You hear all about it. Babies are supposed to get like six colds a year. It’s no big deal. Rudimentary immune systems, blah blah blah. We thought we’d seen him have a cold. He would sniffle and cough a bit here and there. Have a runny nose. Well, eight months in and we have our first real cold. It’s epic. The poor little Squish doesn’t know what’s going on. He’s in over his head. His typical temperament is pretty easy going, so watching him writhe around in discomfort while coughing and leaking from his nose and eyes is pretty intense. There is a beautiful agony in watching him sleep while he struggles to draw air through his congested nose.
Naturally, we overreacted and called the pediatric nurse as soon as his symptoms reached their current fervor. I was shocked to hear that they don’t want you to bring the baby in unless he’s had a cough for ten days, or a fever over a hundred for two days. I was already trying to figure out which organ I needed to donate to him to keep him alive. We canceled the ambulance, I bought some store brand electrolyte fluids, and hunkered down for the ride.
All things considered, he’s handling this pretty well. He sleeps through most of it. There are a few minutes of peace when he wakes up from one of his twelve naps. I have to say, there is a kind of poetic grandeur about seeing his eyes red and watering while he laughs and plays; It’s like watching a junky after a fix. His demeanor degrades quickly with prolonged consciousness. He is stable for about a half an hour before he needs to, aggressively, go back to sleep. It is not lost on me how ridiculous I am being about my baby’s cold. That’s the whole point! This whole thing is so weird. You become religious about your baby. Everything that happens is of some grand significance.
He’s still sick, so maybe I haven’t seen the end of this period of spiritual growth. Maybe he will need my appendix after all. We shall see.
And on the eight day he said “Let there be snot.” and it was gross.