Nora is coughing. It has been almost five whole months since we endured our last around the clock albuterol treatments, vomit-inducing coughing fits, and never-ending trips to the doctor. I even made the mistake of saying out loud to Nora last night that we were going to stop doing her mask (the pulmicort we’ve been on since November) this week as she winds down her time at daycare and enters her “healthy” time of year.
And today she is coughing.
She coughs and I hear pneumonia.
She coughs and I take a mental note of where her barf bowl is.
She coughs and I hold the mask a little tighter to her face.
She coughs and I wonder how long it will be until we are at the doctor’s office again,filling more prescriptions, hoping it doesn’t last and last like it always does.
She coughs and either Ken or I or both of us say, “Oh, Nora.”
She coughs and it is me who feels a little stabbing pain in my heart.
Nora’s coughing. Soft little coughs that every mom whose child does not have asthma probably wouldn’t think twice about. It’s a cold, they would say, and move on with life knowing the snot monster would surrender its grip of their child in due time. Or at least I think that’s what a mom whose child doesn’t have asthma would think. I can’t know for sure since my only child does have asthma.
So is a cold ever just a cold? I think we’re about to find out.
It arrived today. Shiny and lime green with a removable “pot” and attached splash guard. It sits now in our living room as a decoration, a “toy” to get acquainted with until the real use becomes a bit more viable. What is it? A potty.
Nora is 25 months now and knows when she “has a poop.” She’s still not really ready to potty train; she’d much rather sit and play in a sopping wet diaper than go into another room to change it; sometimes it takes my smelling her poop before she announces she needs a new diaper. But I’m gearing up for this next step. I’m ready to stop changing diapers. So if her potty is her best friend in six weeks when spring break arrives, if she’s progressed a bit in her disgust with her own soiled diapers, maybe I’ll embark on that next parenting challenge.
Something else green arrived today too. I didn’t order it from Amazon and I surely am not welcoming it into our living room. This time I speak of snot – or “boogies” as Nora calls them. They descended on me two days ago and now they are pouring out of poor Nora’s nose.
The arrival of snot sends me into panic mode. It is never “just a cold” with Nora. I watch the snot drip out of her nose and wonder when the vomiting will begin, when the coughing will start. I dread the days ahead that might mean crying, clinging, round-the-clock albuterol, an interruption to our finally-returned-to-normal sleeping. I pray to the pulmicort gods that her lungs are strengthened enough to avoid that this time. I gear up for the fight.
Please let this snot be wimpy.
Cranky and exhausted after her first day back at daycare, Nora came home set to prove she really is now two. Several tantrums into the evening, she sat on my lap, shaking her head and saying “no” to every single thing in the room. She included herself: “No playdough. No milk. No crayons. No pens. No books. No shoes. No baby. No blankie. No chair. No Mommy. No Daddy. No Nora.”
She was clearly exhausted. And two.