Cracking the croup

By Published On: November 27th, 2013

It’s not that I’m a germ-a-phobe. It’s just that I […]

It’s not that I’m a germ-a-phobe. It’s just that I don’t like them crawling all over my baby. Sitting in the tiny bathroom, we both stare at the water pouring out of the shower-head. The Kid stares more out of wonder and fascination at this modern miracle, while I look on impatiently hoping the hot water will begin to create some much needed steam. I need The Kid’s bark-like coughing to slow down for a while. As we sit together staring, I realize it’s another first—his first cold.
How did we get here? Didn’t I purposely keep sick people away from his little immune system? Hadn’t I spent countless hours washing all of our hands after running errands? Had I suddenly developed an immunity to Purel? The Kid was still all smiles even with his low grade temp and glassy eyes. It’s like he hadn’t yet realized he could play the “Mom, I don’t feel so well,” card and Ferris Bueller me into staying home from picking up his blocks and taking naps.
“I hope it doesn’t turn into The Croup,” my Mother-In-Law remarked.
Too embarrassed to ask specifically what that meant, I nodded a concerned motherly nod, and secretly picked up my phone and did an internet search. I assumed I would find this horrible sounding illness listed with medieval diseases we had long since cured like  “The Plague” or “The Sweating Sickness” or “Reality Television.”  Instead, I learned that The Croup is a real illness characterized by a “seal-like” cough. Well, luckily he just had a normal little baby-like cough. We were fine.
Until he didn’t.
In less time than it takes the paparazzi to swoop in on a member of the Jolie-Pitt clan, Little E was barking like a seal, and I was trying not to panic, and call his doctor every time he coughed. His were classic Croup symptoms:
-Low grade temperature
-Runny nose
-Barking like a seal when coughing
-Voice that sounds like Debra Winger
There was no doubt about it.
We had The Croup.
We played it by the book. We steamed, and saline washed, and Tylenol’d if the fever spiked a little too high, and Vicks Baby Rubbed it until we both smelled minty and medicinal.
After a couple days of whimpering and me wondering if I should make The Kid audition for the latest casting call of Froggie in Our Gang, we made it through.
Happily, we are now all on the road to recovery.
But, I would suggest you wash your hands after reading this blog—just to be sure.