Monday, January 24, 2011

Kenyon+Croup=Sleepy Mama

On Thursday, we put a healthy Kenyon to bed and woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of him with a distinctive barking cough that seasoned parents know all too well--ahh yes, my old friend, croup.  Fever, barking cough like a seal (although in Kenyon's opinion, he sounded like a goose), and slightly labored, wheezy breathing--the no-fail recipe for many nights of interrupted sleep for this sleep-loving mama.

After three kids, I'm fairly hardened to any minor ailments the kids may get, and we're certainly not into co-sleeping in this family for any child past the ripe-old age of two months.  I guess we could argue that the boys co-sleep because they're all in the same room, but the point is that they're not with us.  Because 'us', especially 'me', needs sleep.

That being said, I'm a bit more sensitive to any sort of larger respiratory illness.  We're doing the usual: humidifier positioned so the moistened air falls in a perfect arc over his bed, medicine for the fever, and I check on him a couple of times in the night when I hear him coughing and everything.  But inevitably when my child has an illness like this I find myself in this scenario--I stir slightly and realize it has been a few hours since I last checked on him.  He hasn't made a peep.  I start to go back to sleep but of course imagine him in there struggling to breathe or some other impossibly horrible concoction of terror that only moms have the power to bring forth from their imagination (and I say this because Sam is undoubtedly sleeping like a baby, blissfully unaware).  By this point, my blood pressure is considerably higher and there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to go back to sleep until I get out of bed and check on him.  This can't be just my craziness, right?  Tell me you go through the same thought process...

So the past few nights, he has woken up feeling really crummy around 4am and has crawled in bed with us; I've let him just so I can make sure his little body isn't working too hard to breathe.  And he is pretty darn cute to sleep next to, even though he manages to defeat the laws of volume and mass to take up 72% of a king-size bed with his 2-year old self.

Croup is a weird illness, with the nights being so much worse than the days.  By morning, Kenyon is reasonably chipper but still makes a point of saying that he 'still has those bad coughs'.  And his appetite hasn't been up to par, which is the most significant, because Kenyon doesn't miss a meal.  Evidence: his round, stout body, and this recent conversation about what he does at his Montessori school...
Me:  "Kenyon, tell me what works you've been doing in Primaries!"
Kenyon: "The grape work."
Me: "What do you do with the grape work?"
Kenyon: "I wash grapes, and I eat them."
Me: "Oh!  Tell me about another work you do."
Kenyon: "The apple work."
Me: "Cool; and what do you do with the apple work?"
Kenyon: "I wash an apple, I cut it into pieces, and I eat it."
Me: "Do you do any other works?"
Kenyon: "No."
Me (thinking to myself): We're paying a grand a month so my kid can eat an apple and some grapes???

Even when he does start feeling better, I'm sure he'll milk it as long as possible, because he's got two doting brothers who have been waiting on him hand and foot, bringing down his blanket, his Sheepie, and reading to him.
giving Alex a high-five in exchange for his Sheepie
Watch out Derek Zoolander--even croup can't get in the way of his "Blue Steel"

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