Croup in the Night

Caleb and croup

So last night was not unlike something we haven’t already experienced in twenty five years of parenting, I just intensely dislike croup. The terrible barking noise, the fear it brings into my little person as they gasp for breath, mouth wide open as they call for all their seal friends in the far off Antarctica.
That evening, Caleb went to bed coughing and making a noise clearing his throat that sounded like he was addressing Congress. He awoke at 3 a.m. in full swing with croup. We truly were concerned we might have to make a dash to the ER as he was laboring to catch his breath. I tried to remind myself that if we went to the ER, we would probably get to turn around halfway because whatever magic the shower didn’t perform, hopefully the cold air would finish the trick. So Caleb starts to settle down and decides to sit up and watch something. Lydia, my four year old, decides about this time to join the fun and both of them want someone to sit with them. Of course, I forgot the best part, going into the steamed bathroom and showing my motherly concern brought out a roaring hot flash in me. Full fledge hot cheeks, steam coming out the ears, hot flash. After several hours of up and down, trading places, I landed with Lydia in the bed. I was finally about to doze off when I heard her, ahem, sweet voice counting.
I asked her, “Lydia, what are you doing?”
She replied,as if it was obvious, ” I am counting sheep, but I can’t get the sheep to jump over the fence.”
I chuckled knowing she had heard David and I talking about counting sheep to go to sleep when we have had a restless night.
Okay”, I murmured, ” maybe, counting quietly to yourself will do the trick.”
A few more moments, that felt like hours as I lay producing enough heat to warm the apartment building next door, I felt something on my back. The tiny little finger of my little person drawing on my back.
Softly she says, ” I am going to draw on your back, that will help.”
At this moment I am not sure who it will help but I decide, oh well, I may as well join in the middle of the night fun.
So I soothingly reply in my sweetest voice, “Good idea, why don’t you draw sheep and make sure they are jumping the fence.”