Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sleepless in Portland

Is it bad to say I kind of enjoy it when my kids are sick? A small part of me thrives on the maternal instincts kicking in, the desire my children suddenly have to cuddle and snuggle, the urgent need they have for me when for the past 6 months they've been struggling to find their independence. It reminds me of when they were infants, totally reliant on me to feed and care for them. When my kids are sick, they need me like that again.

Recently Volcano had the croup -- that terrible, barking seal-like cough that hits in the middle of the night. He's gotten it before, so Hubby and I knew what to do: a little Tylenol to lower the fever, lots of fluids, a humidifier in the room, and an open window to the cold, moist air that is thankfully plentiful in Oregon. "Anything else that would make you feel better?" I asked him, tucking him into bed.

"I want to snuggle with Mommy," he answered, and I swear I heard angels singing. Since Volcano has started kindergarten, he has become too "cool" to hug me in front of his friends. He even asked me to stop at the front door when I drop him off, so I wouldn't follow him down the hall into his classroom. So, this... this was a major privilege.

And, of course, as soon as Volcano is feeling better, Monkey gets the croup. This was her first time with it, so I was a little worried. But I reveled in the roll of the caregiver, feeling like a true mother. In the evening, I fed her some albondigas (the Mexican version of chicken soup, that my mother used to give me). But Monkey's not a fan of any kind of soup, and she was struggling.
"Finish your soup," Hubby said, adding, as an incentive, "And we can finish the movie we were watching."

"Can I sit next to Mommy?" Monkey asked. "And can I snuggle with her under the blanket?" It was as if she were negotiating the terms of a contract, and I was thrilled. Recently Monkey has been arguing with me the fact that I don't need to hold her hand, because she's a "big girl." So this, too, made me feel necessary. And I loved it.

But that night was the true triumph. The doctor suggested that either Hubby or I sleep with Monkey that night, to better monitor her breathing. I volunteered so Hubby could get up earlier for work. When I crawled into bed with Monkey that night, I felt a little hand reach for mine. And she held my hand tight the rest of the night, sometimes even throwing her other arm around me for comfort.

I'll admit I didn't sleep too well that night. But I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

3 comments:

Marla said...

must be in the NW air as my boys are sick now too...

georgia said...

Awwww... that was so sweet! *tear*

Sweepea said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling needed!