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And the Verdict Is . . .

We’re definitely sick.

That runny nose turned into quite the gusher, and all three of us woke up Saturday morning with the stuffy head and cough thing going on. So we spent the weekend cooped up indoors, Brian and I taking shifts so we could try to get some rest time to ourselves. Maddie was having a hard time sleeping, which means of course that we all have a hard time sleeping, and she was getting up a good couple hours before her normal wake-up time.

One of the hardest parts of having a sick toddler is that they go for very long stretches thinking they’re not sick: a sort of baby amnesia, or maybe a case of mind over matter where they simply will the bad feeling away. But something invariably happens to bring them back to reality, whether it’s being denied something they want, a minor fall, or simply not being able to accomplish a task like putting blocks away. And the dam breaks, the floodgates open, and baby girl crumples, sobbing, in a sweaty little heap on the floor. You can see the thought process – “This is too hard! I don’t feel good! What is going on!”

So when you’re a sick parent, you’ve got a toddler who’s full of energy, restless, and bored, looking to be entertained, punctuated by moments of intense clinginess, helpless sobbing, and listless cuddling. Trying to keep up with Maddie’s mood swings was almost more than I could handle, and I kept wanting to shout, “Give me a break, kid! I’m pregnant, sleep-deprived, and sick, and I’m still singing ‘Old MacDonald’ for the eighth time! Where’s my credit????” Fortunately, that was usually right about the time my “shift” would end and daddy would come staggering blearily from our bedroom to take over.

We did get out of the house a couple of times, simply because Maddie was climbing the walls. Saturday she and I got bundled up and went outside to play in the snow in our driveway for fifteen minutes – I swear, that kid loves being outdoors. Cold as it was, she had a blast and definitely seemed to perk up. Then on Sunday the family got really adventurous and drove to the mall for a pretzel. This is a favorite pastime of Maddie’s, especially with both parents in tow paying full attention. And for us, we didn’t have to be outside long or walk anywhere. By the time we got back home we were both ready for bed, but kiddo was once again charged and ready to go.

I’m hoping we’ve seen the worst of it and are on the upswing. This has (I say cautiously) been a relatively mild cold, and I think tomorrow will see us all feeling better. I do have to say, I spent much of the weekend wondering to myself how in the world we will do it when there’s two sick kids to care for . . .

And p.s., I wasn’t wrong about the teething thing. She’s got either a cuspid or a molar coming in on the top – whatever it is, it’s a big ‘un. And about 1/5 of it has cut through the gum and is showing, while the rest is taking for EVER to get through. So we’ve got many layers going on here in this fun household. You know it’s bad when your child starts chewing on her shoes like a teething puppy . . .


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