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The Siege Is Lifted!

The sun is shining, the sky is bright, and
my child feels better.

I have to tell you, last week was no picnic whatsoever, and we were
hit with a simple cold. I can’t imagine if the family had
been down with the flu or some ickier virus.

I was about 24 hours ahead of Maddie, with Brian following maybe
two days behind her, so we were good and spread out on the sick
scale. And Maddie and I have had a cold together once before, a
couple months ago, but let me tell you – this was way

We spent four nights of sleeplessness.
Count them, four. She’d go to sleep for a couple hours, wake
up crying, and be unable to go back to sleep. Poor kiddo’s
face was so stuffed up that she hated lying down and couldn’t
be persuaded back into her crib for love or money. So we worked in
shifts, spending a couple hours at a time with her while the other
person “rested”. She’d cry for an hour or so at a
time, simply miserable and unable to be comforted; snuggle on our
laps reading books, begging for the same book over and over again;
decide she was hungry and want applesauce or jello; then realize
how tired and miserable she was and begin crying all over again.

We found a few ways to get her to sleep, none of them what
you’d call ideal. Sometimes she’d snuggle up in a
hammock hold on the couch and sleep fitfully for a couple hours or
so, with the parent stretched out along the edge to keep her from
falling off. With your arm under her head going to sleep, your legs
and feet cold because the sight of a blanket makes Maddie scream
for some reason, there’s no going to sleep for you. So you
lie there and count the tick-tocks of the clock.

Maddie would also sleep on a lap in her big nursing rocker. With
the boppy underneath her, she’d eventually collapse while
reading a book, her eyes drooping longer and longer until her arms
and legs dropped into looseness. I spent one night with her like
that for a total of seven hours, with only a half-hour crying break
in the middle to get up and rest my hiney. It really is impossible
to sleep sitting up like that; believe me, I tried.

And there was no transferring Maddie to her crib, either: once she
fell asleep, we were lucky to keep her there. Any movement, any
breath of air between her body and yours, and she’d scream
and be inconsolable for another half hour. Nor could we bring her
into bed with us: just walking into our room escalated her cries.

Our best night was the one my mom stayed over to help out. Sleeping
on the couch, she took a two-hour shift so we could try to get four
hours of sleep at a stretch. I’ll never forget the look on my
daughter’s face when we walked to the living room for a shift
change and my mom rose up off the couch; the sheer surprise and joy
made for one of the few bright points in her poor night.

The days were better for her, since she was vertical and her face
wasn’t as stuffy. For me, though the days were worse; I was
sick as well, and trying to drag myself through a day with perhaps
two hours sleep, a low fever, and a constant runny nose felt like a
Sisyphean task.

As the week dragged on, each day and night worse than the last one,
I thought we’d be stuck in and endless loop of crying and
snot. And then a miracle happened.

Thursday night, she slept through the night.

We both jerked awake at several times during the night, convinced
she was minutes away from waking. But poor kiddo, exhausted and in
deep need of some healing sleep, was out for a full thirteen hours.

Friday morning, Maddie got up with a bounce in her step and a song
in her heart. I could almost hear the cheesy Partridge Family song,
“C’mon Get Happy,” playing in her head as a
personal soundtrack. I assumed the good mood was due to her full
night’s sleep and a healing body, but at breakfast I noticed
there was something different about her.

Baby girl had popped two new teeth.

Yes, in addition to being sick, Maddie was teething all week.

So here we are on the other side, with only a small runny nose for
both of us to say we’ve even been sick. Maddie’s
looking forward to hanging out with her friends again at the park,
and Mommy’s looking forward to a more normal week.

You think I was paranoid about germs before? Watch out. She’s
going to be the bubble kid rather than go through that again.


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