desparate-sounding breaths in the midst of a coughing fit that really cuts to the heart of a mother, or, you know, any living human. The protective mother inside me was furious that bugs chose my precious daughter to prey upon and I wished I could scare them away with my best strict-Mum glare, or that rifle I plan to use on boys later in life (joking, obviously). Later in the day the coughing must have started getting to her too, because even the smallest of coughs would result in the kind of wailing cry normally reserved for special occasions such as getting her immunization jabs. That day, setting her down for just a moment, touching her ears, putting her in her crib (after she had fallen asleep), and attempting to wipe her nose were also elevated to traumas justifying such cries. I finally got her to sleep in my arms (something she rarely does anymore because she is so used to her crib) and was rewarded with a two-hour long cuddle. That was nice.

Friday, Mama wakes up with a pounding headache and a burning throat. Uh-oh. I guess it was not so unexpected given LA’s newly acquired hobby of slobbering all over Mama’s face (and directly into my mouth if she is quick enough) with what I like to think are affectionate, sloppy kisses. Sick-germy-laden kisses I should say. The good news is LA woke up pretty genki (healthy and happy), although still coughing.

Never mind, it’s just a cold — an excuse to take it easy, get lots of naps in, watch some movies, eat homemade chicken soup, go to bed early — you know…all those usual sick day things.

Except that the “naps” consist of lying on the bed/couch with one eye open and one hand playing with the baby on the floor. (Oh yea, and did I mention that they are building a major car-bridge within 5 meters of the window of our bedroom? Not so helping in creating a nap-friendly environment). And the attempts at movies after getting said baby to nap are interrupted with much getting up to resettle the baby, quickly getting the laundry on, sorting out dinner, and doing the bare minimum of housework possible while keeping the house liveable. And the “homemade chicken soup” is instant noodles or toast because that’s all you can be bothered making (after reaching the point where the ‘I’m starving’ factor finally overtakes the ‘I have no energy to get up to make something’ factor.) And the “early nights” are kind of irrelevant when they are punctuated with several night-time wakenings to feed the adorable baby (yes, she is most adorable in the middle of the night – it’s true. I think it’s some kind of in-built baby defense mechanism). Yea, but other than that, being sick after having a baby is pretty much the same as being sick pre-baby. No worries.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday, dearest hubby had less hours at work and more time at home, during which he, too, gradually became sick, thus thwarting my plans of retreating to the bedroom for the entirety of the weekend (the hours he was home anyway). Although, to be fair, he was a lot more functional than I (I blame my constant friend sleep deprivation for being hit the hardest) and did the lion’s share of the babycare- and house- work. God bless him.

And so here we are at Tuesday, Mama still hacking away with a painful cough and pounding headache, and papa back at work. Such is (this mostly wonderful) life. Hopefully by the time we get back to Thursday, all will be back to usual again, with one more parenting experience notch in the belt.

Apparently there are a few nasty lurgies lurking around Tokyo/Kawasaki at the moment, so to all the sick mamas and papas  out there (gosh, especially those with multiple kids that don’t nap anymore and require a bit more entertaining), I salute you.


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