The Croup

I can tell Beren's been really sick because though we've all been cooped up together, the house is not  messy. We moved from couch to the floor reading books. We didn't even color. No Legos.

A couple nights ago, Jared and I stayed up talking until 2AM. Getting up off the couch to soothe Beren's coughs seemed a better choice than dragging out of bed. "If only we could bring him into our bed," Jared said. "But then none of us would get any sleep."

Beren, unfortunately, is a kicker. His sleep is fidgety when in the presence of others, even when he's really sick. I'd like to be able to monitor Beren's breathing, but he reminds me he's alive and kicking by kicking incessantly. I imagine he gets only slightly better rest than me in this state.

Yesterday, Beren moaned ("Uhhnn. Uhn.") for about, well, most of the day. Breakfast went ok, and the rest was downhill. Jared and I took turns working on our business and doctoring to Beren. I should say "being present for Beren" because he refused nearly all remedies except finger and toe massages.

In the afternoon, Beren said, "I want to be in my bed". Shockingly, we both fell asleep. My child does not nap. Shocking turn of events. The nap mellowed me, and I was ready for the next round of moaning.

Just before bed, Beren asked me to tell him the word for what he was doing. He took offense when Jared and I called it "moaning". "Wailing?" No. "Caterwauling?" No. "Bemoaning?" No. "Complaining?" No. "Teething?" No.

"You know the word, Momma! Tell me! Maybe it's the next one!" I offered a few more, which were not it. I suggested using a thesaurus. No way. Jared suggested it was bedtime. He also suggested that Beren was "crying". "That's it!" Beren said.

It was certainly time for bed. Nothing really helped his wracking cough but standing nearby an open door to allow the cool mist to soothe his airways. We swayed to Luscious Jackson, Beck, and Tracy Chapman beside the door and then headed to bed.

Between 8:00PM and 8:00AM, Jared and I took a dozen or so trips to Beren's room to soothe his cough and his discomfort from fever. Each time, he helped him settle back down to sleep, offering water, elderflower and linden tea, and an herbal throat spray.

Today was better. Less crying. More activity, just a little. His cough is less agonizing.

Tonight, after I read a wacky Eric Carle book and told Beren a "Cheetah story", I began dozing in Beren's bed. "Momma, you're too close. Why are you too close?" "You have both pillows to prop yourself up, Beren. My head is on the pillow, too." As I slid my head onto the cool mattress, I smelled the lavender sachets we made today. Beren had stuffed them inside his pillows. I dozed until Beren said, "Momma, I want to be alone." "Ok, Beren. Goodnight. I love you."