‘Tis the season for germs and they have found their way into my home. Not for lack of germ-fighting on my part, though -- my bottle of Purell is never far away and I’m well known for making James wash his hands while singing the ABCs. But my best efforts at germ warfare are no match for the hours of unguarded sneezes and coughs to which James is exposed at daycare. So the germs have won a few battles recently.
First, Kasia got one of James’ numerous colds and so we spent a few nights doing the “Baby-Has- a Cold” dance. You know that one, right? It’s the one where your baby won’t fall asleep unless she is upright and moving and so you walk. Baby finally falls asleep and you sit down only to realize that she wasn’t *that* asleep and has already woken up and so you stand up and again you walk. This time, when you feel her droop in your arms, you continue to walk. Your arms ache and still you walk, determined to get her into a deep sleep so that you can sit down for more than a minute or two. When at last you can take it no longer, you sit down in slow motion, careful not to move or jostle her in your arms. You sloooowly recline back on the sofa. Ahh, baby is asleep. All is good. Until you realize that your leg is also asleep and your back hurts. So you spend 15 minutes weighing your options: try to readjust your body so that you can sleep and risk baby waking up or continue to lie in this position, keep baby asleep, and try your best to doze. You decide on option two. After 15 more minutes, you realize you can’t endure the position any longer and you ever so slowly move this arm and then that leg and then your head until you are at last comfortable again. You take a deep breath, shut your eyes, relax… and feel baby begin to squirm. You try in vain to pat, rock, shush. But baby is already wide awake. And so you walk.
So we did the baby-has-a-cold dance for a few nights. Actually, I should say *I* did the dance because my husband had a nasty cold/cough and I was determined to keep from exposing Kasia to even more germs. So Kasia and I waltzed through the nights. Then Kasia recovered and the next afternoon James’ daycare called to say that he had thrown up. My heart sank as visions of our entire family getting a stomach bug danced through my head. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is rather easy to contain puke germs with a four year old. My little bud was such a trooper. He sat on a stool in the bathroom and puked right into the toilet, diligently washed his hands after each episode, and let me isolate him in the bathroom with a blanket, pillow and DVD player. When he fell asleep in his makeshift bed, I experienced a momentary flash of guilt as I wondered what kind of mom lets her son sleep on the bathroom floor. My guilt grew when he kept sleeping and my husband and I realized that we had two sleeping kids and nothing to do at 6:00 pm. Is it bad parenting to enjoy an evening off when your kid is sick? Bad parenting or not, when James woke up the next morning, he was already asking for food. And, to date, none of the rest of us have gotten the stomach bug. I guess this time I won the battle after all. :)