Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something to sneeze at

This past weekend was a holiday lover's delight - Valentine's Day and President's Day wrapped up together. We gave each other chocolates on Saturday and stimulus checks on Monday. Jennifer, Kyle and I made big plans for this weekend: we'd spend it in the Boston area, and on Sunday we'd get together with my parents, my brother and his wife for a big family dinner. This was our first trek to Massachusetts since early September, and I was very excited about going. So, naturally, this weekend marked the first time Kyle came down with an illness.

Kyle simply had a bad cold, with the usual bells and whistles: a stuffed up nose, a bad cough, fatigue, possibly a sore throat, and a loss of appetite for beer. There was no fever, no unusual rash, and no spinning of his head. Nevertheless, this being his first major cold, there was still plenty to be alarmed about, especially from Kyle's perspective. He had never gone through anything like this before, and he was eager to let us know that he didn't like it.

As new parents, we weren't exactly sure how to deal with this, outside of wiping the river of goop coming out of our child's nose, and burning everything he contaminated. We were fortunate to have my parents around at the start of this illness (we initially figured his cold wasn't bad enough to change plans), but on Monday the beast that was this illness was all ours.

Illnesses don't mix well with new parents, who are already overly paranoid about their kids. Every time he'd appeared to be coughing up a lung, or whenever his breathing sounded like coffee percolating, Jennifer and I looked at each other with the same concerned "Is that normal?" look on our faces. Since the little guy can't blow his nose or clear his throat, even the smallest of symptoms seemed so much worse, especially with our little guy crying all the time. At first we thought we'd be able to take care of this cold ourselves. We were going to wait it out and let the virus run its course, but eventually we panicked and finally called our pediatrician, who recommended that we wait it out and let the virus run its course. We'll be getting the bill for that advice later.

Waiting it out, though, hasn't been easy. We're all a little impatient. You see, not only are we learning how to help a sick child, we're also learning how to deal with Kyle's newfound ability to share. The cold has hit Jennifer hard, and I haven't been doing too well myself. Turns out this past weekend truly was a family experience, and one we can't wait to finally end.

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