Apparently, the Easter bunny has a sense of humor. Along with some chocolate eggs, he also brought double fevers, night-long coughing, at least a basket's worth of mucus, medicine-induced hallucinations, a desperate attempt at co-sleeping, and some projectile vomiting. And yet, troopers that we are, we still managed to host a bangin' Easter pool party.
Ever since Ben started preschool in November, we've been dealing with monthly illnesses. And of course, whatever Ben brings home, Aidan Kai quickly catches. This time, it was almost simultaneous. There is nothing quite like dealing with a sick toddler AND a sick baby. Infant Tylenol for one, Children's Motrin for the other. Hold one down for saline nose drops, chase the other one around the house forcing him to blow his "boogies." Two fevers to control, two noses to wipe, two cranky kids, two exhausted parents. Last night Ben's coughing had gotten so out of control, that he was literally hacking for hours. At one point I was sitting in bed listening to both of their monitors and it was like surround sound: Aidan's sad little coughs and sneezes and occasional "whaa's" coupled with Ben's body wracking coughs and grunts of discomfort. So I caved. I did something I NEVER do. I went against doctor's orders and I gave Ben some cough suppressant. (For those of you who don't have small kids and may not see what the BFD is: over the last couple of years, cough meds for babies and toddlers have become a big no-no...you ask your doctor for a cough suppressant and he gasps and looks at you like you asked for some crack for the kid.) Well...apparently there actually IS some validity to the hype, because Ben got so wired that he was hallucinating. We're talking full blown nightmares every 2 minutes or so, yelling out, not responding when I'd come in the room, sweating...a whole lotta fun. And oh yeah, he was still coughing.
At about 1:00 in the morning, after 10 trips to his room, and 2 to Publix (one for honey, the other for Vick's Vapor Mist), we brought him into our room to sleep with us. This was our first official co-sleeping experience. I realize this may be shocking to lots of you out there, some who may swear by co-sleeping, and others who have gotten sucked into it somehow and aren't sure how to get out. If there is one thing Pablo and I are adamant about it is getting our kids to develop good sleeping habits, and that, for us, means sleeping in their cribs/beds. I'm sorry, but I needed to draw the line when it came to my bed. As a result of our "training," Ben has never wanted to sleep with us, not even when he's been sick. So I have to admit, I thought "Gee, maybe this will be kinda nice. Maybe it will feel cozy. Maybe I can finally see what all the co-sleeping hype is about." Um. No. Here's the truth about co-sleeping: the only one who actually sleeps is THE KID. His screams and wild restlessness and nightmares stopped almost immediately when we brought him into our bed, but they were replaced by snores that were so loud, I could not quite believe they came out of my adorable little 3-year-old, erratic and surprisingly aggressive kicks, and (purposeful?) pushes that practically knocked each of us to the floor. I had absolutely no idea that a boy that little could take up so much space on a bed that big. Fortunately, around 4:00 a.m., he simply turned his head, opened his eyes, looked at me, and stated: "Mama, I'm thirsty. I need water. And I don't like these covers. I want to go to my bed."
After getting about 3 hours of actual sleep, we had both families come over for an Easter Pool Party, complete with an egg hunt put on and planned by yours truly. (And for those of you who are taking notes on Bad Mother Decisions and would like to add "letting your sick kid go swimming" to "giving your kid cough medicine"...I checked with a doctor, thank you very much, but don't worry, I'm sure I'll screw up again very soon so keep your list handy.) As you can see by the pics, there was no evidence of the previous night...everyone looked pretty happy and cute, too, if I do say so myself. And tonight, after all the decorations had been put away, the food picked up, the kids bathed and in their PJ's, Ben on his last lullaby and Aidan on his last ounce of milk, when we thought we had pulled through the day and it was all pretty darn successful...Aidan did his thing...he coughed...and...gagged...and PUKED. All over the place. And so, as Pablo is on all fours uselessly scrubbing the carpet, and I am changing PJ's and mixing more formula, Ben and Aidan have gotten a second wind: Aidan is babbling and cooing and giggling like he just performed a party trick, and Ben is checking out his chocolate eggs and insisting he's hungry and wants to watch TV. And I am amazed...amazed by children's resiliency, by their ability to puke and move on (literally and figuratively), and amused at the stuff parenting throws at you, and how, when you have no other choice, you not only clean up the messes, but you actually throw a party in the midst of them.