The Silver Lining of a Sick Kid

Health & Wellness on 04.23.12
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Photo: Katie Morton

Shrill screams over the monitor. Again. Oh, my nerves. Why wasn't my baby - I mean my, little kid - napping peacefully? Why do we seem to be regressing in the realm of sleep over the past few days? When I went up to check on her, the answer was abundantly clear. She was wearing everything she'd eaten that day down the front of her sleep sack. Oooooh, the guilt for not checking on her a moment sooner. "I didn't know you were sick! I'm so sorry!" Sorry is now one of her favorite words to blurt at random strangers. I must apologize a lot.

I hugged her close, I changed her clothes, I changed my clothes. I started a load of laundry. We spent the rest of the day cuddling on the beach-towel-covered couch, reading stories, and watching her favorite shows. In a land that's not so far away, Umi City! She kept some milk down. We weren't as lucky with a Saltine cracker.

Bedtime. She wasn't going into the crib willingly. I was brought back to her newborn days as I rocked her in the dark, waiting for a deep-enough sleep. She was finally still, sleeping soundly, I thought. I moved slowly, trying to lay her down in her crib without waking her. GAH!! Not slowly enough. I retreated with her to the chair, and her cries stopped.  

I tried to remember the formula to determine when a baby was in deep sleep...20 minutes of sleep plus 3 twitches. Babies. So confounding, yet simultaneously formulaic. Despite the circumstances and my wishing that she felt well, it was an amazing feeling to get the chance to hold her again while she slept, a brief revisiting of a phase long past. But the patience required to hold still in the dark, to quiet my thoughts, to match her breathing to mine, to just BE for a little while, is still so challenging. To use the vernacular, I was freaking out, man.

Finally, I was able to put her down and she remained asleep. Once out of her room and squinting my eyes in the bright lights of my own bedroom, I considered how insanely lucky I am to be her mother and, now that she's a toddler, that I got to hold her until she fell asleep.

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