The baby is sleeping on the counter in the bathroom. I put him there to steam some of the snot from his system, and thought, for the very first time, that Houston does have some bonuses. Never had to create my own rainforest there.
Another bonus: my skin-sensitive child never had welts across the backs of her knees from rubbing dry skin against dry skin.
Last night, as I sat, slumped and teary-eyed, on the floor of my daughters‘ bedroom, listening to them hack and scratch and blow their sick little noses, I felt completely out of control. I can’t heal the skin of the middle girl, although I’ve tried vitamin E and olive oils and Cortizone and Cetaphil and Neosporin and and and... I can’t make the virus go away, I can’t even protect the littlest one, whose whole body shakes and his eyes water and he reaches out for me every time he coughs. I couldn’t be patient enough with the oldest one when she begged me to just tell her the answer to her math homework because she panics and convinces herself that she’s never going to understand it and she’s sick and doesn’t want to move but also can’t stand the thought of missing one more day of school because that’s 12 pages of make-up work to do for each day missed. And the littlest girl just wants to cuddle but I’ve got to make the dinner and suction the baby’s nose and fill the humidifiers and I’ve got to do it all on 2 1/2 hours of sleep and gee, I’m not particularly nice at times like that but I am amazingly good at feeling sorry for myself.
But the morning happens, no matter how bad the night. And this morning, the oldest girl bounces down and hugs me, and the 2 middle girls curl up with each other on the couch and I realize that I’ve got 10 minutes and so I curl up with them and we read a story together and everything is kisses and loves and sunshine. And the doctor will give my baby medicine and he’ll get better and never be sick in elementary because he will have gone through every virus before reaching the age of 2. So even though today, also, is a 2 hours of sleep day, I feel hopeful. I think we’ll try Dreft again to see if that helps the walking-puss-ball and maybe we’ll have toast and hot cocoa for dinner tonight because we deserve it.