Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sick baby, sick mama: A Tough Alliance

Being stuck in a house with a sick child for a week was bound to break my as-of-late superhero immune system sooner or later. Hannah is my kryptonite and I am fallen. The house is littered with dirty tissues and tea-dreg crusted mugs. While the humidifier releases comforting clouds of steam I'm drawing pictures of palm trees on foggy windows and hacking up colorful globules of slain white blood cells that would give Slimer a reason to be proud. My mom used to say "If there weren't so much, I'd swear it was yer brains!" There are pains and annoyances I can tolerate. Backache? Meh. Headache? Sucks, but I can deal. Labor pains? I'm fascinatingly stoic. But give me a stuffy nose at night and I'm reduced to a sobbing heap of panic and despair. Hannah, on the other hand, has a disgusting amount of energy despite her sneezing and hacking, and the only way I can keep her entertained is by inflating an entire package of balloons with the few molecules of oxygen left in my brain, and toss them in her general direction. I imagine the time when one of these balloons pops and a nebula of germy spores explodes in her face giving the cold back to her and continuing this mucousy cycle. But for now she's happy, gaily tossing balloons in her crib, fishing them out, then tossing them back in. If only I could handle sickness with such exuberance, happily sweeping snot and hair from my face in the same gesture. I need sunshine. And soup. And jump ropes. Yeah, jump ropes.

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