Monday, September 19, 2016

My Baby is So Advanced, He Can Turn a Baby Cold into a Man Cold

Andrew was in day care about 5 days before he brought home his first cold. I don't want to let him out of the house ever again. Having tended to my other babies, many years ago, I thought I knew how to handle baby colds: a lot of snuggling, using a nasal aspirator and humidifier, and doing a bit of tending in the night.

This baby, however, managed to go full-on Man Cold on me.

Here's how my baby's cold is like a man cold:

A Man Colder denies he has a cold until he has spewed his germs everywhere. "It's just allergies." "Is something wrong with the thermostat?" "I'm really tired." A Man Colder is always the last to know he has a cold, yet the cold surprises no one but himself. Naturally, he has managed to touch all of the remotes in the house during the denial stage. Baby Andrew kept up with a rousing weekend of accompanying his sis to the orthodontist, going to church, and attending a party and staying out past bedtime. But the purple tinge around his eyes, the crying jags, and his inability to take a nap longer than 1/2 an hour suspiciously pointed to a cold, which eventually kicked in with dramatic fashion.

A Man Colder, once his cold is identified, cannot maintain a schedule and routine. While a woman will likely keep working, mothering, or campaigning for president while ill, a man cold makes the sufferer's life grind to a screeching halt, with a big, "I'm so sick!" preferably uttered amid coughs and sniffles, so that it sounds more like, "I'm tho thick!"A large pile of wadded tissues on the floor adds dramatic effect. For baby Andrew, who has gifted us with 8 and even 10 hour stretches of sleep for months, it meant jettisoning his routine, waking within 45 minutes of being put down for the night, and staying up, with much weeping and wailing, until dawn crested our hill.

A Man Colder must drag others into his suffering. Not able to quietly suffer, or, God forbid, suck it up, he needs to know that YOU KNOW just how ill he is. If he doesn't think there is enough attention coming his way, he might embark on a coughing fit, accidentally drop his mug of tea to the floor with a clatter because his feeble wrist can no longer hold it, or weakly summon you from another part of the house to bring him a small, ripe clementine, peeled, if you wouldn't mind. Under no circumstances should you give a Man Colder a bell to ring, even if it seems like it could make this process more efficient. You may also want to turn your text notifications way, way down. Andrew was not content to drag just his mother, his main squeeze, into his misery. He had to make sure his dad, both dogs, and the stressed out teenager in the next room were sufficiently aware of his inability to sleep. Only when the entire household was buzzing around him trying to figure out how to use a gadget called a Nose Frida, was he mildly satisfied.

A Man Colder's suffering waxes and wanes. Certain times of day are the worst for Mr. Man Cold, such as when it comes to working, attending Back to School Nights, or shuttling kids around, but he might be able to rally just a tad when watching sports on TV or if an intriguing opportunity arises, such as a corn hole game in the cul de sac. Andrew was completely miserable. Hour after hour passed with screaming and wailing, but when I took him to the basement to allow other family members a chance to get some sleep, he was wide awake and happy as a clam. All of the enticements of our rarely-visited basement, like a couch and a clunky old TV, captivated him. He didn't care that it was now 3 am; he found his smile again, and it was party-time! Oooh! Is that a Shop Vac?

During the night, I had a running tape going in my head: "I can't do this! I'll never sleep again! I'm too old for this crap! What if his routine is ruined???" The morning sun, or at least the morning drizzle, made me realized I may have catastrophized a bit, kind of like a Man Colder.

The baby and I are staying home today, watching cartoons, cuddling, and, I hope, napping!


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about Andrew's cold and his household disruption & hope he feels better soon so that everyone else gets some sleep! Your writing is priceless. I loved the Man Cold descriptions. My DH fits those to a T! :) Thanks for the laughs.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Yes, baby colds are the worst, and on par with the man cold. My (former) babies (now grade schoolers) always insisted on getting sick the night before a big work presentation. Nothing like trying to be ready for a big day after an all-nighter with a sick kid.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, AGREED, man colds are the worst. I lose all my patience when my otherwise completely competent, self-sufficient husband turns into a giant baby. But a baby with a man cold?? Good luck!! (Hope he feels better soon!)


Helena said...

Bless you both. Baby Vicks (it has a lovely lavender scent) all over his chest and back, then run your shower hot until your bathroom is thick with steam and hold him there in the dark until he's breathing easy and sleeping deeply. Regards, the mother of a four year old finger sucker (ie a blocked nose is the end of the world....) said...

I love this! Oh yeah, those man colders. I remember those times when His world stopped and mine had to revolve around Him until I myself fell to the cold and he was well and done and back to work, leaving me alone finally to recuperate in peace on my own. I liked your sneaking the bit in about a woman keeping up a presidential campaign even when sick. But I am sorry Andrew (and you) had to suffer his first cold. Hope everyone's over that now. So onward to flu season, right?

Unknown said...

God bless a mama with a fantastic sense of humor!! As you know - this too shall pass. Wishing you all well!! xoxo

Steph said...

Your writing is hilarious. So on point (I think the kids might say?). Wishing you much rest and peace.

Susan C. said...

Yikes! I may be a Man Colder!

Unknown said...

This is awesome.

Anonymous said...

I just left my fiance alone for an hour with my cold-ridden four month old. They are both now napping to recover.

I am sick. Fiance is not.