Germs, germs everywhere

By Published On: February 22nd, 2016

There’s a blizzard swirling right around outside our window, and […]

1There’s a blizzard swirling right around outside our window, and we’re watching the flakes shimmer and dance as we fall asleep. I piled all the blankets in the house onto the living room floor, and we’re snuggling-in and camping-out. It’s adventurous, yes, and oh how I wish your dad could be here.
Ack ack, achew! You’re coughing and sneezing, and, before long, I’m chiming in with my own achew, ack, ack. The two of us make a sickness chorus as we cuddle and cough and hope for relief.
OK now, baby boy—it’s time to administer your eye-drops. I know it hurts, but it’s the only way to get the crust off your lids. Right eye first, and then we’ll do the left. You scream and squirm, and it breaks my heart putting these painful drops into your bitty browns. But you know what’s worse? Watching you wake-up scared and shaking because you can’t open your eyes. Your cold brought viral double pinkeye, and the darkness—the puss and puffy lids—fills you with pain and fear. I totally get it. OK, calm, my love. Just two more drops.
germs-comboWe’re a germy bunch this family o’ mine. My husband never ever calls into work sick (he’ll show up and get it done despite the aches and pains), and I can’t recall feeling ill since … let’s see … mono in college. The husband and I have first-class immune systems, and the whole soup-blankets-Tylenol-Netflix routine always seemed foreign to us. Who gets sick? Didn’t they take their vitamins? Wash their hands? Well you know what they say about those who throw stones …
Our pattern of health failed when Mr. Max spent three happy hours reigning over the ball-pit at an indoor park. I’m not sure there’s anything that makes a 10-month-old quite as happy as throwing ball upon shiny ball as they bounce and play and make the most of the day. A bit of a rhyme, and a definite good time—but was it worth it? Oh, heavens no.
My bean’s nose ran like a faucet when we returned from the park, and I spent the rest of the day reading The Hug Machine, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, and The Adventure Atlas as I rocked my boy. It was his first cold, and my every maternal instinct kicked and screamed as I prayed for his health to return.
3A cough emerged just after my babe’s nose started running (a true “can’t have one without the other” scenario), and I rocked him tight and prayed for his comfort. The reward for my labors? He developed viral pinkeye, and I got my own hacking symptoms.
I spend 24-hours a day protecting my babe from tumbles, choking hazards and lurking strangers, yet—for the first time ever—I couldn’t make the pain go away. It was the germs vs. mama, and unfortunately, the germs were winning.
When it snows it blizzards, and my husband came down with the flu the very next day. Max and I got flu shots in November, but I wasn’t taking any chances: I gave Jon the bed, and then I made a fort for Mr. Max and myself on the living room floor. So here I am, cuddling and coughing and hoping for a less germy tomorrow.