As if being a Mom is not hard enough..enter cold and flu season. That first cough and exclamation by one of your children.."I don't feel good!" It strikes the fear of God into any Mom. And I will never understand why I always respond with, "What do you mean you don't feel good?" as if I am trying to make sure I might have heard them wrong. A girl can dream you know! And my kids always look back at me like I am crazy and respond again with "I don't feel so good, my head hurts, my throat hurts.." blah..blah..blah..Okay I get it. Why I am never prepared for it is beyond me, but here we go again.
So as a Mom when you get in bed at night and need a good night sleep more then anything what of course happens? The dreaded cough that I will never get used to even after three kids and multiple sick nights. The reason you never get used it is because for some reason kids have this amazing ability to go to bed as healthy as a marathon runner in trainging and wake a few hours later as if they contracted malaria in their sleep. If we could have some warning and be prepared and ready for battle that would be great! But no it goes something like this..I am deep in sleep, cozy in my warm bed, then it strikes. The cough!! I sit up in my bed with my heart racing and eyes trying to adjust to the dark. I try to focus and listen again and there it is the cough!! Yes it is a code red and I jump out of bed as fast as I can but get caught in the sheets and blankets everytime and kind of fall out of bed. Or even better I stub my toe on the bed frame corner as I am still trying to get my legs beneath me. I go hobbling down the hall following the cough to what room it is coming from. And as I arrive at the doorway of my daughter's room the cough is just at that point every Mom dreads and it turns into slow motion and my voice is like "Nooooooooooo.....wait..........." and just as I grab her it happens...she coughs and pukes all over everything...and I mean everything..the rug, the bedding, herself, me, the teddy bears in her bed and pillows and on and on. Yes kids are so talented and manage to hit everything! And everytime I ask out loud , not sure who I am talking to at that point but "Why?? Why can't they ever get up and run to the bathroom? Or at least just make it to the hallway with wood floors? Why" And then as always my daughter will say "Sorry Mommy" and I say "It's okay, you couldn't help it sweetie" But even as I say it I am not sure I believe it.
So as my hopes of any kind of sleep drift in the distance the clean up begins, I run a warm bath and put my daughter in to soak as I go in and strip the bed completely, grab the teddy bears, change my clothes and bring everything to the basement to be washed. I attempt to start removing the smell of puke. And that is a smell that will take some super industrial strength cleaner to get rid of..takes days. So I bring my daughter downstairs in preparation of an all nighter on the couch (how the meaning of all nighters has changed!). It is one of those nights where they lay on you as you are sitting up and everytime they fall asleep they wake back up within minutes coughing and I am holding a puke bucket now all ready. The glamorous life continues. And as I sit and watch TV waiting for the next round a commerical comes on for soothing/ calming baby wash. And I say to myself "Bulls***" The commercial portrays a couple up together walking a fussy baby around and then wait, they forgot to try the calming baby wash, and with the mixture of lavendar and honey once you wash the baby he amazingly goes into a deep peaceful sleep for the night. I start to yell at the TV in my overtired middle of the night delerium. That is the type of crap that makes people all excited to be parents and think life with kids is a walking talking Candy Land game and everyday is like landing on gum drop lane. Makes me want to puke. If that baby wash really worked just like that I would buy it by the case and bath everyone in my house including my freaking dog so he didn't wake me either having to go out in the middle of the night!
Okay, what we do wrong is set parents up along the way to think that rainbows and unicorns is where it is at with these marketing strategies, and with cute baby clothes and shoes, and with cute baby showers and baby books and kits to make baby handprints and footprints. I am going to start a Mommy boot camp. Let's get real. You need to be able to wake up without warning and instantly, you need to be able to get no sleep but still go to work, be able to sleep in the tiniest square footage with random little feet and elbows jammed in your face or ribs, learn to sleep upright in a chair, and take care of multiple sick children while you are sick as a dog yourself. So as I plan my boot camp the sun starts to peak up and a new day is here and that is when my daughter decides to go to sleep..perfect! Always happens this way..
So as I know that will not be the last time I am woken by a cough in the middle of the night..I dare to dream that from my mommy fear factor and survivor training I will make it one of these times ...to the bathroom!