Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Strep - oh how I loathe thee.

This week has kicked off with the arrival of strep at our home. How fabulous.  Instead of roses and fancy dinners, our Valentine's surprise is streptoccocus and zithromax all around.  We typically aren't big Valentine's Day observors, so we aren't missing out on much.  We had the luxury of a three day weekend (yesterday being Lincoln's birthday - the perks of being a State of Illinois employee!!!). The extra day allowed us to rest and get enough medication in us to no longer be a contagious threat to other humans before returning to work and daycare today.

It is going on 4:00p.m. as I type this and I am surprised that I haven't received a call from daycare asking me to come get J.  I didn't figure he would last the day.  I worked at a frenzied pace this morning trying to accomplish a whole day's worth of work in a few hours in case I had to depart, which has left me with some extra time to write this afternoon.

This recent bout with strep has highlighted  two major changes since having a child.  One is the apparent ability to function with little to no sleep. Even when you are sick.  Somehow, when that little voice is calling for you at 1a.m. (and 1:30, and 2:15, and 3:00) you manage to be able to stumble out of bed and muster enough focus to administer medication, assist in a trip to the bathroom or provide a desperately needed drink of water/hug/extra blanket/back rub.  And then be able to get up and function in the world the next day.  In my pre child days, anything short of a full night's sleep left me worthless and unproductive the next day.  I have concluded that pregnancy and child birth leave behind a new "Sleep? Who needs sleep?" hormone that gets you through parenthood.

The second phenomenon I have observed is the willingness of a parent to let their child sneeze, cough, vomit etc. all over them without a second thought. (Note: Usually this is as a result of trying to supplement the sleep you are being cheated out of.)  I of course contracted my strep as a result of holding J so that we could both get an extra hour of sleep. I awoke with his little face an inch from mine breathing strep germs and bad breath directly into my mouth.  But, was it worth the extra 60 minutes of sleep? Heck yes.  Do I like having snot wiped on me? No. Do I enjoy an unexpected sneeze in the face? No.  Would I let any other human being other than this child do this to me? Not in this lifetime.  Pre - J, I would never have caught vomit in my hands in order to avoid having to change bed sheets at 2a.m.  Nor would I ever have laughed when receiving a big, wet, sloppy kiss from a kid who is hacking like he smokes 2 packs a day. And if you would have told me that I would have accepted a good night kiss from a kid who was running a 102 degree temp  and looked like death warmed over, I would have said you were nuts.

But, I do. Just like every other parent does for their kid.  I get irritated at all of the mid night wake up calls and being sick more than ever before.  But, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  And do you know why?  Because of all the love, laughter and awesomeness that is hiding inside that petri dish of a little boy.  Because when he calls me into his room for the 4,356th time because his feet are hot, he looks at me and says ,"thank you mommy, you are my best friend." Or  he asks me to take him to the potty and hugs me as tight as he can.  Or he just says "I love you." Oh, and because of the laughter. The belly laughs, the silly walks, the funny little songs, the mis-pronounced words and the insightful "Jacksonisms". For those reasons and a million more, I 'd never think twice about any of the inexplicable actions I do as a parent. Instead I will just stock up on hand sanitizer, clorox wipes and coffee. Because I know the day will come when I wish my boy would cough on me at 3a.m. 

1 comment: