We’re sick. It figures, right? Spring break for the monkeys, school for me… let’s all get sick! It’s nothing major, just the creeping crud with a cough that just about everyone seems to have had, and it’s our turn now.
So last night, all the kids off to dreamland, I popped some nighttime cold medicine in hopes of knocking myself out and crawled under my covers. It worked. I was knocked out hard, and only came-to when I head Abby coughing hard and crying. Her room is right next to mine, so I didn’t think she’d been crying long- and when I glanced at the clock, I saw that it had only been 45 minutes since I went to bed. It felt like it had been days and I was underwater, but it hadn’t even been an hour. Disoriented isn’t even the word.
Bleary-eyed and under a NyQuil haze, sat on the edge of Abby’s bed and tried to calm her. Now she’s a bit of a drama queen, and this was not the moment to go all Sarah Bernhardt on me- so when I tried to pull her into my lap to comfort her and she began to wail like a stuck pig, it didn’t go over well. Rubbing her back and trying to calm her down, I could see she was making her cough worse with her howling and crying and she started to gag.
This did not need to be happening. When she started to gag, she panicked, and stuck her hand in her mouth, and up came the hot dog she had for dinner. Nothing is worse than hot-dog barf, people. Trust me.
Still in a confused cold-medicine haze, I grabbed a bowl and towel from the bathroom. Back in her room, she was perched on the side of her bed screaming. Looking around her room, and simply screaming. Maybe it was my delirium, but she seemed to be enjoying the full-on release and the sound of her voice. I tried to pull her into my lap and shhhhh her, but she threw her head back, cracked her noggin into my nose, and continued bellowing. Here’s where I fail:
I yelled at her. She seemed hysterical, and maybe I was too- but I yelled at her. I told her to stop screaming, that she was only making her cough worse and hurting me and herself. My almost-five year old is sick and confused, and I yelled at her. I felt about three inches tall. She stopped screaming and looked at me in shock. But at that moment, the important thing? She stopped. Right then in NyQuil haze-confusion, I needed her to stop. She looked at me, face all blotchy from crying and coughing, and tears sprang to my eyes. Awesome mom of the year.
I feel like I failed a test last night. Like, here was something really hard and my daughter needed a tender, patient mother, and instead got a crazy-tired, sick mama who was mean. Mom FAIL.
This morning, she’s fine, and while still coughing, snuggled with me in bed and fell back asleep in the pre-dawn haze. She kisses my cheeks and tells me she loves me and doesn’t seem to remember the mean mom who yelled at her when she was distraught. But I do. And my heart surely outweighs the feather this morning.