Snot and Chicken Soup.

The past few weeks have been an endless onslaught of coughs, colds and runny noses! As those of you with children will know, they pick up something from everyone, whether it’s a new word, gesture or bug that they licked of another babies face. This means there’s a continuous battering of colds, stomach bugs and random vomiting that plagues your life and health. Play dates are canceled, swimming is banned and you try hard to avoid anyone in fear of spreading or receiving more contaminants.

For the first ten months I breastfed my honey-bun, so she managed to fight off any sickness but we have recently come out of quarantine after enduring a cold that wiped us all out. At first it was a runny nose and a few coughs which progressed into a fever, an endless stream of green slime and a very grumpy baby. It was hard not to feel sorry for her when she repeatedly rubbed boogers into her fine blonde hair and coughed like a 50 year old smoker but then we all came down with it. Through blurry eyes, red noses and serious amounts of cough syrup, we cuddled and tried hard not to kill each other though none of us could sleep.

My little girl rolled around, hacking and breathing like Darth Vader while we did the same until the fever broke, the cough calmed and the chicken soup had run out. Pretty much all of my tops were covered in random streaks of snot from where she used my shoulder as a tissue and I couldn’t blame her as I didn’t want her little nose getting sore from Kleenex wiping.

We have all been through one of these times but having a sick child thrown into the mix just makes everything feel worse, never mind if it’s more than one! Now every time she coughs or sneezes I fear the possibility of another stomach wrenching bug. Apparently young children get sick 8-10 times a year. A year! I might as well buy some black wreaths, burn some incense and put a sign outside the door to announce the arrival of small pox. A tad dramatic, but seriously I don’t know if my sanity will cope if those figures turn out to be correct.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about daycare and calling in sick to work but if I did, all of my personal days and potentially vacation would be used on looking after a sick child. She’s cute but not that cute! All I can say after my complaining, is a serious shout out to the people who work and have young, bug infested children. To all the single parents who have enough on their plates and then have to cope with a sick child and to anyone thinking about having kids…8-10 times a year people!

9 Months Later

It’s been nine months since the arrival of my little honey-bun and what a whirlwind it has been. There have been many tears, giggles, and dirty diapers but every second (except the birth) has been a Godsend. I look down at my little bundle of joy as she plays happily with my shoe and wonder how I ever existed without her and at the same time I would give anything to sleep in!

When you become a parent you start to understand the full meaning of being sleep deprived and how you can endlessly prod your partner saying, “It’s your turn.” For me, I found the first few weeks the hardest as she only slept in three-hour intervals which inevitably meant that I didn’t sleep longer than two hours at a time. We took turns while my husband was off work so that we could try and stretch it out to three or four hours but that only lasted until he returned to the day job. I remember a close friend came over and offered to babysit so that we could go out but instead we headed straight to the bedroom to sleep. We curled up under the covers, wrapped our arms around each other and I immediately burst into tears from sheer exhaustion.

My husband stared at me blankly while my hormonal overload manifested as a water filled meltdown, sobbing that we didn’t snuggle anymore. The poor man just wanted to sleep but instead, he had to comfort his unstable wife. After my emotional outpouring, I snuck out of bed and jumped in the shower which felt like pure luxury. Every T-shirt I owned was covered in baby vomit, I didn’t know when I had last washed my hair and any opportunity to wash normally involved having the baby nearby in her rocker; so having an actual chunk of personal time to shower felt like being at a spa.

After a few weeks, things started to settle down and her sleeping pattern greatly improved but I still remember a salesman telling me that his wife was expecting their second child and all I did was glare at him and say “Why?” I couldn’t understand through my sleep tortured daze why anyone would have more than one child. Obviously, now that my little girl sleeps through the night and I can function like a human again, I understand the impulses to reproduce but I certainly have a newfound respect for people with twins or multiple children.

Now that nine months have flown by, I still get surprised when I catch myself beaming with pride because my honey-bun has learned to crawl, clap or stand. Never before have I admired any child’s ability to perform basic bodily functions but when my own child laughs, rolls or farts, I find it entertaining beyond measure. The simple joys in life really are childlike and even though there have been times of struggle, I would not have traded a single moment with my daughter for an extra hours sleep. (I might alter this last statement if a second baby comes along!)