This is also not the post I was planning on writing because coughing, like working, gets in the way of most things good around here. On Monday, Max came down with a dry, barking cough. It wasn't croup but almost. He was really sick for days. He was cuddly and thirsty and not sleepy but not in horrible spirits. El and Rick kept him home from day care and I tried to be home more than usual. The rest of us drank Emercen-C by the gallon and prayed for the best. Especially Zoe. When Erik was throwing up and Max was coughing, Zoe said she really didn't want to get sick. If she had to get sick though, she'd rather have Max's cold than Erik's throwing-up disease.
She made it all the way until Friday. A four day incubation period. She thought she'd made it but that morning she too had the dry bark of a cough and bags under her eyes.
After dinner, she was coughing almost nonstop. Her inhaler seemed not to be having any effect (she doesn't have asthma, she has "reactive airway disorder" which means when she gets a cold, it sucks worse for her. Or at least it did. She barely wheezes anymore) so I got out the old nebulizer.
She asked, what is that?
This is your nebulizer. You used it every day for a year from when you were one and a half until you were almost three. Then, every time you got a cold, you used it four or five times a day. You don't remember it?
Why does it have this chicken for a mask?
It's supposed to be a dinosaur.
So you put in on like this? How long does it take?
She used to do this every day. She knew how to do it herself, put the albuterol in the cup, twist the cup into the mask, turn on the machine. Now, not even muscle memory.
She slept off and on last night. Erik and I went in to give her treatments in the middle of the night like we used to. Our muscles remember.
As I think about my friends whose baby is still in the NICU, I worry mostly about my friends. The baby, I believe (I have to), will be OK. And, although I knew that babies forget, it wasn't until yesterday I realized how completely babies (and two, three, four and five year olds) forget so fully. I hope that gives them a bit them a bit of relief.